the word "hacker"

adrenaline19adrenaline19 Member Posts: 251
I love computers. I love toying around with them, taking them apart, popping shells, and reading code. I'll happily discuss 1180ti's or Vega with anybody willing to listen, but I cringe when somebody calls me a hacker.

At what point does someone have the right to call them self a hacker? I don't even think I know what that word means anymore. It definitely isn't the movie version or the Mr. Robot version. I'm just a guy that likes to see how **** works. When someone asks if I'm a hacker, I automatically say no; but why?

What would someone have to achieve before you consider them a "hacker"? It's obviously a subjective question, but this forum understands what's actually being asked.


  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    At what point does someone have the right to call them self a hacker?

    When they have officially became a "female cleaning product" and are trying to impress people who are not very technologically inclined.
  • alias454alias454 Member Posts: 648 ■■■■□□□□□□
    If other legit hackers refer to you as a hacker then it's okay to refer to yourself as one. Of course, popping shells and reading code are only some of what makes a hacker a hacker. IMHO the true essence of a hacker is that of a creator and problem solver. I've always thought this was a good read How To Become A Hacker.
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Mod Posts: 6,928 Mod
    I think the original meaning of the word "hacker" in the IT world was framed around a white hat context: “A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary.” At some point it got fused with the term "cracker" which is "A malicious meddler who tries to discover sensitive information by poking around" or "gains unauthorized access to a computer in order to commit another crime such as destroying information contained in that system." Enter the black hat definition as the norm.

    The masses in modern society accept the malicious definition the media has been feeding. For that reason I have zero interest in being labeled as a hacker regardless of the actual meaning.
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 424 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Unfortunately, language changes.

    I wish the original meaning of hacker still applied, but it simply doesn't. Realistically, there are enough actual hackers to even have a word for it now. Another hacker calling you "one of us" is more than enough.

    The word hacker has been co-opted, and there really is no bringing it back.

    An example. The actual definition of the word "confederate" is:


    • 1.
      joined by an agreement or treaty.
      "some local groups united to form confederate councils"

    allied, in alliance, in league, cooperating, associated, united, combined, amalgamated"confederate councils"

    But, is that really what you hear in the post-Civil War era?
  • adrenaline19adrenaline19 Member Posts: 251
    Does having an OSCP and passion earn enough respect for someone in this forum to say "hacker"?

    Where is the line? What would it take for this forum to call someone a hacker? a CISSP? Writing your own randsomware? breaking the matrix?
  • rob42rob42 Member Posts: 423
    The problem with the word "Hacker" is the negative connotations associated to it by the M.S.M.
    When they have officially became a "female cleaning product" and are trying to impress people who are not very technologically inclined.
    <-- L.M.A.O!!!!

    I'm a hacker and I'm sure many peeps on here are. But that's not to say that I do bad stuff like cheating, stealing, or breaking into stuff that does not belong to me.

    I learned to write code back in the days when there was little choice. Back then, the term was used to describe computer hobbyists. I'd learn how the loading routines of games (from cassette tape) worked and how to make them do things that they were not designed to do: that's hacking.

    Just like the M.S.M don't know the difference between a 'virus' and a 'worm', malicious or not, this same negative connotation has been associated to the term 'hacker', malicious or not.

    I don't talk about what I do, in public, because some ill-informed and brain-washed person will always make the incorrect assumption about what I do and what my intentions are.

    +1 for cyberguypr

    edit to add...

    Another term that seems to have been hi-jacked is "trolling". An "internet *****" used to be someone that posted content that was designed to provoke the reader into becoming defensive or to be otherwise offended and taking the O.P to task on what was said; "baiting" in other words, which lead to the phrase "Don't feed the trolls", meaning; simply don't respond to the post.

    Now the term seems to be used describe posts that abuse or attack others on the internet, rather than to simply provoke a response.

    Humm.. Big Brother does not like the word t-r-o-l-l...
    No longer an active member
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I've always looked at it like this: if you are breaking into systems you can call yourself a hacker. Otherwise you're an XYZ Nerd/Geek. Nice thing is you can been any kind of Nerd/Geek (coffee nerd, excel nerd, cigar nerd, etc)
    Intro to Discrete Math
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  • PC509PC509 Member Posts: 804 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Nerd/Geek used to be a put down. Hacker has gone through several definitions. I think most people would be too humble to answer yes when asked "Are you a hacker?". We know there is SO much more to learn and even if you're more advanced, you know that you've barely touched the surface of what is out there.

    Are you a hacker? Define 'hacker'. By some definitions, you could easily be one.

    Is there a line drawn where you are a hacker? CEH (LOL), OSCP, CISSP, SANS courses, pen tester, malware forensics, programming tools for pen testing/exploitation, white/black hat, etc.? Even with all those, some people are still leary on calling themselves a hacker.

    Are you hacking a Gibson? Do you know UNIX with a 3D GUI? Can you trace their IP with a Visual Basic application? Can you and another person use a single keyboard to stop an attacker in real time? Then, and only then, can you call yourself a 1337 haxor. :)
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
    1f y0u d0n'+ +4lk l1k3 +h1s 4ll t3h +1m3, 1 d0n'+ c0ns1d3r y0u 4 +ru3 h4x0r
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Mod Posts: 4,564 Mod
    yes it is the most cringe-worthy word I hear at work.

    But I found a good usage for the word, scientific research showed that the more someone uses the word hacker, the more dumb they become.

    It's scientifically proven to be my personal opinion

    Learn GRC! GRC Mastery : 

  • EnderWigginEnderWiggin Member Posts: 551 ■■■■□□□□□□
    hacker: [hak-er] noun - a person or thing that hacks

    hack: [hak] verb - to cut, notch, slice, chop, or sever (something) with or as with heavy, irregular blows (often followed by up or down)

    There you have it.
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Member Posts: 973
    When you beat the Plague with your bud Cereal killer.
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