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silverbullet
10-31-2004, 08:35 AM
Adapted from:

<font color="brown">The Unofficial Guide to ‘Ethical hacking’</font color> by Ankit Fadia

Most people think of hackers as computer criminals, but hackers are often good people whose creed is to never do harm, but to give information to the system administrator to help them by revealing the vulnerability that enabled them to get in. Having the skills, they can help a corp or the govt to be more secure. Hackers call computer criminals 'crackers'and it is they who keep ‘crackers’ (criminals) on the run.

All of the laws in the world cannot stop computer criminals. Crackers are getting smarter, creating more havoc and escaping without leaving a trace. Laws are useless when system administrators think that hackers are ‘bad’, when their ability is the best defense against the criminal ‘crackers’. It has become increasingly necessary to teach people how to protect their systems. If this is not done soon and on a large scale, then the crackers will get way ahead in the security race.

A living example that will help you choose between a hacker and a cracker:

There was a 13-year-old hacker in the US, who, along with his friend, relished programming,hacking and loved breaking into each other’s systems and proving their superiority, both highly intelligent.

These geeks could have crossed the line and become crackers, but fortunately for us and for them, they did not. Today, we know them as Bill Gates and Paul Allen, both filthy rich.

If they had crossed the line, they would have been the ‘hunted', and been in prison once they were caught. But, they did not cross that line,and are today in a position which most of us dream of.

SB

Chopstick
11-01-2004, 11:57 AM
Just a counterpoint to your article SB. Don't take it personal.


<blockquote><font class="small">Quote silverbullet:</font><hr> Adapted from:

<font color="brown">The Unofficial Guide to ‘Ethical hacking’</font color> by Ankit Fadia

Most people think of hackers as computer criminals, but hackers are often good people whose creed is to never do harm, but to give information to the system administrator to help them by revealing the vulnerability that enabled them to get in.

<hr /></blockquote>

If these people are so all fired ethical why don't they conduct their affairs on their own equipment and report their findings through CERT. That's what it's there for. So, it's hackers and crackers now is it. This is supposed to justify all the time, money, and resources these people waste, so they can play Cowboys and Indians!

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote silverbullet:</font><hr>

A living example that will help you choose between a hacker and a cracker:

There was a 13-year-old hacker in the US, who, along with his friend, relished programming,hacking and loved breaking into each other’s systems and proving their superiority, both highly intelligent.

These geeks could have crossed the line and become crackers, but fortunately for us and for them, they did not. Today, we know them as Bill Gates and Paul Allen, both filthy rich.

<hr /></blockquote>

Bill Gates was 13 in 1968. The micro-computers, of the day, were single board affairs with no formal operating systems and certainly no security features. ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet wasn't even started until 1969 so, it raises the question of what exactly they were breaking into to prove their superiority.

Coming from one of the richest families in Seattle, going to the finest prep school, and then to Harvard doesn't exactly fit into the hacker/cracker culture. It's a far cry from the Computer Hobbyist Clubs, that these guys participated in during their time at Harvard, to the kind of things that are going now.

RedHell
11-01-2004, 03:41 PM
Chopstick,

Here a better definition of hackers.

A slang term for a computer enthusiast, i.e., a person who enjoys learning programming languages and computer systems and can often be considered an expert on the subject(s). Among professional programmers, depending on how it used, the term can be either complimentary or derogatory, although it is developing an increasingly derogatory connotation. The pejorative sense of hacker is becoming more prominent largely because the popular press has coopted the term to refer to individuals who gain unauthorized access to computer systems for the purpose of stealing and corrupting data. Hackers, themselves, maintain that the proper term for such individuals is cracker.

According to this definition, one doesn't need to be working on security related assignement to be coined a hacker. Many other well known IT figures are known as hacker. Steve Job and Steve Wozniack (Founders of Apple Computer) are 2 of them.

You can see more on the TLC's Hacker Hall of Fame. (http://tlc.discovery.com/convergence/hackers/bio/bio_05.html)