RE: [ISN] Editorial - Hacker Vs. Cracker, Revisited

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Tue Jun 02 1998 - 00:41:17 PDT

  • Next message: mea culpa: "RE: [ISN] Editorial - Hacker Vs. Cracker, Revisited"

    [Moderator: I think most of the ones you list are a given. The only
     one I would dispute is your definition of 'hacker'. I won't go
     into a rant (in this forum at least) about my views on it, but
     suffice it to say.. there are some people out there that are good
     at breaking into networks, but only do it when contracted, or
     have permission (friend's network, etc). They are good at finding
     new holes in software, writing exploit code, writing fix/patches,
     and more. I would certainly qualify those types hackers, which would
     fall out of the realm of your definition.]
    Reply From: "Simon Johnson" <simonat_private>
    Hello Everyone,
    I wasn't going to contribute to this thread.. but its touched a raw nerve.
    Here in Australia I have grown up with the following terms and it really
    shits me when the media (or anyone else) gets on the security bandwagon and
    has no idea what they are talking about. For the benefit of the world here
    are my definitions. I'm sure most of you will agree:
    1. A hacker is a person who attempts to, or gains unauthorised access to a
    computer system.
    2. A cracker is a person who breaks copyright protection on software.
    3. Warez kiddies or warez traders are people who copy pirated software.
    4. Couriers are people who distribute pirated software from one system to
    5. A Phreaker is a person who manipulates the telephone or telephone system
    to gain free telephone calls.
    In the last 2-3 years we have seen:
    6. Tools kiddies are people who use automated tools to hack. (eg: Internet
    Scanners, port scanners etc.. )
    7. DOS Kiddies are similar to Tools kiddies but use automated tools to
    conduct Denial of Service attacks on others. (Usually on IRC).
    As far as I am concerned this whole thing is black and white, there are no
    in-betweens. A cracker and a hacker are two different things! Anyone who
    makes up new names like "Spider", "White Hacker", "Phracker", "Warez Doodz"
    is just not informed.
    Now I feel better.
    Simon Johnson
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: owner-isnat_private [mailto:owner-isnat_private]On Behalf Of
    > mea culpa
    > Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 1998 2:13 PM
    > To: InfoSec News
    > Subject: Re: [ISN] Editorial - Hacker Vs. Cracker, Revisited (
    > Reply From: The Dark Tangent <dtangentat_private>
    > Hash: SHA1
    > At 10:17 PM 5/29/98 -0600, you wrote:
    > >
    > >                   Editorial - Hacker Vs. Cracker, Revisited
    > >
    > > CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, U.S.A., 1998 MAY 22 (Newsbytes) -- By Bob Woods,
    > >Newsbytes. If a person talks about or writes a news story regarding a
    > >hacker, one creates an image that is perpetuated in a Network  Associates
    > >TV ad: the heavily tattooed, ratty looking cyberpunk who  breaks into
    > >systems and posts proprietary information on the Internet  for the same
    > >reason "why (I) pierce (my) tongue." The big problem,  though, is that
    > >person is more accurately described as a "cracker," not  a "hacker."
    > This stuff bugs me.  A "cracker" is someone who cracks software protection
    > on software - else their would be no ware-rez groups.  There were plenty
    > of crackers around before the IBM PC was even invented.  I remember the
    > online debate to call evil hackers "Spiders" but then the WWW came along.
    > People were talking about "Spiders on the web", so people changed their
    > mind and kind of went with the current definition of a cracker being an
    > evil hacker.  The problem is that all the lofty people debating the rename
    > of this term had never been a courier of the 0-day warez.  USR wasn't
    > joking when it named its modems the courier.
    > I've got a solution.  How about this:
    > We call a hacker a hacker.
    > We call this new "cracker" person a computer criminal.
    > We call software crackers a cracker.
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    > -o-
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