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Related to cracker: cracked, Cracker slang, Computer cracker
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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


(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 the cracking, the terms "cracker" and "hacker" have become synonymous with the latter becoming the predominant term. See hacker, ECPA, CFA and virus.

(2) A person who reverse engineers software and modifies it for fun. The term often applies to game software. See disassembler.
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References in periodicals archive ?
They point to the company's 2002 annual report, which refers to several lawsuits, including two class actions, one by employees who claim they were required to work without compensation and another by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, alleging that the company has engaged in a "systematic pattern of racial discrimination in employment opportunities." In August 2002, the annual report notes, the Department of Justice launched its own investigation into allegations of racial discrimination at Cracker Barrel.
Anecdotal evidence supports this finding, suggesting that crackers would try to destroy any evidence of their presence and their crime and make it harder to detect and investigate a theft or intrusion by introducing a virus.
Crackers, even at their best, are hardly a "health food," but they can offer one great nutritional plus, and that's fiber.
MAKE YOUR OWN SESAME MILLET CRACKERS YIELD: 32 CRACKERS Ingredients 1/2 cup sesame seeds 1/2 cup millet 1 Tbsp butter, softened 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 Tbsp water 1/2 cup brown rice flour 1 Tbsp black bean flour 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt Directions Preheat oven to 400[degrees]F.
This Works The Big Bang Cracker, PS13 What's inside: A miniature bottle of the cult hit Deep Sleep Pillow Spray along with a chic galactic print sleep mask.
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Ritz Bacon Cracker Sandwiches with Cheese (10.8 oz.) and Ritz Bacon Cracker Sandwiches with Cheese (1.35 oz.) with best by dates between February 5 and February 6, 2019
The company said so far no illnesses have been reported after concern over the ingredient whey powder. The recalled products include Cheese, White Cheddar, and Cream Cheese-flavored cracker sandwiches, in a variety of packages, with expiration dates from January to April of 2019.
Bayport Polymers LLC, a joint venture of Total SA and Novealis Holdings LLC, has held the official ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a new ethane cracker at the Total Port Arthur Refinery.
Families across the country will be tucking into boxes of Jacob's crackers this Christmas - and they're all made by Scousers at a factory in Aintree.