Differences between a hacker and a cracker?
Surely you know the term hacker since it is quite common to hear from these types of people who do illegal activities online. But surely you do not know or have little knowledge of crackers, these types of people are quite common in the internet world and both differ from each other. Although the difference is small, it is important to clarify that a hacker and a cracker are not the same, because these terms in today’s news media tend to be confused or misuse these terms.
What generates confusion or disinformation in the population. Keep in mind that a hacker can enter computerized systems remotely without complications and without having any authorization to do so, they can also steal information and manipulate systems. A cracker performs these same actions, but for profit, such as extortion, for example.
In this guide, we are going to explain the concept of a hacker and what is a cracker? Their differences and even talk about possible motivations, so that you can be more informed about this group of individuals that lurk in the world of cyberspace.
What types of hackers or crackers are there?
There is a wide variety of hackers and crackers, these can be classified in their specialities, as well as in the level of skills they have to enter computer systems.
Types of hackers
Among the types of hackers can be named the following:
Black Hat: These are the most dangerous among the types of hackers. They use their highly specialized techniques to gain access to computer systems and thus take control of them, obtain their data, in order to destroy or sell them, among others.
White Hat: These can be called ethical hackers, as they work by generating security and protecting IT (Information Technology) systems. They commonly work for computer security companies, whether governmental or private, reporting possible vulnerabilities in companies’ systems in order to take corrective measures.
Gray Hat: These types of hackers can be considered as a kind of hybrid since they can act illegally, but with good intentions. These individuals can enter systems and disclose information that is useful to the general public. An example of this may be that they spread cases of large companies for the unauthorized collection of data from their users.
Types of crackers
Among the types of crackers are the following:
Carder: These are people who have become adept at credit card fraud. These can generate false numbers and access codes that can successfully violate control systems, thereby stealing and cloning cards.
Pharmer: These people are dedicated to carrying out “Phishing” attacks, that is, they make the user believe that they are entering a real site. People enter their personal data on the site created by the hacker and then use the credentials to steal money from the accounts of their victims.
War driver: They are crackers that take advantage of existing vulnerabilities in all types of networks in the mobile connection.
Defacer: This group of people look for bugs of web pages on the internet in order to infiltrate them and thus modify them.
Spammer and disseminators of Spywares: There are companies that pay these types of people to create spam for their main products and in other cases, they seek to profit from illegal advertising.
What is a Hacker and what are its origins?
The term Hacker refers to a person specialized in one or more branches of computing such as programming, computer networks, operating systems, network/voice hardware, among others. It is called hacking or hacking to the actions performed by a hacker (1).
The word hacker is believed to have come from people who worked as programmers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This group of people during the 60s had a tradition of playing innocent jokes which they called hacks, acquiring for themselves, the term hackers as a way to call the group they formed within the institute.
Characteristics of a Hacker
He is a person who enjoys the exploration and the details that the programmable operating systems contain, as well as other programs. Looking for a way to take advantage of its possibilities, obtain a greater knowledge of them and new ways of applying that knowledge. Other characteristics that can be named are the following:
- Whenever they program they do it enthusiastically. (It even becomes an obsession in some).
- Its programming speed is very advanced compared to a normal user or an amateur in the programming world.
- They may specialize in a particular program or have great skills for different programs.
- They tend to believe that sharing information is a great job and a powerful and precious commodity, believing that it is an ethical obligation for hackers to share their experiences and knowledge using open source. In this way, they facilitate the use of the information to all who want to know more. They also believe that breaking systems, whether for fun or exploration, is ethically well accepted as long as the hacker does not commit a robbery, an act of vandalism, or violate sensitive personal data.
What is a Cracker and what are its skills?
Cracker is defined as a person who uses his great knowledge and skills in computing and informatics as a motivation to fight against what society defines as prohibited. Modern crackers like to use their own programs or in some cases, use the ones that are distributed for free on specialized web pages for the distribution of these and other illegal information on the internet.
Among these tools, the following can be named: programs to unlock or copy access codes, use number generators that, by randomly running automatically, can violate access codes on systems.
Characteristics of a cracker
Crackers mostly focus and specialize in theft and vandalism, either for their own reasons or with the intention of causing damage no matter how serious it may be. They commonly tend to come together in small, secret and private groups.
Crackers perform the following activities:
- Crack: It is a created program, which has the functionality of introducing a modification to a software, probably with the intention of disabling its protection.
- Warez: It is a type of software obtained illegally.
- KeyGen: This is a program that generates keys which can be used to override the anti-copy security measures of the software.
- Piracy: It is what we currently know as illegal copies of software or audio.
Main differences between a hacker and a computer cracker
Basically a cracker and a hacker, they perform the same activities and have an equal skill level (of equal proportion). However, what differentiates them is what they do with these skills.
While a hacker uses his skills, to find out about system failures and thus provide corrections and increase computer security. A cracker uses these flaws, to increase errors in the system, damage them or render them totally useless. They even use it to steal information in order to extort or sell the data to other people and in this way profit.
Hackers act under a belief and an ethic where all information if stolen is to demonstrate illegal activities of governments, companies or individuals. Sharing it with the entire public to expose the real criminals.
As the hacker, the cracker is also passionate about the computer world. Its difference is that a cracker tries to harm systems and computers. This is where the English term “Cracker” means “Breaker”, and its objective is to break or damage systems and computers.
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