Hacker vs. Cracker – Do You Know The Difference?

September 23, 2016 | Views: 19776

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The term hacker has been misunderstood, misused and represented in the press as a malicious person.  The mainstream media uses these terms interchangeably, and this has led to confusion when communicating to others about security issues and techniques.  Unfortunately the misunderstanding and use of the terms in the press  has this  misconception implanted in the minds around the globe, not only by security enthusiasts, but experts as well.

If were to ask you what a Hacker is would you think good guy/gal or bad guy/gal?  I would bet most individuals would  say a “bad guy/gal or a user with malicious intent”.  What you would have just described in reality would be known as a cracker.

In the most simplistic statement of how I differentiate the two are as follows:

Hacker – WhiteHat “Good Guy/Gal” A person with ethics, moral character, and uses knowledge for good intent.

Cracker – BlackHat “Bad Guy/Gal”    A person without ethics, moral character, and uses knowledge for malicious intent.

Official Definitions

The RFC 1392: Internet Users’ Glossary defines “Hacker” as:

A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in particular. The term is often misused in a pejorative context, where “cracker” would be the correct term.

 

The RFC 1392: Internet Users’ Glossary defines “Cracker” as:

A security cracker, is someone whose purpose is to circumvent or break security measures. Some security crackers end up using their powers for good, providing penetration testing services or otherwise making efforts on the side of the angels. Many others use their powers for evil, however, as we are all too painfully aware.

 

What would you like to be referred as a Hacker or Cracker?

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39 Comments
  1. I definitely want to be a black hat hacker

  2. It makes no difference in this conversation as the definitions of hacker and cracker did not change, but as a point of fact RFC 1392 has been deprecated and replaced by RFC1983.

    While I agree with the consensus that the differentiation between hacker and cracker has been lost in recent years, the fact is that the RFC definitions still stand as the authoritative source for their meaning. Rather then attempt a re-education of the masses I believe it would better serve us all if the definitions in the RFC would be updated to reflect the current understanding of those terms.

  3. I’ve heard the term “Blacker”, Black hat hacker.

  4. Hacker vs. Cracker – Do You Know The Difference?

    The truth of the matter is, its 6 of the one and half a dozen of the other.

    the only difference? : its about those who have knowledge and those who dont. and those who dont will never understand and according to them , we are all the same.

    The real reason its been a big no no in the general publics eye , is all about IQ and those on the lower end of the scale will always try and make laws and try to punish those who are on the higher end

  5. Suh dude

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