web analytics

What Is a Hacker

Reading Time: 2 minutes

which of these people is most like a hacker a burglar handle an inventor or spy the answer completely depends on whom you ask because the work hacker has taken on all of these meetings and more over the years but it’s the wrong question it’s like asking is a chisel something you use to break into safes to deface buildings or the cars statues know the questions we should be asking our what is hacking and why do people do it in the broadest possible terms packing is creative problem solving that takes advantage of the properties of things in unexpected ways so when Galileo used curved glass to magnify the stars that was a hack or when NASA engineers saved Apollo 13 with a book a plastic bag and a roll of duct tape that was a hack of course usually when hacking comes up we’re talking about computer hacking but the idea is the same computer hacking is just creative problem solving that takes advantage of the properties of computers and networks in unexpected ways for example phone providers used to use tones and beats to get their phones to communicate with their networks but they could not expect was that hackers would figure out those tones could be imitated with toy whistles found in Captain Crunch cereal boxes thereby bypassing the need to pay for the coal so why do hackers hack many are driven by intellectual curiosity they want to learn how the system works to discover its quirks and hidden secrets they are like cave explorers who venture into darkness and see what they can find Steve Wozniak one of the founders of Apple started out like like many hackers his early explorations inspired him to start tinkering and inventing other hackers are like the security forces who want to defend their fortresses of information they find the chinks in the internets armor-like partly bug and patch them up before they can be used against you and of course there are hackers with less than noble intentions they can be motivated by greed same rebellion or the desire to hurt others for cheap thrills these are the hackers that media stories have taught us to fear some of them are brilliant minds gone astray but many of these so-called hackers are just kids who run programs that they don’t understand others are criminal syndicates that may know more about cheating and robbing people then creative problem-solving there are also hackers to operate in morally gray areas who might steal information to expose corruption or violate privacy in the name of national security they consider what they’re doing just and for the greater good while others see their actions as dishonorable and wrong but assigning labels of right and wrong or good and bad to hacking is no more productive than putting those labels to a hammer it’s how and why the hammer is used to build order to destroy that matters and that you must choose for yourself hackers like hammers are here to stay whether we like it or not

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: