cracker


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Related to cracker: cracked, Cracker slang, Computer cracker

cracker

1. a decorated cardboard tube that emits a bang when pulled apart, releasing a toy, a joke, or a paper hat
2. US another word for poor White

Cracker

 

a cookie prepared from wheat flour, shortening, and yeast; it has a bubbly surface and a porous, crisp texture. Crackers, depending on the variety, may also contain added chemical looseners, milk, chocolate, sugar, caraway, and other ingredients.

cracker

(jargon)
An individual who attempts to gain unauthorised access to a computer system. These individuals are often malicious and have many means at their disposal for breaking into a system. The term was coined ca. 1985 by hackers in defence against journalistic misuse of "hacker". An earlier attempt to establish "worm" in this sense around 1981--82 on Usenet was largely a failure.

Use of both these neologisms reflects a strong revulsion against the theft and vandalism perpetrated by cracking rings. The neologism "cracker" in this sense may have been influenced not so much by the term "safe-cracker" as by the non-jargon term "cracker", which in Middle English meant an obnoxious person (e.g., "What cracker is this same that deafs our ears / With this abundance of superfluous breath?" -- Shakespeare's King John, Act II, Scene I) and in modern colloquial American English survives as a barely gentler synonym for "white trash".

While it is expected that any real hacker will have done some playful cracking and knows many of the basic techniques, anyone past larval stage is expected to have outgrown the desire to do so except for immediate practical reasons (for example, if it's necessary to get around some security in order to get some work done).

Contrary to widespread myth, cracking does not usually involve some mysterious leap of hackerly brilliance, but rather persistence and the dogged repetition of a handful of fairly well-known tricks that exploit common weaknesses in the security of target systems. Accordingly, most crackers are only mediocre hackers.

Thus, there is far less overlap between hackerdom and crackerdom than the mundane reader misled by sensationalistic journalism might expect. Crackers tend to gather in small, tight-knit, very secretive groups that have little overlap with the huge, open hacker poly-culture; though crackers often like to describe *themselves* as hackers, most true hackers consider them a separate and lower form of life, little better than virus writers. Ethical considerations aside, hackers figure that anyone who can't imagine a more interesting way to play with their computers than breaking into someone else's has to be pretty losing.

See also Computer Emergency Response Team, dark-side hacker, hacker ethic, phreaking, samurai, Trojan Horse.

cracker

(1) A person who breaks into a computer system without authorization, whose purpose is to do damage (destroy files, steal credit card numbers, plant viruses, etc.). Because a cracker uses low-level hacker skills to do cracking, the terms "cracker" and "hacker" have become synonymous with the latter becoming the most widely used term. See hacker, ECPA, CFA and virus.

(2) A person who reverse engineers software and modifies it for fun. Often applies to game software. See disassembler.
References in periodicals archive ?
From budget to blowout, here's our pick of the most banging beauty crackers 2017 has to offer.
The bang was pretty good but two of the crackers we pulled had no gift in them
If you're eating crackers as a snack or appetizer, give them more staying power by pairing them with a protein-rich topping.
Although they certainly couldn't be called meal staples, cookies and crackers are among the most frequently purchased packaged food items in the United States.
I brought some of our crackers with me today, for you to enjoy.
Cheez-Its are America's top-selling crackers, followed by Ritz, Wheat Thins, Triscuits, and Premium Saltines.
The new packaging brings more focus to the different cracker types and enables consumers to more clearly identify each variant.
Kraft Cracker Dips are available in two varieties: Cheese & Salsa, a spicy blend of Kraft cheese, diced tomatoes, green and red peppers, onions and jalapeno peppers, and Zesty Cheese & Bean, a combination of Kraft cheese, black beans and fiery jalapenos.
Cracker texture was determined by using a Bailey shortometer.
So Summerville says she was stunned when she learned that Cracker Barrel had issued a memo stating that people who did not demonstrate "normal heterosexual values" could not work for the company.