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What is a Hacker?

hacker (n.) - a slang term for a computer enthusiast, i.e., a person who enjoys learning programming languages and computer systems and can often be considered an expert on the subjects. Among professional programmers, depending on how it used, the term can be either complimentary or derogatory, although it is developing an increasingly derogatory connotation. The pejorative sense of hacker is becoming more prominent largely because the popular press has co-opted the term to refer to individuals who gain unauthorized access to computer systems for the purpose of stealing and corrupting data. Hackers, themselves, maintain that the proper term for such individuals is "cracker. "
(Source: Webopedia)

In a security context, a hacker is someone involved in computer security/insecurity, specializing in the discovery of exploits in systems (for exploitation or prevention), or in obtaining or preventing unauthorized access to systems through skills, tactics and detailed knowledge. In the most common general form of this usage, "hacker" refers to a black-hat hacker (a malicious or criminal hacker). There are also ethical hackers (more commonly referred to as white hats), and those more ethically ambiguous (grey hats). To disambiguate the term hacker, often "cracker" is used instead, referring either to computer security hacker culture as a whole to demarcate it from the academic hacker culture (such as by Eric S. Raymond {see link below} or specifically to make a distinction within the computer security context between black-hat hackers and the more ethically positive hackers, commonly known as the white-hat hackers). The context of computer security hacking forms a subculture which is often referred to as the network hacker subculture or simply the computer underground. According to its adherents, cultural values center around the idea of creative and extraordinary computer usage. Proponents claim to be motivated by artistic and political ends, but are often unconcerned about the use of criminal means to achieve them.

Hacker Attitudes

The term "Hacker" may mean simply a person with mastery of computers; however the mass media most often uses "Hacker" as synonymous with a (usually criminal) computer intruder. See hacker, and Hacker definition controversy. In computer security, several subgroups with different attitudes and aims use different terms to demarcate themselves from each other, or try to exclude some specific group with which they do not agree. 

White hat
A white hat hacker or ethical hacker is someone who breaks security but who does so for altruistic or at least non-malicious reasons. White hats generally have a clearly defined code of ethics, and will often attempt to work with a manufacturer or owner to improve discovered security weaknesses, although many reserve the implicit or explicit threat of public disclosure after a "reasonable" time as a prod to ensure timely response from a corporate entity. The term is also used to describe hackers who work to deliberately design and code more secure systems. To white hats, the darker the hat, the more the ethics of the activity can be considered dubious. Conversely, black hats may claim the lighter the hat, the more the ethics of the activity are lost.

Grey hat
A grey hat hacker is a hacker of ambiguous ethics and/or borderline legality, often frankly admitted.

Blue Hat
A blue hat hacker is someone outside computer security consulting firms that are used to bug test a system prior to its launch, looking for exploits so they can be closed. Microsoft also uses the term BlueHat to represent a series of security briefing events.

Black Hat
A black hat hacker is someone who subverts computer security without authorization or who uses technology (usually a computer or the Internet) for terrorism, vandalism (malicious destruction), credit card fraud, identity theft, intellectual property theft, or many other types of crime. This can mean taking control of a remote computer through a network, or software cracking.

Script kiddie
A script kiddie is a person, usually not an expert in computer security, who breaks into computer systems by using pre-packaged automated tools written by others.

A hacktivist is a hacker who utilizes technology to announce a political message. Web vandalism is not necessarily hacktivism.

(Source: Wikipedia)


How Computer Hacking Happens 

Hacking attacks can be launched in a number of ways: 

How to Keep From Being "Hacked"







Hackers and Identity Theft
Great reading to give you insight into why the Black hats do what they do. 

How to Become a Hacker
by Eric Steven Raymond
This is fascinating reading by a true "white-hat hacker."


How to Prevent being "Hacked"
The best protection against being hacked is the use of a firewall. And even then .....


Call or email Salem Computer Doctors today for  FREE Firewall Software for home users!

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(540) 330-4279


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