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Hackers Who Are They? And What Do They Do?

989 words - 4 pages

Computer Hackers


Thesis : Contrary to popular belief, not only do you not have to be smart to be a hacker, you do not even need to know much about computers.

I. Hacking today

A. More like exploration in the 60's and 70's

B. Cannot call themselves hackers

II. Different Types of hackers

A. A hacker defined

B. A cracker defined

C. A phreaker defined

III. You do not have to be intelligent

A. Not like you have seen on television

B. Programs used are highly accessible on the Internet

C. Some start out with trial and error

VIII. Online Legalities

A.     Unauthorized access to, or use of a computer

B.     Alteration or destruction of data without authorization

C.     Theft of computer services

D.     Computer fraud (using a computer to commit other crimes)

E. Denial of access to a computer

F. Unauthorized possession of passwords



Many of the people in our society today often think that computer hackers are very smart individuals, who have special talents and abilities enabling them to crack passwords, enter mainframes, send viruses, and crash computer systems. Contrary to popular belief, not only do you not have to be smart to be a hacker, you do not even need to know much about computers.

Modern day hacking usually ends in destruction of other peoples property, or changing important private information. Also, as stated by a 42-year-old security agent in San Francisco, “ ‘Hacking in the 1960s and 1970s was a little more like gentlemanly exploring than it was taking things from people” ’(Weise). These days hackers cannot call themselves hackers without the threat of being called a “hacker wanna-be” or a “script kiddie.” A “hacker wanna-be” is the same thing as script kiddie, but is another slang term for a person who uses guess-work and programs that he did not write (Weise).

Although, most people think of a hacker as someone who breaks into computers and sends viruses, there are several different types of hackers, broken up into three different groups. The first type of hacker is the hacker himself. The defination of a hacker is : “[hack$dr (hãk=dr)] One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations” ( The second type is a cracker : “[crack$dr (crãk dr)] An individual who attempts to gain unauthorized access to a computer system. These individuals are often malicious and have many means at their disposal for breaking into a [computer] system”( The third type is called a phreaker. “A phreaker is a [hacker] who engages in the art of phreaking” : [frddk-ing phone phreak] Phreaking is the art and science of cracking the telephone network so as, for example, to make free long-distance phone calls”(

You do not have to be intelligent to be a...

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