What is hacking?

aspguy's Avatar, Join Date: May 2005
There are many mixed opinion about what is hacking and what is Ethical Hacking and so lets see the view point of each of us as to what we think is

What is hacking?

According to me

Hacking is unauthorized access and use of resources.
SaswatPadhi's Avatar, Join Date: May 2009
~ Б0ЯИ Τ0 С0δЭ ~
Originally Posted by aspguy View Post
What is hacking?

According to me
Hacking is unauthorized access and use of resources.
When it comes to "authorization", we should use the word cracking and not hacking. Hackers just mess with things, not just "use" them.

So, I would like to keep it short : "Hacking is messing with resources."
shabbir's Avatar, Join Date: Jul 2004
Go4Expert Founder
I would define it as backdoor access to resources.
SpOonWiZaRd's Avatar, Join Date: May 2007
Know what you can do.
Well I gained access numerous times by means of hacking into a computer and then gained access to files on the computer, I can then even shut it down and do as I please all from the command prompt without getting any username or password... I hacked into it by means of exploiting windows. I see hacking as breaking into a computer and gaining access to it as if you are sitting infront of the computer yourself with admin rights and you never needed any username/password combination.
mayjune's Avatar, Join Date: Jun 2009
Invasive contributor
hacking is to see something in a different way from the ordinary....
for example
we see fork as something to eat with
a hacker wiould see it as a metal which conducts electricity,
it is something i can give pokey designs with...
etc etc...
indiansword's Avatar, Join Date: Oct 2008
Security Expert
Hacking - Viewing / replacing / editing / deleting / spreading files, pictres, documents etc. which we arent supposed to.

Ethical Hacking - Doing all of the above IF requested.

Cracking 2 types:-
1. Hash, Email ID's Cracking:- Brutefoceing Hashes such as MD5 encryption. Executive bruteforcing ditionary attacks on different Email addresses.

2. Getting access to full version of programs, softwares without purchasing the licensed key.
remoteworkmate's Avatar, Join Date: Jul 2009
Light Poster
hmmm. . .i never thought hacking can be ethical too. . .oh well
xpi0t0s's Avatar, Join Date: Aug 2004
Depends on who you speak to. There are various types of hacking that should be referred to with the correct terms, but the media misuse terms because they don't understand them and this muddies the water.

I prefer the definition at http://catb.org/jargon/html/H/hacker.html
A hacker is an expert, a geek, a good guy, can be a good engineer (but good engineering often means following documented protocols and a hacker often doesn't have the time or inclination for pointless protocols that are usually invented by managers who have no engineering skills to maintain the illusion that they do something useful).
A cracker is what the media means when they use the word hacker. Script kiddies are a subset of crackers - while crackers may have some skills, script kiddies just run scripts that other people have worked out, so script kiddies have no skills, hence the name.
Cracker is also a racist term used to refer to white people by black people and the level of offence intended by the word cracker is the same as the offence usually taken when someone uses the word nigger. This could be why the media doesn't use it.

There are other terms which clarify the use of the word. White hat hackers are good guys; black hat hackers are not and the parallel with white and black magic is I think intentional. Ethical hacking is quite clear to anyone who understands the word "ethical" but many people who post to go4e's EH forum are not asking about ethical hacking but about inethical cracking (i want my g/f's hotmail password, for example).

There is also a job title Ethical Hacker which means someone who is employed to break into systems with full permission to do so - which sounds like a contradiction but normally you would be given passwords to access a system; an ethical hacker is permitted to access a password protected system but not given the password. Ethical Hackers are used to test security systems legally and document their methods for gaining entry so that the security systems can be improved.

Going by ESR's definitions a hacker is ethical by definition so the word ethical is redundant, and personally I think all threads in the EH forum about getting passwords, stealing from Microsoft and so on should be shut down as nothing to do with EH. Leaving these threads open sends the message that go4e approves of such things.
!Newbie!'s Avatar, Join Date: Apr 2009
Ambitious contributor
hacking is today's world is considered a good thing, that is why there are certifications leading to that. It is very nicely called "Certified Ethical Hacker".
naimish's Avatar
Invasive contributor
I prefered Hacking's defination as said by Ankit Fadia