The concepts: Hackers, Crackers, Social Engineers DECODED
Over the years i have heard and had a lot of debates on this topics with colleagues and random strangers, truth be told, i am not an expert on this but i pretty much have ideas of all of this topics. So i am gonna try and decode the actual facts behind this group of people and make references.
First of all lets talk about HACKERS, this subculture emerged from the academia around 1960s from the MITs Tech Model Railroad Club and MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. According to wikipedia, a hacker is someone who loves programming and enjoys playful cleverness, now in this statement it is clear that a hacker loves to explore the unexplored, going to different levels to see how vulnerable a system is and devising a way to make it more secure. On a different level, a hacker can be considered to be someone who explores the limitation of a system and then tries to extend it to ensure a better performance, flexibility and availability of more functionalities. Hackers are not limited to programming, their are a lot of hardware hackers, system security hackers and in a lot of other Engineering and Science fields. There is no doubt that hackers are the reason we are in the state of technology right now, if we look back to the history of some notable hackers such as Richard Stallman, Donald Knuth, Dennis Ritchie, Paul Graham, Larry Wall, Steve Wozniak (this guy was obsessed with technology, always finding a way to better things, even in the days where a single person cannot afford a computer, he had a dream of making his own computer, he worked hard, tweaked and hacked out the first Apple Computer. This man i refer to as the Hardware Hacker god) e.t.c all this people at the time shared a common goal; they wanted to make their own programs, extend systems, invent new ways of doing things and also showing their cleverness in doing things in an exciting manner and ways no one could ever think is possible. This men are heros in the Hacker/Programmer subculture, they made technology seem like a piece of cake, now our days, hackers are seen as criminals as portrayed by the media, those who break into systems to exploit them and cause damages were as this people are actually not hackers but crackers. This two sets have been confused a lot, hackers have ethics, this days the people we refer to as hacker community is the well known Open Source community.
On the other hand, CRACKERs mostly have almost same skills as HACKERs but different vision, unlike hackers who have ethics and have vision to make better tools and technology, crackers actually exploit those technologies not to better them but to destroy them, using their skills in fraud, causing damages and looking for fame by causing economic disasters. This group of people often referred to as the BLACK Hats are driven by some sort of motivation, mostly against the government and they think the only way they can be heard is through CYBER TERRORISM.
SOCAIL ENGINEERS are another set of frauds, they mind trick people into giving them vital intel such as bank informations and they use those intel to suck people dry, this group also refer to themselves as hackers but actually its just a kind of a shield because i know they do not have any qualities to earn the name.
The media has it wrong about the true hackers and the true hacker subculture, and they use this to implant some kind of ideas in peoples mind that makes them hate hackers, were as the actual enemies wrap themselves by using this term.
I believe from this short note, people will see that hackers are not the bad guys here, if we don't recognize this notable creators, the least we can do is to preserve the name for good. The real hackers are underground working so hard to make the cyber world a better place and are not driven by monetary or material things but are driven by the fun in creation, the fun in hacking, showing off their cleverness, they write tools, make our systems better and extend them all for FREE which in this case not necessary FREE for PRICE but FREE for FREEDOM, having the freedom to use systems, twist it the way you want and modify to your taste. All this privileges are not given by proprietary systems.