[ISN] The Bad Guys Are Crackers

From: cult hero (jerichoat_private)
Date: Wed Apr 28 1999 - 13:46:27 PDT

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    The Bad Guys Are Crackers 
    In Defense of Hackers 
    Will there be more and more hackers over the next couple of years?
    Brent Gomes
         I sincerely hope so! Now, before you label me as some crazed
    anarchist, let me explain. Most of us geeks who are in the technology
    business believe ourselves to be hackers, and if someone ever calls me one
    I consider it a compliment. It's time to dispel some rumors about hackers
    and clear the air about one of the most misused terms of the computer
         The ancient definition of a hacker is someone who makes furniture
    with an axe. These days a hacker can be described as a very capable
    programmer, or a person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable
    systems.  Someone might think you are a hacker if you spend hours and
    hours figuring out how your computer system works and developing cool
    applications (called "hacks") that perform some useful function. In short,
    the computer industry needs more and more hackers in order to advance
    technology and solve current problems. 
    Media Misnomer Being a hacker does not mean you spend your time breaking
    into computers. We can blame the journalistic community for grabbing hold
    of what it perceived as a catchall term and deprecating the true meaning
    of the word. The correct way to describe someone who circumvents computer
    security is a system "cracker." These malcontents are well known for
    breaking into the Pentagon, several defense contractors, various ISPs, and
    other supposedly secure systems. They have shared classified documents on
    the Net, given copy-protected software away, stolen credit card
    information and, in the process, made the online community nervous. Most
    of the system crackers I know are either in jail, have been in jail or are
    going to jail. 
    When Hackers Grow Up
    The hacker population will probably rise at the same rate as every other
    profession, so a per-capita increase seems unlikely. The media might have
    us believe otherwise, since even the least-newsworthy computer "hackers"
    get tons of television exposure. If you want to join the elite group of
    technophiles, there is no time like to present to start working on your
         "Didn't you used to be a hacker before you were a geek?";  the wife
    asks. "And what's the difference anyway?" 
         I'm not paying attention. Instead I'm looking at how I can replicate
    the inode dataset on a ufs partition to an NTFS volume. 
         "Never mind," she sighs, "I just figured that one out on my own." 
    Jack Valko is the senior network manager for Buena Vista Internet Group,
    which produces ABCNEWS.com. 
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