I WROTE A LOT, SOMEONE FIX THIS, IT'S PROBABLY PRETTY TERRIBLE
I NEED TO GO PLAY IN THE SUNLIGHT AND ENJOY THE TOUCH OF A REAL LIVE PERSON BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE
Loved by themselves and a handful of fans, hated, feared, cast out and prosecuted by every government and everyone else, hackers are the alpha, omega, and unwanted pizza delivery service of the internets.
- What do hackers do?
- They hack.
- What is hacking?
- Funny you should ask!
Hacking is the delicate, misunderstood, finely overstated art of manipulating the [[World Wide Web], computers, various and sundry electronics, and whatever else can be torn down, built up, penetrated, phreaked, kludged, obfuscated, capitalized upon, coded, engineered, or otherwise brute finessed into doing what a hacker wants.
Hacking frequently (and freqently by design) runs contrary to most authorized - some would mutter legal, some would - uses and designs. Real Ralk, though: honey hacker don’t care!
Hackers try and sometimes succeed in re-purposing anything and everything they take a shine to, or get their hands on. Their motives and methods of manipulation run the heady gamut of popular hive mind legality with a singular dedication and finesse. In this, the hacking hacker is not dissimilar to the well loved - if not well fed - starving modern artist, manipulating his clay on the wheel and dwindling ramen stocks in his artist’s cupboard.
Hacking is also a term used to describe unauthorized modifications to the rules and physics of a video game with the intent of improving gameplay and making the gaming experience better for you, the hacker - and hence upsettingly worse for others. Don’t believe me? Pop quiz:
- Have you ever tried to kill a 12 year old mercenary marine who can:
- hover a foot off the ground
- walk through walls
- headshot you from 300 miles away
- in a nuclear snowstorm
- appears to exist in perpetual death defying bullet time?
Yeah, about as fun as it sounds - and they get about as smug as those filthy terrorist hater pigs in Angry Birds. Possibly worse. Probably worse. After all, they're dangerous menace-to-society hackers. Everybody knows that |god mode and wallhax are gateway drugs to invading and clogging up the Pentagon’s tubes!
According to somewhat popular consensus, taking a Computer Science III course qualifies you for elite hacker status. True Fax: this is not entirely the case. A hacker is a person who breaks into computers and computer networks for profit, proof, or just saying they did it.
Since the first bit collided with that first byte and dropped your credit card number and SSN into eager little graspy hacking hands, controversy has raged among the tech and hack communities over the true meaning of the word “hacker”. Some computer programmers, often possessed of 25 years experience using Windows Vista and 2.5 successful Hello World compiles in Visual Basic, will argue that a person illegally entering or using a computer or computer system is in fact called a cracker.
Despite there being as many opinions as there are free porn sites (ok, there’s probably more porn,) many do not distinguish between the various hacker echelons and ranks. This is silly. There are lots of hackers, which means there are boatloads of different types of hackers.
Hackers can be loosely grouped together based on their dispositions and activites. These categories range widely in severity and you-gon-go-to-jail-boy-ity fairly widely, starting with ‘’’black hats’’’, technology’s evil rotten scare your kids straight criminal masterminds.
From there it’s a slippery, godly ascension to the mountain meadows of the MMORPG, capitalistic and arguably nicer / less ruinous grey hats. They’re pretty boring. Time to move on.
Having simplified most grotesquely, we ascend upon wings of fresh downy duckling fuzz up up up into the giddy heights of e-salvation and i-light. This is where ‘’’white hats’’’ - those loving, magnanimous, 0day service with a smile and heartfelt hugbomb ‘’’’’good’’’’’ compsec nerds make their beds of straws dipped in truth, honesty, and the tears of thankful netizens.
These electropatriots - these … ‘’’’’white hats’’’’’ - are best known for serving all that is good, just, and watching-paint-dry levels of boring and righteous in this world, toiling in their separate yet equal while simultaneously sweller than swell. Black hats? Who are they? And let’s be frank, everyone forgot the grey hats existed about 60 seconds ago; here’s the white hats!
That’s right - black, grey, and white: no matter what their goals are, let it never be said that hackers are not fast friends of the colour-blind.
Black hats and white hats are often found arguing over who is the cracker and who is the hacker. No one cares. They care. They’re the only ones.
Hackers and their hacking hacks have been known to strike fear into the hearts of even the most dedicated deep web and internet enthusiasts. Fortunately for rest of the innocent, virginal internet, the vast majority of so-called hackers are in fact merely script kiddies.
What’s a script kiddie? So glad you asked. A script kiddie is a zero talent zero imagination certified non-expert who lucks his way into compromising hapless computer systems. Script kiddies get their names from their tools - pre-packaged automated tools written by actual hackers, requiring approximately zero skill to use and abuse.
Script kiddies usually thrash about in the ethernets with little to no understanding of the foundational concepts and talents that successful hackers maintain and build on —hence the term script (i.e. a prearranged plan or set of activities) kiddie (i.e. kid, child—an individual lacking knowledge and experience, immature). 90% of those inhabiting hacker forums are script-kiddies.
On the other end of the quality/lol spectrum of hackers you have the elite hacker. A somewhat deprecated social status among hackers, elite (or 1337, as zerocool would say) once described the most skilled of this group. Although the term has fallen out of serious use in recent years, elite hacker dudes have not disappeared.
Newly discovered exploits and vulnerabilities travel through these elite hacker circles within hours - often minutes - of disclosure. Full of secrecy and disclosing nothing and everything, hackers at their finest are the top shelf internet underbelly superstars responsible for the really cool stuff happening on the internet. Twitter wishes it could hack the planet; these guys actually do.