Hackers vs. Crackers

I think there is a lot of confusion about the word "hacker" that every one is freaking out about.

The original definition (and current definition) of the word hacker basically means an individual who comes up with an unconventional solution to a conventional problem. Some might label these types (of people) as brilliant, who are able to think outside of the box and think differently than other people. It is the media that hypes the word hacker to be some kind of evil doer.

It kind of annoys me how the word hacker is always misused. People who use hacking techniques or tools to take money or information from people are known as CRACKERS and not hackers. A hacker doesn't break into a security system/computer, a cracker does. These types of people are often labeled script kiddies (and are often considered extremely low class and deplorable by other hackers) because they use tools/programs that were created by real hackers (which employ techniques such as using a buffer overflow to take control of a system) to break into systems and thus break the law, even though they themselves don't contain much knowledge about hacking (just how to use the hacker tools).

Software developers are often considered hackers as well because they modify programming to suit the needs of either themselves or their clients in a program.

Remember: hackers are good and in fact they are the ones who helped to found computers and to progress technology today, crackers are bad and use other peoples work (hacker tools) to break into systems and steal for their own personal gain.

You don't/can't catch hackers because they don't do anything bad. You catch crackers. So saying you catch hackers is a ridiculous notion and I wouldn't recommend making a statement like that in an intelligent hacking community (such as the Linux community).

Please stop confusing between a hacker/cracker...HACKING IS NOT ILLEGAL. Using hacking (and techniques thereof) to break into computers to steal information or money from other people is ILLEGAL. I die a little inside each time someone thinks they are a hacker because they can break into a computer. Hacking takes a lot more intelligence than that and there's a lot more to it than just taking control of a computer (in fact I'd say you've only just breached about .1% of what real hackers do and are capable of).

Learn how

Buy a book and learn how to program in C/C++ and write a few programs that people can use such as a calculator that converts between units or bases or something. Maybe create a GUI (Graphical User Interface) to go with that program.

Buy a book and learn about networking and the IEEE standards behind it. This will give you a better idea of how computers are networked on a large scale. (books on the CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and MCSE certifications would be good for this area of expertise). I recommend authors such as Mike Meyers and book series like ExamCram or the "bible" series.

If you really want to learn how to break into a computer then I suggest that you set up a little lab in your house behind a router with multiple computers, and then do little experiments playing around. It should be secluded from the internet and it is not illegal because you are breaking into your own system that you have rights to so there's nobody to prosecute you. There are books out there that teach you how to do this using C++ programming.

Learning Fortran and HDL (hardware definition language) wouldn't hurt either to give a better understanding of languages and hardware interfaces that run faster than C++ programming ever could.

The combination of reading the above materials and learning common troubleshooting techniques that are discussed in those materials will give you a better understanding of how hackers have and do come up with methods of fixing and/or creating innovative things in an efficient manner. I hope this material enlightens your computing experience.

Mind you, if you truly study hard and learn the above subject matter then in the job market you will be a valuable employee for any computing company and will easily pull in a 6 figure salary.

Literature for Learning

Here is a list of books that I have used/read and found them to be most helpful in both my career endeavors as well as learning how to hack.