Hackers vs Crackers
This book is titled Hacking Linux Exposed, and discusses
how an unwelcome person can break into your Linux system -
and, more importantly, what you can do to keep them out.
As many purists will note -- ourselves included -- using
the term 'Hacker' is not entirely accurate. 'Cracker' would
be more precise. In fact, we wrote up a beautiful section
for the introduction in which we criticized the media's misuse
of the term and tried to 'set the record straight' about
the correct usage. Unfortunately this section was deemed
unimportant by the editor and was removed over our
We refer you to their repective definitions, borrowed
here from the Jargon Dictionary
We are saddened by the common misuse of the term hacker.
Thus we have done our best to use the term 'attacker' or 'cracker' as
much as possible in Hacking Linux Exposed
when describing an individual with malicious intent.
- n. [originally, someone who makes furniture with an axe]
1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and
how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer
to learn only the minimum necessary. 2. One who programs
enthusiastically (even obsessively) or who enjoys
programming rather than just theorizing about
programming. 3. A person capable of appreciating hack
value. 4. A person who is good at programming quickly. 5.
An expert at a particular program, or one who frequently
does work using it or on it; as in `a Unix hacker'.
(Definitions 1 through 5 are correlated, and people who
fit them congregate.) 6. An expert or enthusiast of any
kind. One might be an astronomy hacker, for example. 7.
One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively
overcoming or circumventing limitations. 8. [deprecated]
A malicious meddler who tries to discover sensitive
information by poking around. Hence `password hacker',
`network hacker'. The correct term for this sense is
n. One who breaks security on a system. Coined ca. 1985 by
hackers in defense against journalistic misuse of hacker
(q.v., sense 8). An earlier attempt to establish `worm'
in this sense around 1981-82 on Usenet was largely a
Use of both these neologisms reflects a strong revulsion
against the theft and vandalism perpetrated by cracking
rings. While it is expected that any real hacker will
have done some playful cracking and knows many of the
basic techniques, anyone past larval stage is expected to
have outgrown the desire to do so except for immediate,
benign, practical reasons (for example, if it's necessary
to get around some security in order to get some work
hacking is a skill that is not present in the multitudes
warez doodz, and
in the world today. To us, the term hacker should conveigh respect and
awe. Now if only we could convince the media...