The hacker culture is a subculture of people who benefit from the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming restrictions of software systems to accomplish novel and clever outcomes. The act of participating in activities (such as for example programming or other media) in a spirit of playfulness and exploration is termed “hacking”. However, the defining characteristic of a hacker isn’t the actions performed themselves (e.g. programming), however the manner in which it really is done and whether it’s something exciting and meaningful. Activities of playful cleverness could be said to possess “hack value” and then the term “hacks” came into being, with early examples including pranks at MIT done by students to show their technical aptitude and cleverness. Therefore, the hacker culture originally emerged in academia in the 1960s around the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC) and MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Hacking originally involved entering restricted areas in a clever way without causing any major damages. Some famous hacks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were placing of a campus police cruiser on the top of the fantastic Dome and converting the fantastic Dome into R2-D2.
Richard Stallman explains about hackers who program:
What they had in keeping was mainly like of excellence and programming. They wished to make their programs that they used become as effective as they could. In addition they wanted to make sure they are do neat things. They wished to be capable to take action in a far more exciting way than anyone thought possible and show “Appear how wonderful that is. I bet you didn’t believe this may be done.”
Hackers out of this subculture have a tendency to emphatically differentiate themselves from what they pejoratively call “crackers”; those people who are generally described by media and members of everyone using the word “hacker”, and whose primary focus-be it to malign or for malevolent purposes-lies in exploiting weaknesses in computer security.
The Jargon File, an influential however, not universally accepted compendium of hacker slang, defines hacker as “Someone who enjoys exploring the facts of programmable systems and stretching their capabilities, instead of most users, who prefer to understand only the minimum necessary.” The Obtain Comments (RFC) 1392, the web Users’ Glossary, amplifies this meaning as “Somebody who delights in having a romantic understanding of the inner workings of something, computers and computer networks specifically.”
As documented in the Jargon File, these hackers are disappointed by the media and general public’s using the term hacker to make reference to security breakers, calling them “crackers” instead. This consists of both “good” crackers (“white hat hackers”) who use their computer security related skills and knowledge to find out more about how exactly systems and networks work also to help discover and fix security holes, and also those even more “evil” crackers (“black hat hackers”) who utilize the same skills to author harmful software (like viruses, trojans, etc.) and illegally infiltrate secure systems with the intention to do harm to the machine. The programmer subculture of hackers, as opposed to the cracker community, generally sees computer security related activities as unlike the ideals of the initial and true meaning of the hacker term that instead linked to playful cleverness.