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Thread: The Great Hacker Debate...

  1. #1
    Token drunken Irish guy
    Join Date
    Sep 2001

    Question The Great Hacker Debate...

    Welcome everybody to this years hacker debate. Now most of you will not remember, or care but me and Victorkaum have decided to revive the age old debate again.

    Since the forums are a little inactive I think debates should help pick things up.

    Now I was further inticed to start this thread when I realised how many others had been started already. I have picked the best bits, closed them and would like you to continue your argument here. That way we can get a better picture of things.

    By Bob Woods

    December 30 1996

    Our readers have their hackles up when hacker is mentioned in our stories. Hackers, they argue, are good people who just want to learn everything about a computer system, while crackers are the ones who are breaking into computer systems illegally.

    The problem arises when the public and people who shape society get a hold of terms like "hacker" - a word once viewed as non-threatening turns into one that conjures up visions of altered World Wide Web pages and crashed computer systems.

    "Que's Computer and Internet Dictionary, 6th Edition," by Dr. Bryan Pfaffenberger with David Wall, defines a hacker as "A computer enthusiast who enjoys learning everything about a computer system and, through clever programming, pushing the system to its highest possible level of performance." But during the 1980s, "the press redefined the term to include hobbyists who break into secured computer systems," Pfaffenberger wrote.

    At one time hackers - the "good" kind - abided by the "hacker ethic," which said "all technical information should, in principle, be freely available to all.

    Therefore gaining entry to a system to explore data and increase knowledge is never unethical," according to the Que dictionary.

    These ethics applied to the first-generation hacker community, which Que said existed from roughly 1965 to 1982. While some of those people do still exist, many other people who describe themselves as "hackers" are a part of the current generation of people who destroy, alter, or move data in such a way that could cause injury or expense" - actions that are against the hacker ethic, Que's dictionary said. Many of those actions are also against the law.

    Today's hacker generation - the ones bent on destruction - are more accurately called "crackers." Que defines such a person as "A computer hobbyist who gets kicks from gaining unauthorized access to computer systems. Cracking is a silly, egotistical game in which the object is to defeat even the most secure computer systems. Although many crackers do little more than leave a "calling card" to prove their victory, some attempt to steal credit card information or destroy data. Whether or not they commit a crime, all crackers injure legitimate computer users by consuming the time of system administrators and making computer resources more difficult to access."

    Here's the rub: whenever the media, including Newsbytes, uses the term "hacker," we are hit with complaints about the term's usage. E-mails to us usually say "I'm a hacker, yet I don't destroy anything." In other words, the people who write us and other media outlets are a part of the first generation of hackers. But the media reflects society as much as, if not more than, they change or alter it. Today's culture thinks of hackers as people who destroy or damage computer systems, or ones who "hack into" computers to obtain information normal people cannot access. While it's probably the media's fault it started the trend, there's no going back now - hackers are now the same people as crackers. Besides, if a person outside of the computer biz called someone a cracker, images of Saltines or a crazy person or an investigator in a popular British television series would probably come to mind. For most people on the street, the last thing they would think of is a person they know as a hacker. So, what's to be done about the situation? Not a whole heck of a lot, unfortunately. The damage is done. If more people in the "general public" and the "mainstream media" read this news service and saw this article, some headway might be made. But even if they did, cultural attitudes and thoughts are very difficult to change. For those people in the US - remember New Coke? Or the metric system? If you're outside the US, can you imagine calling football "soccer"?

    And to the first generation of hackers - those of us "in the know" in this industry do know about you. When we report on hackers nowadays, we're not talking about you, and we do not mean to insult you. Honest. Newsbytes News Network, Copyright 1996.

    definition found by neo

    hacker. (n.) Originally, someone who makes furniture with an axe.

    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.

    One who programs enthusiastically (even obsessively) or who enjoys programming rather than just theorizing about programming.

    A person capable of appreciating hack value.

    A person who is good at programming quickly.

    An expert at a particular program, or one who frequently does work using it or on it; as in 'a UNIX hacker'.

    An expert or enthusiast of any kind. One might be an astronomy hacker, for example.

    One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations.

    (deprecated) A malicious meddler who tries to discover sensitive information by poking around. Hence 'password hacker', 'network hacker'. The correct term is cracker.

