As time passes by from when the first beads on the abacus started moving along, then the first electrons through the first computer, we had hackers. I hear you say, how can you hack an abacus? But this is where you are wrong.

To me what is a hacker?
After research on this subject i have come to many different meanings and uses of this word. And many will agree that most meanings either insult hackers or really are far from the meaning at all. The following are definitions taken from the internet. (definition of hacker)
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 subject(s). definition of hacker)
The hacker on the other hand is an individual who yearns for knowledge. The hackers are very knowledgeable individuals. They often times know several programming languages, work extensively with the inwards and outwards of UNIX, have a firm understanding of all the TCP/IP implementations and protocols. They keep abreast on all the security related issues involving computers. Breaking into a system for a hacker is a thrill, it is a challenge that they take on. (definition of black hat)
Black hat is used to describe a hacker who breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent. Unlike a white hat hacker, the black hat hacker takes advantage of the break-in, perhaps destroying files or stealing data for some future purpose. The black hat hacker may also make the exploit known to other hackers and/or the public without notifying the victim. This gives others the opportunity to exploit the vulnerability before the organization is able to secure it. (definition of cracker)
The definition of a cracker is one who attempts to break into a system using techniques that he does not fully understand. Most of the crackers are young teenage punks who are very malicious and seek to get their kicks from destroying or alternating data on a system. (definition of white hat hacker)
White hat describes a hacker who identifies a security weakness in a computer system or network but, instead of taking malicious advantage of it, exposes the weakness in a way that will allow the system's owners to fix the breach before it is can be taken advantage by others (such as black hat hackers.) Methods of telling the owners about it range from a simple phone call through sending an e-mail note to a Webmaster or administrator all the way to leaving an electronic "calling card" in the system that makes it obvious that security has been breached.
While white hat hacking is a hobby for some, others provide their services for a fee. Thus, a white hat hacker may work as a consultant or be a permanent employee on a company's payroll. A good many white hat hackers are former black hat hackers. (definition of script kiddie)
Script kiddy (sometimes spelled kiddie) is a derogative term, originated by the more sophisticated crackers of computer security systems, for the more immature, but unfortunately often just as dangerous exploiter of security lapses on the Internet. The typical script kiddy uses existing and frequently well-known and easy-to-find techniques and programs or scripts to search for and exploit weaknesses in other computers on the Internet - often randomly and with little regard or perhaps even understanding of the potentially harmful consequences. Hackers view script kiddies with alarm and contempt since they do nothing to advance the "art" of hacking but sometimes unleashing the wrath of authority on the entire hacker community.

Summary (Of the definition of the word hacker)

Through my interpretation, and experience in the industry. A hacker is a very curious individual, yearning for information and knowledge. (and computers has a big source of knowledge (once you learn more, you find out you have so much more to learn)). Notice how it involves learning. as mentioned in the script kiddie definition they use well known exploits and methods, they do not want to learn the working or even know about programming. And access you are saying, but alas you can be a hacker without having access to the outside world at all. (if you can handle it) Hacking to me is just loving and learning more about computers.

when it come to comprimising computer security, yes i do it, and yes i like it. But in very controlled environments. (comprimising security is useful in learning how to secure and help others to secure their systems from attacks) Most hackers do comprimise security. But unless you do it on a wargame, your own private lan, a dedicated lan set up by friends, you my friend are a cracker.

But then again you are on AntiOnline a security website so we are all hackers in a way, but just remember the line between hacker/cracker white/black hat is pretty big. so please no excuses.

Hope i was a help.