Talk:Hacker (computer security)

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I was under the impression that a Grey_hat was a cracker just trying to figure out if he can do it, i.e. there is no ulterior motive for the cracking in question (I don't really like the term Hacking for this, it's too general. BB code could be considered hacking :) 05:52, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

That would seem to be a more accurate, if not simply more understandable, description of a grey hat (this is partially reflected in the main article). K-lhc (talk) 04:26, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Not according to most security professionals. The CEH Review guide by Kimberly Graves, Grey Hat Hacking, and many other books suggest that Grey hats are distinguished by their motivations. Sephiroth storm (talk) 04:35, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
Look, the term should be self-explanatory: White + Black = Grey. A grey hat is where someone might work in the computer security industry for their job, as a white hat; but then when they go home also undertake black hat activities. It started as a derogatory term used by blackhats, esp. anti-sec, to imply that someone was of lesser standing in the community because of their day job. But more lately people have started to say "oh no, its where someone hacks a system and then patches it without anyone knowing." Who in their right mind does that!!? Why on EARTH? I can't think of any worse way to waste time and have only heard of the "grey hat" in theories devised by writers on teh subject of ethical hacking, very few of whom have ever actively hacked anything. I would be interested to hear more on this talk from anyone who describes themselves as Grey Hat. The Internet Murderer (talk) 10:56, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
isn't "hat designations" part of the script kiddies/noobs... hackers/wanabees?

--Elvenmuse (talk) 20:15, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

@ Elvenmuse, It appears to be part of hacker history, and the terms are still used today. Sephiroth storm (talk) 22:43, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
@ Elvenmuse, One example of "grey hat" hacking I recall seeing was the Blaster/Welchia duel. Someone wrote the Blaster worm, which infected unpatched MS Windows systems and caused network disruption. In response, someone else cobbled together the Welchia worm which used the same exploit, deleted Blaster, and patched the security hole, then replicated itself to every other machine it could find and self-destructed. The side-effects were noxious as it essentially engaged in a DoS attack of the network while it was replicating, but the motivations were definitely grey. (talk) 01:21, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

FUD detection warning:

Black hat - "Individual freedom and accessibility is promoted over privacy and security." So if i'm worried about my individual freedom i'm a black hat? Which promoter for encryption backdoors for governments wrote this?

Hacktivist - "Cyberterrorism — Activities involving website defacement or denial-of-service attacks;" this is NOT cyberterrorism. Here's a quote for you quote-lovers: "First, this is not an act of terrorism. There has been no senseless violence. No innocents are coming home in body bags. Yes, a company is seriously embarrassed -- and financially hurt -- by all of its information leaking to the public. But posting unreleased movies online is not terrorism. It's not even close. " Schneier on the SONY hack -- — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:11, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

Hi. I created this article and i'll be the first to admit the title Criminal hacker is awful. I'd change it to "black hat", but really the article covers black hats and white hats, (all network security related). Any other term would be appreicated. "Cracker" has other, more common meanings (like software cracking). "Black hat" doesn't cover white hats. "Computer criminal" or "computer intruder" sound kinda quaint to me. Maybe security cracker? Suggestions welcome or just move the page.

It would be nice if there was a good page for an article like Rooter to link to when it says:

"A rooter is a fill-in-the-blank who searches for exploitable web servers and hacks into their root directory".

Hacker is too broad, Criminal hacker is too narrow. White hat or black hat or grey hat hacker is too cumbersome. Hatted hacker sounds like something from alice in wonderland. Rooter is just an example, there are many other pages like it.

Pengo 12:45, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

It needs to be mentioned that heavy security measures are useless unless the computer can be physically secured to the same level. Unfortunately, such a high degree of physical security is too expensive for the average homeowner. In this day and age of hackers/cat burglars, nothing short of an armed guard 24 hours per day will suffice for a high level of security. And don't all the guards change shift at once. Remember Murphy's law. If something bad is going to happen, it will happen when the guards change shift. (It's like when nurses change shift at a hospital. Don't do it all at once. That is called negligence.) Shift changes need to be staggered. -- 14:16, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Ok. Article name changed to Hacker (computer security). Enjoy. —Pengo 14:10, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

