Sunday, 15 October 2006

Hackers Vs Crackers

ScottThe terms Hackers and Crackers are so regularly incorrectly used and while reading The Hacker Ethic by Pekka Himanen a superb definition has been written.

At the core of our technological time stands a fascinating group of people who call themselves hackers. They are not TV celebrities with wide name recognition, but everyone knows their achievements, which form a large part of our new, emerging society's technological basis: The internet and the Web, the personal computer, and an important portion of the software used for running them. The hackers' "jargon file," compiled collectively on the Net, defines them as people who "program enthusiastically" and who believe that "information-sharing is a powerful positive good, and that it is an ethical duty of hackers to share their expertise be writing free software and facilitating access to information and to computing resources wherever possible."

This has been the hacker ethic ever since a group of MIT's passionate programmers started calling themselves hackers in the early sixties. Later, in the mid-eighties, the media started applying the term to computer criminals. In order to avoid the confusion with virus writers and intruders into information systems, hackers began calling these destructuve computer users crackers.

Observe the distinction between hackers and crackers :)

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