The Cult of Hackers

Friday, 22 November 2002, 12:09 PM EST

Hackers are typically portrayed as one of two stereotypes: digital Robin Hoods taking on the Internet's wired establishment or sinister masterminds who can upend everyday users' lives with their technical exploits.

In reality, hackers - who tend to resist that blanket term in favor of more specialized designations, such as cracker, white hat or black hat -- are usually tech-savvy individuals experimenting with their skill sets by probing applications and Web sites for vulnerabilities, security expert Ryan Russell told NewsFactor.

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