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Related to Hackers: Computer hackers


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 ?
Soon after Anonymous declared war against ISIS, hackers from India have joined them for mission # OpParis.
Pakistani hackers uploaded the national flag on the website and issued stern warning to Indian hackers that all bank accounts, credit cards and other Indian government online activities are in danger.
The Journal said the Navy has been upgrading its security systems to foil hackers, but hadn't gotten to the Navy Marine Corps Intranet before the hackers struck.
The hackers have alleged that Shdoow008 is responsible of the attack as he defaced some Bangladeshi website.
In order to deter hackers from attacking again, Apple accessories supplier iThrough has invited experts to strike back at hackers.
The hackers' modus operandi was similar to the ICA attack, with pages developed by the hackers being inserted onto Indian servers and sites being hacked to root level, The Express Tribune reported.
David Hobson, Managing Director at GSS, said that a US government video of a power station generator, released to the media, clearly shows what can happen when hackers take over control of a turbine system.
Most hackers aren't skilled enough to actually retrieve records and related data.
Hackers wanting to gain access to a wired network need to physically connect to that network somehow, making it difficult for them to be truly unobtrusive.
Hackers are no longer fringe elements, but rather organized, career criminals that launch precision or targeted attacks in order to hold for ransom, destroy and steal information--all with a financial profit in mind.
Software "patches" to update source code or alter it to subvert hackers or other invaders represent an ever-growing cost item, especially for major organizations with locations around the country or around the world.
The policy extends the protection web site owners receive from ScanAlert's security service by covering financial loss in the unlikely event that their site suffers actual damages due to theft of personal information by hackers.