Hacker | Cracker

I mentioned in a previous post how the word hacker had been inaccurately used to refer to a cracker who breaks into and compromises the security of computers and networks for personal gain or for the simple thrill of it. This confusion was started by the popular media. Given its influence and extensive reach, it’s too late to be able to do anything about that now. And while I defiantly resisted to go with the flow in the past, there are substantial reasons to give in finally.

One of the things I hope to do with this blog is to inform people about computer security, network risks, privacy, etc. With that, hopefully, they will have a better awareness of the dangers lurking in the unsavory regions of the Internet and hence, have better chances of survival. :) People do not often hesitate to visit a questionable site if they do not know, for example, that the site has the capability of storing some personal information including their browsing history and preference for a particular (ehem) cup size.

But before I could even think of informing, I need to reach out to them first. And I cannot do that if I use the correct term cracker instead of hacker because they mostly use the latter in their search queries. So, I finally decided to use the term hacker even when referring to crackers regardless of my feeling on the matter. Something’s gotta give and between me and the million, it’s not gonna be the million.

So, what do you think is the lesson in all this? For me, if enough people call a duck a dog, then that’s what it’ll be called. To the duck, all I could say is that it has my sympathy but that it should start learning how to bark. Now, imagine if enough people call you a Jedi Master… But you know I’m kidding, right? Seriously, there really are times when it’s sensible to give up even _ for a greater good.

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