What is a Hacker | Difference between Hacker and Cracker

What is a ‘Hacker’ and Difference between Hacker and Cracker?

I often used to get very fascinated on seeing the Hacking Movies and this is how it started.I often used to think, What is a Hacker, Can I become one as well? All the stuff that they used to do online with just a click or press of keystrokes seemed to be very unrealistic to me and this is when I decided to explore my interest in this field and decided to pursue my interest as my career and decided to become an ETHICAL HACKER.

So back to What is a Hacker and what is the difference between hacker and cracker. Firstly let me make this thing very clear. A Hacker is not only related to computer. Anyone who is an expert of his/her field and is good enough to find the loop holes in the existing system and make it better can be termed as a hacker. Say a locksmith, who is good enough to duplicate the lost keys is a lock hacker. Similarly a computer hacker is a computer user who, for either negative or positive motivations, will manipulate and break into computer systems.

Basically the hackers with good motivations who use their knowledge for good are called HACKERS and the ones who misuse their knowledge to harm others say Hack into the system with the motivation to steal something, or for monetary profit are called CRACKERS.

So Now you know the Difference between Hacker and Cracker.

In a layman’s language, hackers can be categorized into four types

Black Hat Hackers : Criminal Hackers or Crackers

White Hat Hackers : Ethical Hackers

White Hat Hackers : Computer Artists/Academics

White Hat Hackers: Hobby Tinkerers

1) Classic “Black Hat” Hackers = Lawbreakers or Crackers
This is the classic definition of a hacker: a computer user who willfully seeks to  commit theft on other people’s networks. This classic hacker is also known as a “black hat hacker” or a Cracker because of his malicious motivations. Black hat hackers are gifted but unethical computer users who are motivated by feelings of power and petty revenge. Crackers use their knowledge for bad stuff and they are more interested in causing harm to others. They are more often known for credit card frauds, hacking into the system of a big company for monetary benefits etc.

Black hat hackers are renowned for the following common cybercrimes:

  • DOS/DDOS attacks that overload Internet servers.
  • Defacing websites by hijacking control and replacing the main page photos with rude slogans.
  • Performing identity theft by stealing private information of individuals.
  • Botnetting: taking remote control of dozens of personal computers, and programming them to “zombie” as spam broadcasters.

2) White Hat “Ethical Hackers” = Modern Security Technicians

Different from the classic black hat hackers, white hat hackers have honorable, or at least benign, motivations. A white hat “ethical hacker” is a talented user computer security user who is employed to help to protect computer networks. The White Hat Hackers are just like the security guards of internet.
These ethical hackers perform very technical security work in exchange for money. Ethical Hacking and White Hat Hackers are all about using the knowledge wisely for the good of people. There are many job options coming up these days for the post of Ethical Hacker. Not only Ethical Hacker but Cyber Security Consultancy, Network Security Expert, Web application Security Expert all come under White Hat Hacking or Ethical Hacking.

If you want to become an Ethical Hacker and pursue Ethical Hacking as a career, do read out post on Ethical Hacking as a career and payscale in India.

3) White Hat “Academic Hackers” = Creative Computer Artists

An “academic hacker” is not interested in vandalizing or stealing, but rather in creating clever programs and beautiful interfaces. If you are an academic hacker, for example, you will take existing programmatic code, and improve upon it through clever alterations and additions. “Academic hacking” is  harmless hacking with the intention of learning new things and exploring the new aspects of the system or network.

4) White Hat “Hobby Hackers” = Home Tinkers

There are many white hat “hobby hackers” out there. These are users who like to disassemble and modify their own computers for hobby pleasure. Many hobby hackers are gamers who want to extract even more performance from their gaming computers. These individuals will often spend thousands of dollars on custom computer cases and liquid cooling modifications. But hobby hackers also like to do small “white collar crimes”, like downloading pirated movies and music. By this definition, yes, millions of p2p downloaders are hobby hackers. And indeed, if you have ever modified your router and firewall to allow faster p2p downloads, you could describe yourself as a hobby hacker. Gratefully, only a small percentage of hobby hackers ever escalate into becoming unethical hackers.

So Now you might have answer to both the questions.
1) What is a hacker
2) Difference between Hacker and Cracker 

Now share this information and enjoy Learning Ethical Hacking. Keep reading and keep Hacking.:)

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2 Responses to “What is a Hacker | Difference between Hacker and Cracker”

  1. Anon

    Jul 07. 2012

    What about Grey hat Hackers?

    Reply to this comment
  2. Harold

    Jan 13. 2013

    Not sure there is such a thing. If so, I imagine such a person would use a mixture of white hat and black hat techniques, depending upon any given situation. Something like that, anyway.

    Reply to this comment

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