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I felt that I had to write about the word “hackers” because this term is commonly misunderstood.
First, let’s understand the difference between programmer, hacker, and developer:
“A Programmer is someone who can solve problems by manipulating computer code.
A Hacker is someone who makes things. In this context, it’s someone who makes things by programming computers. (…) i.e., that you have an idea and you “hack” something together to make it work.
A Developer is a formally trained programmer. They don’t just solve problems or create things but do so in accordance with a set of design and implementation principles.”
– Daniel Miessler
Now, when I think of the word “orange” I immediately think of the color and the fruit. My mind makes an immediate association of the word with my previous knowledge. The same happens with the word “hacker” but in a wrong way.
The definition of “hacker” at this moment isn’t consensual. When it first came up, it was related to any skilled computer expert that used their technical knowledge to overcome a problem.
Currently, the definition most people associate with the word is more related to hacker security:
“While this term originally referred to a clever or expert programmer, it is now more commonly used to refer to someone who can gain unauthorized access to other computers. “
But if we’re talking about hacker security, are we only referring to the guys who steal my information online? No, we aren’t!
Hacking can be a public service. The ones that do it are known as White-hat hackers or Ethical Hacker!
These people are like our online cops! Usually, they work in a company or in a government department with the goal of determining “how to break into a system owned by a company, to prevent others from attacking it”.
With the boom of the internet, this job is getting more and more relevant. Without white-hat hackers, our information will be vulnerable to black-hat hackers (the bad guys). Because it’s almost impossible to design an impenetrable system, the same way that it is impossible to build impenetrable buildings.
And who are these black-hat hackers?
A black-hat hacker is someone who discovers security vulnerabilities and explores them.
They can do it for personal interests like money. Or, as it happens in hacktivism, they can do it as a way of expressing a political or social message. This often happens through the leak of sensitive information about politicians and celebrities.
Famous hackers and organizations that we know
– Anonymous: They are known for encouraging civil disobedience, defamation of various websites and online exposure of confidential and personal information.
– Adrian Lamo: Best known for exploiting security flaws on high-level organizations’ networks, such as Yahoo, the New York Times and Microsoft.
– Robert Tappan Morris: Created the Morris Worm in 1988. That was considered the first computer worm on the Internet. Also, he was the first person convicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
– Gigabyte: Her real name is Kim Vanvaeck and she was born and raised in Belgium. She is believed to have been the sole creator or primary creator of many high-end viruses including Coconut-A, Sahay-A, and Sharp-A. These were meant to target hardware with sensitive information.
– Tim Berners-Lee: Best known for inventing the World Wide Web, HTML, and the URL system.
– Linus Torvalds: Torvalds started his hacking by fiddling around with his own machines when he was a child. In 1991, he created the first version of the Linux kernel using the Minix operating system as his main source of inspiration.
– Raven Adler: Often recognized as one of the most gifted and intelligent hackers in the world, Raven Adler graduated high school at just 14 and got her college degree at 18.
Well, if you’re interested in knowing a bit more about the world of hacking, I’ll give you a hand of becoming an ethical hacker. Take a look at these pages:
Enjoy and hack something!