“Hacking is illegal” ?

“Glider” Symbol of hacker community

Today I’ve encountered another “one of those people”, who got misinformed by pop media news. This article is for raising awareness and education people on what Hacking means. I’d like you to share it with as many people as possible. Please before reading onwards write down (in comments or somewhere) what do you think word hacker means? Got it?

H-A-C-K-E-R

If your said hacker is any highly skilled computer expert capable of breaking into computer systems and networks using bugs and exploits, then great job, you can use Wikipedia. You might think of him as guy who breaks banks etc, but those are crackers. *What’s thats suppose to mean?*

It is essential to understand what hack means. Hacking is a way of thinking about problems. Here’s a basic example. Look at a picture bellow. You have to put 20 desks and monitors into that tiny space. How would you do it?

Is that even physically possible? “Normal” way of thinking dictates that we should rearrange the layout somehow, maybe put some people on the floor or something, but that won’t actually work. Let’s look at one of the solutions.

Ha, kinda smart isn’t it? Seems a little too obvious, only not. C’mon some smart people were thinking on that problem for days and they couldn’t figure it out, until someone came up with that. As you can see that example isn’t even related to computers or anything. Same term can be applied in Mathematics or any other industry.

That leads me into my next part — hacker culture. Yeah, those crazy people have grouped together and formed their own sub subculture. To understand hackers, it is essential to understand hacker ethics. *Taken from Steven Levy’s 1984 book, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution*

  • Access to computers — and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works — should be unlimited and total. Always yield to the Hands-On imperative!
  • All information should be free. (Not necessary referring to price, more of non closed access)
  • Promote decentralization
  • Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position
  • You can create art and beauty on a computer
  • Computers can change your life for the better

These core believes make us who we are, the foundation so to speak. The open information exchange is essential to us. Upon those believes many giant silicon valley companies are built, like Facebook and Google. The original term hacker originated at MiT, like many great things.

one of the MiT hacks

The revolution of personal computer came also came from so called hackers at Homebrew computer club, where iWoz made his great Apple I.

Crackers on the other hand are way different, those are black rats in the society. They use their skills to benefit themselves. That contradicts the hacker openness. Crackers will find security exploits and you them to their own advantage, sell it to companies or other stinking rats like themselves to steal more information and gain loyalties. Those are the people you seen in the news most of the time.

Now, that about it for a basic packet of information. Hopefully you’ve learned something useful here, let me know if you did. Thank you for reading and if you can PLEASE share it and help raise awareness and differences between these 2 communities.