Yes, hackers can be stopped before they cause serious damage to public and private users because the US government is hiring the best and brightest to combat them. As long as we can pinpoint exactly who is behind the hacking, we will be able to create enough firewalls to stop future hacks.
Hackers are not new and they will always be around. However, they seem to be moving faster than our protection measures. As with a lot of technologies, individuals seem to find nefarious uses for the technology before government and even private entities recognize the problems and then find solutions. We're at a point now where we need to scramble to increase defenses. We'll get there.
In my opinion, hacking will always be something to contend with and serious damage to public and private users will always be a potential outcome. The authorities and larger companies faced with serious hacking threats should hire those involved with hacking to implement measures to counter less desirable potential outcomes and protect the public and private users.
No, the ever increasing number and variety of technologies, and the ever present number of those willing to develop hacking tools, make this a near impossible task. As technology and the internet develop, hackers and the methods they employ develop in line. As well as the traditional view of the hacker (unemployed, home based and hacking for technical challenge rather than profit), there is also the additional burden of those now hacking purely for financial gain. Worryingly, there is now also an increase in large-scale, state-sponsored hacking which will prove extremely difficult to address.