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Thread: Do tell- A hacker or a cracker

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Question Do tell- A hacker or a cracker

    Let me begin by saying I have been doing studies in computer security. And as you all know, you eventually come to the definition between the "cracker" and "hacker". One definition I liked was;
    "A cracker tears things down, a hacker builds them up".

    As I pondered on the differences as explained by others; the many sites dedicated to or leaning to one or the other, it was noted that they all contained (in a nutshell):

    1. their views
    2. their tutorials
    3. their forums
    4. their victory's

    I began to ask myself,

    1. what really keeps me in one group and out of the other group.
    2. What really is the fine line between a "Hacker" and a "Cracker"?
    3. What standard to I use or look to to balance and check myself?

    After much thought on this I came to a conclusion based on this:

    "What my morals have been based on and schooled by is my standard and guide".

    Notice I did not leave it to just my "morals". Because morals can be subjective. But instead, I used a higher standard that my morals were built from.

    Whats your opinon? What is the fine line?
    my stove is hooked to the internet?

  2. #2
    Noble Hamlet
    Basically it is all irrelevant considering we are just users and generally anonymous, why keep morals, if I said I was a nazi or in the klan it wouldnt make much difference, Im not but it kinda applies to most hacker sites.

    AO is different if you came on bragging about cracking youd be in trouble but most underground sites have an unhealthy view and doing bad bad things...

  3. #3
    Senior since the 3 dot era
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    My opinion about the thin line is made with the help of Immanuel Kant. (Categorical Imperatives) (This does not mean that I have never crossed this line or will never do... it states an ideal situation)

    1# Kant says that your individual motives have to be able to be wished for everyone (in general).

    - when I have the opinion: steeling is good. this opinion cannot be generalized cause the one I'am steeling from does not like it. (if he/she liked it, it would undermine the concept of steeling. ---> conclusion: steeling is not in the set of rules you have to follow.

    2# Kant says that when you are working with people you always have to keep in mind the means and the goals...
    So you cannot do whatever is needed to reach your goals.

    3# Kant says that your decide to follow your own set of rules (who are general, see 1#) cause you are rational. You are your own "law" writer and judge.

    Translated to the hacker/cracker question: try to do nothing malicious.

  4. #4
    The classic definition of "hacker" used to mean someone who could get root or admin priv. on a system. A "cracker" was a programer who would over come copywrite protection and serial #'s. The terms have since evolved into something quite diffrent.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Angry sigh

    It's all semantics anyways. Whether you call yourself a hacker cracker la chupa cobre or bozo the computing clown is irrelevent. People put to much stock in meaningless terms. It's what you do that counts. Terms are worthless and only seek to subjugate people (generaly people with above average computer knowledge) to artificial steriotypes.

  6. #6
    Noble Hamlet,

    who exactly would one be in "trouble" with if a person came into AO bragging about cracking some site ?.
    bragging is very stupid to do and IMHO is the downfall of alot of good crackers/hackers .

    Is AO working for the ememy (Lawenforcement) cause if so thats really lame,snitching on some1 is not something to be proud of. Theres nothing good about pulling a sammy Gravano.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Question should I re-word this?

    Perhaps my wording has caused the argument to go towards eptimology rather then what was intended. That is, what is the fine line between breaking the law and staying with in the law. Now, that could be argued by "who's law"!

    Let me try it another way. What is the fine line between "protecting others property and breaking into others property"?

    That is, there is one who seeks for the good of others and finds exploits. And then there is the one who uses the exploits for their own good.
    my stove is hooked to the internet?

  8. #8
    Fastest Thing Alive s0nIc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001


    well both are basically in thesame level.. a hacker and a cracker..
    a hacker uses his knowledge for the good of all.. a cracker just abuses it...

    to a hacker he knows he is on a high level.. but knows dat wid great powers comes great responsibilities..

    a cracker thinks he is God and can do anything he wants..

  9. #9
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Thumbs up

    A soldier has specialized skills an training.
    He knows how to kill more efficiently than
    you could.
    That's why he must be disciplined, and exercize
    self control.
    A physicist, who has the ability to build nucear
    explosives must not blow things up for fun.
    A geneticist can crack the human genetic code
    but has no right to use this knowledge to breed
    a race of beings to suit his own whims.
    A computer tech can see how these machines work,
    but is not entitled to use his knowledge to rob banks
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    ahhh, the distinction between a hacker and a cracker...
    well, first I'd like to explain how the word cracker was born..
    Cracker is what hackers call the bad guys... we (the hackers, or actually the hackers from about the 70ties and 80ties) was tired of been mistaken for criminals (just like us) so they invented the word cracker just so the media had something to call the computer criminals instead of hackers...
    is might have been a good idea at the time but today it doesn't really work... the only ppl who knows what a cracker really is are hackers (and crackers.... not even all hackers know the difference... let this thread be proof of concept )
    A cracker can be many different things but all crackers have some things in common...
    they are all criminals (in one way or another) and most of 'em abuse the hacker ethics to make them sound innocent...
    when talking to normal ppl (the cattle, the nothing knowing average media sucka who thinks the cabinet of a 'puter is the harddisk) don't use try to explain the use of the word cracker because the can really understand it anyway... just say this:
    "I'm a hacker... I know about computer security, programming, etc. ... I find error and security flaws in other ppls programs so I can tell them and maybe help them improve the program... I never abuse what I know and never tell any1 about my knowledge if I think they will abuse it."
    (that takes care of the hacker part, now continue and say)
    "All the ppl the media call "crackers" or maybe "hackers" that break the law are nothing but common criminals... they just use a computer to e.g. break into a bank and steal money or to do vandalism... they are just modern more intelligent criminals but criminals none-the-less".

    this is how I see things. It's a bit about moral, the moral that makes u think: "do I think stealing is wrong, or do I find it okay to destroy other ppls property"....
    well that's it... PEACE! (sorry about the probably many typos but I didn't really feel like reading through all the stuff I just typed )
    \"Software is like sex: it\'s better when it\'s free.\" -Linus Torvalds

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