nows many of the basic techniques,

anyone past larval stage is expected to have outgrown the desire to do so except for immediate practical reasons (for example, if it's necessary to get around some security in order to get some work done).

Contrary to widespread myth, cracking does not usually involve some mysterious leap of hackerly brilliance, but rather persistence and the dogged repetition of a handful of fairly well-known tricks that exploit common weaknesses in the security of target systems. Accordingly, most crackers are only mediocre hackers.

Thus, there is far less overlap between hackerdom and crackerdom than the mundane reader misled by sensationalistic journalism might expect. Crackers tend to gather in small, tight-knit, very secretive groups that have little overlap with the huge, open hacker poly-culture; though crackers often like to describe *themselves* as hackers, most true hackers consider them a separate and lower form of life, little better than virus writers. Ethical considerations aside, hackers figure that anyone who can't imagine a more interesting way to play with their computers than breaking into someone else's has to be pretty losing.

See also Computer Emergency Response Team, dark-side hacker, hacker ethic, phreaking, samurai, Trojan horse.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1998-06-29

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term was coined ca. 1985 by hackers innows many of the basic techniques,der misled by

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