HACKER | Hollywood Movies in Hindi Dubbed full actionNovember 28, 2019
Reflecting the two types of hackers, there are two definitions of the word “hacker”:
an adherent of the technology and programming subculture; see hacker culture.
someone who is able to subvert computer security. If doing so for malicious purposes, the person can also be called a cracker.
Today, mainstream usage of “hacker” mostly refers to computer criminals, due to the mass media usage of the word since the 1980s. This includes what hacker slang calls “script kiddies”, people breaking into computers using programs written by others, with very little knowledge about the way they work. This usage has become so predominant that the general public is largely unaware that different meanings exist. While the self-designation of hobbyists as hackers is generally acknowledged and accepted by computer security hackers, people from the programming subculture consider the computer intrusion related usage incorrect, and emphasize the difference between the two by calling security breakers “crackers” (analogous to a safecracker).
The controversy is usually based on the assertion that the term originally meant someone messing about with something in a positive sense, that is, using playful cleverness to achieve a goal. But then, it is supposed, the meaning of the term shifted over the decades and came to refer to computer criminals.
As the security-related usage has spread more widely, the original meaning has become less known. In popular usage and in the media, “computer intruders” or “computer criminals” is the exclusive meaning of the word today. (For example, “An Internet ‘hacker’ broke through state government security systems in March.”) In the computer enthusiast (Hacker Culture) community, the primary meaning is a complimentary description for a particularly brilliant programmer or technical expert. (For example, “Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, is considered by some to be a hacker.”) A large segment of the technical community insist the latter is the “correct” usage of the word (see the Jargon File definition below).
Representation in mainstream media
The mainstream media’s current usage of the term may be traced back to the early 1980s. When the term was introduced to wider society by the mainstream media in 1983, even those in the computer community referred to computer intrusion as “hacking”, although not as the exclusive definition of the word. In reaction to the increasing media use of the term exclusively with the criminal connotation, the computer community began to differentiate their terminology. Alternative terms such as “cracker” were coined in an effort to maintain the distinction between “hackers” within the legitimate programmer community and those performing computer break-ins. Further terms such as “black hat”, “white hat” and “gray hat” developed when laws against breaking into computers came into effect, to distinguish criminal activities from those activities which were legal.
Representation in network news
However, network news use of the term consistently pertained primarily to the criminal activities, despite the attempt by the technical community to preserve and distinguish the original meaning, so today the mainstream media and general public continue to describe computer criminals, with all levels of technical sophistication, as “hackers” and do not generally make use of the word in any of its non-criminal connotations. Members of the media sometimes seem unaware of the distinction, grouping legitimate “hackers” such as Linus Torvalds and Steve Wozniak along with criminal “crackers”.
As a result, the definition is still the subject of heated controversy. The wider dominance of the pejorative connotation is resented by many who object to the term being taken from their cultural jargon and used negatively, including those who have historically preferred to self-identify as hackers. Many advocate using the more recent and nuanced alternate terms when describing criminals and others who negatively take advantage of security flaws in software and hardware. Others prefer to follow common popular usage, arguing that the positive form is confusing and unlikely to become widespread in the general public. A minority still use the term in both senses despite the controversy, leaving context to clarify (or leave ambiguous) which meaning is intended.
However, because the positive definition of hacker was widely used as the predominant form for many years before the negative definition was popularized, “hacker” can therefore be seen as a shibboleth, identifying those who use the technically-oriented sense (as opposed to the exclusively intrusion-oriented sense) as members of the computing community. On the other hand, due to the variety of industries software designers may find themselves in, many prefer not to be referred to as hackers because the word holds a negative denotation in many of those industries.
A possible middle ground position has been suggested, based on the observation that “hacking” describes a collection of skills and tools which are used by hackers of both descriptions for differing reasons. The analogy is made to locksmithing, specifically picking locks, which is a skill which can be used for good or evil. The primary weakness of this analogy is the inclusion of script kiddies in the popular usage of “hacker,” despite their lack of an underlying skill and knowledge base.
Sometimes, “hacker” is simply used synonymously with “geek”: “A true hacker is not a group person. He’s a person who loves to stay up all night, he and the machine in a love-hate relationship… They’re kids who tended to be brilliant but not very interested in conventional goals[…] It’s a term of derision and also the ultimate compliment.”
Fred Shapiro thinks that “the common theory that ‘hacker’ originally was a benign term and the malicious connotations of the word were a later perversion is untrue.” He found that the malicious connotations were already present at MIT in 1963 (quoting The Tech, an MIT student newspaper), and at that time referred to unauthorized users of the telephone network, that is, the phreaker movement that developed into the computer security hacker subculture of today.