The first hack ever made was by Kevin Mitnick and it was a method of free bus rides everyday, that came out of his own words so I am not sure about the talented programmer thing. Kevin Mitnick was the worlds first hacker and went on by hacking into sun microsystems, nokia, motorola and and, he was never a programmer, he just understood how the protocols and internet worked. After that high school and college kids (mainly) was very interested in this and thus hacking was made popular. These kids was called hackers, but there is a very big difference between a hacker and a cyberterrorist, take mafiaboy for instance go and google his name to see what he did, that is cyberterrorism. Hacking was a means of dicovering the unknown on sites, services, servers, programs and almost any system you can think of, be it DSTV decoder hacking, Cellphone hacking, windows hacking, internet hacking, Xbox hacking, and all types of hacks like what you will see on this site for instance http://www.hackaday.com . And a very good password will be something like this:

Go4expert@Mycomputer.co.za/wap

now try to crack that, lol. Reason being is that its a mixalphanumeric-symbol combination which is very long aswell.