Author Topic: ‘Cracker’ vs. ‘Hacker’  (Read 1235 times)

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Offline AlligatorDicax

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‘Cracker’ vs. ‘Hacker’
« on: March 21, 2017, 02:59:45 PM »
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  • This is authoritative:
    Quote from: The New Hacker's Dictionary, edited by Eric S. Raymond
    cracker: n.

    One who breaks security on a system.  Coined ca. 1985 by hackers in defense against journalistic misuse of hacker (q.v., sense 8).
    [....]  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 [counterproductive] security in order to get some work done).  Thus, there is far less overlap between hackerdom and crackerdom than the mundane reader misled by sensationalistic journalism might expect. Crackers tend to gather in small, tight-knit, very secretive groups that have little overlap with the huge, open poly-culture this lexicon describes; though crackers often like to describe themselves as hackers, most true hackers consider them a separate and lower form of life.
    [†]

    This is likewise authoritative:
    Quote from: The New Hacker's Dictionary, edited by Eric S. Raymond
    hacker: 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.  RFC 1392, the Internet Users' Glossary, usefully amplifies this as: A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in particular.
    [....]
    4. A person who is good at programming quickly.
    [....]
    7. One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations.

    Whoo-hoo!   I qualify under the "amplifi[cation]" in RFC 1392 !.

    Quote from: The New Hacker's Dictionary, edited by Eric S. Raymond
    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 cracker.[‡]

    By comparison, a quick reply by an anonymous C.I. member, beginning with a callously overstated claim (about a software engineer of longer standing):

    Quote from: Ascetik link=topic=44127.msg544696#msg544696 date=1490057996 ("Report any bugs (...)" #30: Mar 20, 2017, at 08:59:56 PM)
    No, you're totally 100% wrong.

    Is not authoritative.

    -------
    Note †: <http://catb.org/jargon/html/C/cracker.html>, presumably no later than 2003.  See also <jargon[/b]/html/C/cracking.html>.   Raymond assumed editorship in 1990, succeeding Guy Steele (1st edn.: 1983) as credited editor of the soon-printed New versions (de facto 2nd edn.: 1991) and Internet-oriented revision (3rd edn.: 1996).

    Note ‡: <http://catb.org/jargon/html/H/hacker.html>.

    Offline Ascetik

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    Re: ‘Cracker’ vs. ‘Hacker’
    « Reply #1 on: March 22, 2017, 11:00:48 AM »
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  • You're arguing BS semantics that no one but you cares about.

    The definition of Cracker is exactly what I said it was! Even the definition supports what I said!

    I don't even know what you're trying to get at here, what you're arguing for is totally irrelevant. I said I used to hack, which could mean many things, you have no idea what I meant when I said it because I didn't give you any information to qualify it, nor do I need to, but you make assumptions based on knowing absolutely zero about me.

    If you want to get into stupid definitions based on what some guy posted in his book about the definition of hacker and cracker, then more power to you.

    I'm going by the definition that I've known for the past 20 years. Crackers break security on software or cryptography. A hacker actively penetrates system and finds vulnerabilities. Sometimes a hacker is also a cracker.

    Either way, it doesn't matter, and I don't appreciate you trying to make me look like some type of idiot just because you want to get on your high-horse about some definition that some guy put in a book that no one cares about in the cyber security industry.


    Online Mithrandylan

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    Re: ‘Cracker’ vs. ‘Hacker’
    « Reply #2 on: March 22, 2017, 11:31:37 AM »
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  • I am totally engrossed in this debate.
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    Offline Macarius

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    Re: ‘Cracker’ vs. ‘Hacker’
    « Reply #3 on: April 11, 2017, 02:45:00 AM »
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  • Many places teach that crackers have malicious intent, and classify hackers as white-hat, black-hat, and grey-hat. Seems silly to just increase the labels. But then again, in this day and age it is difficult to separate the good from the not-so-good.

    I guess the issue on the table is that whether hacker or cracker, some things are legal and others are not. That's why "penetration testers" and other "ethical hackers" need all sorts of contracts to make sure they do not get sued once they break the system they are testing.

    Then again, I am what they call "newb" if I recall correctly. A few graduate courses do not turn a man into an artist.

    Offline Geremia

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    Re: ‘Cracker’ vs. ‘Hacker’
    « Reply #4 on: June 02, 2017, 05:43:02 PM »
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  • +1 for citing the New Hacker's Dictionary (a.k.a. The Jargon File) :cheers:
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