    So there you have the seed.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    IMHO a hacker is some one who thrives for knowledge they have a lust for power and the control they can have over a large network. some are good some are bad it will always be that way. we the white hat penetrate systems and leave a nice little warning for the sys admin which usually ends up with a nasty email from the sys admin saying why were u probing our network why were you there what was your buisness there etc etc but the sploit is usaully patched which IMO is a good thing. good job ennis a debate should be interesting

    EDIT: i found an interesting read on hackers read it here -> http://www.totse.com/en/hack/introdu...g/denning.html
    By the sacred **** of the sacred psychedelic tibetan yeti ....We\'ll smoke the chinese out
    The 20th century pharoes have the slaves demanding work

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Thanx Ennis.

    I think my URL worked for you. But still i am negged. .

    I may commit a mistake. Not me... every newbie commits. It may irritates the seniors. Its your responsibility to tell what to what not to do.

    This is a place to learn and let learn. Am I correct.????
    http://www.AntiOnline.com/sig.php?imageid=210 ۯ

    UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity. Dennis Ritchie.

  4. #4
    Token drunken Irish guy
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    No my job is to remove obscene, useless etc. threads not control or boss about people. How they treat depends entirely upon your own actions.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002

    Hackers vs Crackers

    Are we in great hackers debate or yet another great APs debate???


    HACKERS = Have A Comprehensive Knowledge & Enthusiasm in Researching Security

    CRACKERS = Careless & Reckless Abuse of Common Knowledge & Enthusiasm in Researching Security

    Peace always,
    Always listen to experts. They\'ll tell you what can\'t be done and why. Then go and do it. -- Robert Heinlein
    I\'m basically a very lazy person who likes to get credit for things other people actually do. -- Linus Torvalds

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Since the word hacker, is not necessarily a security related term but rather describes one who is very knowledgeable and talented in a particular field, a hacker can be a cracker and a cracker can be a hacker but the majority or either are not both.

    There are a few highly talented computer hackers who use their knowledge to gain, for whatever reason, illegal access to the computer networks of others. Then there are the many who think that emulating this persons break-in will make them appear to others as being as knowledgeable as the original. It does not, anymore than using a credit card or a butter knife to bypass a door lock makes one a locksmith.

    The Internet was once populated with scrupulous people who respected the privacy of others, now it’s filled with bad little kids with butter knifes who think of themselves as jewel thieves or elite spies. The common web site owner must now hire, or become, locksmiths to keep family keepsakes from being spray-painted or mom and pop shops from being ransacked.

    All that these alleged hacktivists (script kiddie crackers) have succeeded in doing is turning the Internet over to those who can afford to hire an elite locksmith. Taking it away from those that it really belongs too.
    Bukhari:V3B48N826 “The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’”

  7. #7
    Senior Member cwk9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    How the media and the general population use the word hacker is quite different then they was we use it. When ever you here the word hacker on T.V is almost always used in a negative sense and there for the public assumes hackers are bad people. Also the media uses the word hacker to sum up anyone who does something evil or bad with computers. There are no sub categories like cracker or script kid only hacker. I saw a news segment on TV about mafia boy (think that was the name). Anyways all the did is trojan enough computers so he could do some major dos damage so sites like yahoo and there making him out to be some kid of super hacker that can break into any computer at will. Anyways you just have to be careful when you use the word hacker around people who aren’t interested in computers as you are.

    So what is a hacker; depends on who you talk to. The is no clean definition like plumber or accountant.
    Its not software piracy. I’m just making multiple off site backups.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    A Hacker is someone who has incredible computer skills - a person with the general knowhow of computer parts, programming languages, and extensive knowledge of the operating system s/he uses. A Cracker(BlackHat) is one who uses his/her knowledge to penetrate a system with malicous intent - commonly called a hacker.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    cwk9 is right on the money here, if you don't want to be seen in a negative light, don't call yourself a hacker. You know what it means to others.
    Bukhari:V3B48N826 “The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’”

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    A hacker is someone that has enthusiasum for computer technoledgy.
    however there are sub divisions or hackers, some do it because they only want to know more,
    somehowever use there knowledge ,if you will, to be the next generation freedom fighters.

    overall a hacker is someone that does not seek to do harm wihtout reason or cause. and will never use there knowledge for bad means.
    E.G a good hacker like some how diliberly hack into systems just to show the firms how insecure a site may be, and then helps the firm to secure it better.

    A Cracker is someone that does it for all the wrong reasons. eg. stealing,damaging etc, without cause.

    [gloworange]The Enemy Is Ignorance[/gloworange]


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