Hackers do not break, they build

Tuesday, 18 June 2002, 5:27 AM EST

Contrary to popular misconception - perpetuated through mass-market consensus and countless media sources - hackers do not, by definition, break into systems.

Setting aside the argument that categorical conflation works just fine for casual conversations - in which you might need to employ verbal shorthand to communicate more quickly - it irks me every time I hear the term "hacker" used solely to indicate a person who breaks into systems with malicious intent.

All the portscans, inbound UDP frags and SubSeven Trojan attacks that my firewall blocks aren't perpetuated by hackers, who have far better things to do with their time. No, these small-scale attacks are well within the province of crackers and script kiddies, who almost always use easily acquired software to play their game.

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