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Slang a computer fanatic, esp one who through a personal computer breaks into the computer system of a company, government, etc.


(computer science)
A person who uses a computer system without a specific, constructive purpose or without proper authorization.


(person, jargon)
(Originally, someone who makes furniture with an axe) 1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary.

2. One who programs enthusiastically (even obsessively) or who enjoys programming rather than just theorizing about programming.

3. A person capable of appreciating hack value.

4. A person who is good at programming quickly.

5. An expert at a particular program, or one who frequently does work using it or on it; as in "a Unix hacker". (Definitions 1 through 5 are correlated, and people who fit them congregate.)

6. An expert or enthusiast of any kind. One might be an astronomy hacker, for example.

7. One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations.

8. (Deprecated) A malicious meddler who tries to discover sensitive information by poking around. Hence "password hacker", "network hacker". The correct term is cracker.

The term "hacker" also tends to connote membership in the global community defined by the net (see The Network and Internet address). It also implies that the person described is seen to subscribe to some version of the hacker ethic.

It is better to be described as a hacker by others than to describe oneself that way. Hackers consider themselves something of an elite (a meritocracy based on ability), though one to which new members are gladly welcome. Thus while it is gratifying to be called a hacker, false claimants to the title are quickly labelled as "bogus" or a "wannabee".

9. (University of Maryland, rare) A programmer who does not understand proper programming techniques and principles and doesn't have a Computer Science degree. Someone who just bangs on the keyboard until something happens. For example, "This program is nothing but spaghetti code. It must have been written by a hacker".


A person who writes programs in assembly language or in system-level languages, such as C. The term often refers to any programmer, but its true meaning is someone with a strong technical background who is "hacking away" at the bits and bytes.

Hackers Have a Bad Name
During the 1990s, the term "hacker" became synonymous with "cracker," which is a person who performs some form of computer sabotage. The association is understandable. In order to be an effective cracker, you had to be a good hacker, thus the terms got intertwined, and hacker won out as the "bad guy" in the popular press (see hack).

However, sometimes, hackers are not worthy of the original meaning of the term. Today, a lot of malicious acts are performed by people with limited knowledge who gain unauthorized entrance into computers to steal data or perform mischief (see script kiddie). See cracker, white hat hacker, samurai and Anonymous.

Hackers Targeted the Internet
By the time this article appeared in 2000, hacker was a negative term to most people. This was a huge denial of service (DOS) attack on Yahoo, eBay, Amazon.com and other websites. (Article headline courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer.)

Friendly Competition
In 2012, RadioShack challenged "HackerSpace" groups from the East and West coasts to build something "awesome" with RadioShack's Arduino single-board computer. See Arduino.
References in periodicals archive ?
The gang--made up of six hackers, four bank officials who are needed to authorize illicit bank withdrawals, and five federal policemen who act as lookouts for electronic law enforcement on their trail--illicitly wires funds from Brazilian bank accounts to phantom accounts, where money is withdrawn to buy anything from cars to computer equipment.
The Hacker Diaries offers an inside look, allowing readers to peer into the minds of some of the most celebrated cyber mavericks of the past few years, including Genocide (who became an expert hacker despite growing up in a shack without electricity), Anna Moore (the first female hacker to win the ethical hacking contest at the annual Defcon hacker conference), and MafiaBoy (perpetrator of 20015 most celebrated distributed denial of service attacks).
For example, inexperienced, often young, hackers--called "script kiddies"--can easily access the programs created by expert hackers and offered free of charge on the Internet.
Thomas's analysis provides the groundwork for understanding contemporary technology debates, but is less clear regarding what everyday technology users can do with this information, or how everyday users might relate to hackers in a productive fashion.
The hacker wrote in a ''name'' which may be the hacker's own.
Why, they will ask, is the federal government paying to secure the "consulting" services of flim-flam men, unreconstructed hit men and puckish hackers when burglars, second-story men and lowlifes who specialize in knocking over liquor stores have to earn their daily bread through grubby, downscale crime?
Hackers sometimes use cron to automate their processes as well.
Further angering his fans is that Mitnick has been held at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles for three years and seven months - longer than any hacker serving a sentence or awaiting trial.
He added that hackers are shutting down social media accounts and attacking terror websites by launching denial of service ( DDoS) attacks, which flood such websites with traffic, putting them offline.
I ndian hackers attacked on several Pakistani websites to take revenge of promoting the news of an Indian parrot that predicted Pakistan as a champion of Cricket World Cup 2011 three times in a row.
Hackers want to break into higher ed databases, sometimes to maliciously flitch the identities of students, alumni and staff, sometimes to use universities' servers--which typically run at high speeds--as efficient launch-pads for spare, virus and worm attacks on other servers.
The network security expert explores: knowing the culprit, from script kiddies to elite hackers; hackers' views of networks and TCP/IP protocols; the hacking phases including reconnaissance, scanning, gaining access, maintaining access and preventing detection; the most dangerous and widespread attack situations; key hacker tools such as port scanners, sniffers, session hijackers, and RootKits; how hackers build elegant attacks from simple building blocks; how hackers cover their tracks.