The change was one in the right direction, but it is far from what should be done about the deplorable situation among the articles that cover what is and, what by the massmedia, is percived to be hacking nad the surrounding cultures. This article needs to be renamed to Cracker and a smaller page detailing what a hacker is and a few common types needs to be created that can subsequntly link to pages that contain further information about the different subtypes, and also a section clearing up the cracker vs. hacker missunderstanding. (talk) 23:38, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree that this article should be renamed Cracker, or perhaps Cracker (Computer Security). The current name perpetuates an incorrect definition. For instance, even when a cracker calls himself a "hacker" he is actually trying to imply that he has the skills that are associated with real hacker. Since this is a big change, I think there should probably be a vote. However, as I'm new around here, I would like some input. Kainosnous (talk) 23:07, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
SUPPORT renaming to Cracker. Wikipedia should not be perpetuating the misuse of the word "hacker" when there is criminal intent. In such case the correct word, albeit ignored by too many already, is cracker. Wikipedia should provide accurate information. A note indicating ignorant misuse of the word hacker, within this article renamed to Cracker, would be OK to cover the fact such misuse is widespread to almost constitute a a wrong COMMONNAME YamaPlos talk 15:19, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Here is the problem, Wikipedia articles of this type are covered under the WP:COMMONNAME criteria, which basically states that the most well known name should be used. Not only does the mass media use the term hacker for any of the individuals called "crackers", but so does the computer security industry, from book writers, to universities, and computer and information security vendors, and IT Security cert vendors. Fact is, whatever the original meaning of the words hacker and cracker, they are no longer distinctive, separate entities. Even from my understanding, crackers did not call themselves crackers, the hackers called them crackers. Then the media called the crackers hackers; and then we arrived where we are. I don't think you will find many reliable sources stating an alternative definition a cracker as a cracker. Indeed, even the users in this section have skated around their definition of a hacker or a cracker. They want the articles separated, but which is what? Sephiroth storm (talk) 23:04, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

What do we do when Wikipedia's use of such "most common name" is not just inaccurate but actually perpetuating the misuse? Alas, Wikipedia is no longer something half-backed put together by a bunch of hackers, in the correct and rightful use of the term, where a mistake like this would just go by, but is gaining well deserved recognition and respect as a source for valid and accurate knowledge. There are many cases where "use" as deviated a term to mean something rather unrelated, and it is a sorry day when we give up on Wikipedia being as accurate as it can be. At the very least, we need to stress up clear in the intro that this issue exists. The main culprits are those who do not seem to notice or care that practically in any context the use of the word "cracker" instead of "hacker" would leave no doubt as what is meant. Except very narrow situations, as explained in the article or here, the use of "hacker" indicating a criminal intent is unnecessary and abusive of the language. YamaPlos talk 15:14, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't know if its worth any mention, but there has been attack on sites by a person named after the character of [Nights into Dreams]. I came upon this information recently. is my source for this claim. If this isn't worth mention tell me and delete this. Recent idiot
Not likely relevant. Sephiroth storm (talk) 23:04, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I feel insulted by the title of the article, plus it's misleading, inaccurate and makes me lose any confidence on wikipedia on computer-related topics. YamaPlos et alia already explain the reasons and there is also the contradiction that lots of crackers aren't hackers at all, so the name should have been changed by now. The next step if Wikipedia goes this way is to find an article called "Muslim (terrorist)" or "Black (slave)", which is exactly the same. PabloArielZ — Preceding undated comment added 06:47, 19 January 2015 (UTC)


Should Phoenix be listed under his real name? The convention in this article seems to be to use real names as they are available. --Thedangerouskitchen 04:24, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Dark Avenger/Polymorphic viruses[edit]

The entry for Dark Avenger states: "Bulgarian virus writer that invented polymorphic code in 1992"

The cross-linked article on polymorphic code (currently) states: "The first known polymorphic virus was written by Mark Washburn. The virus, called 1260, was written in 1990. A more known polymorphic virus was invented in 1992 by the Bulgarian cracker Dark Avenger."

This is obviously contradictory and should be resolved, I would guess by editing and or expanding the entry on Dark Avenger.

--RKT 11:54, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Hacker vs. Cracker[edit]

I'm sure this has been covered before, but should some distinction be made between "hacker" and "cracker"? Most crackers (black hat) would strongly object to being called hackers. The way I see it is a "hacker" is someone who hacks their own computer or network to generally improve things, and a cracker is someone who attacks someone else's computer with intent to gain unauthorized access, e.g. to capture sensitive data (such as credit card numbers).

I, personally, do not care whether I am considered a cracker or hacker, as I am rather gray-hat myself. --SheeEttin 02:32, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Where are you getting this claim ("Most crackers (black hat) would strongly object to being called hackers")? I don't have any data or anything other than my circle of compatriots, contacts, and such, so I can't make any sort of qualified statement. However, from the people that I know, the only people that object to black hats or sec. Hackers calling themselves "hackers" are the people from the academic hacking community (see How to Be a Hacker by Eric Steven Raymond). --H6x6n (talk) 00:13, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Generally, most Black hats do not object to being called hackers, as it adds to their "mystique". very few care enough to distinguish between the lines, as the article states, the disinguishments were added later. Sephiroth storm (talk) 19:02, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
I seriously can't understand why can't people accept the Raymond naming convention...

There is no such thing as Ethical or White hat hacking, that's just hacking. Any other color is cracking, or whatever... "Unfortunately, many journalists and writers have been fooled into using the word ‘hacker’ to describe crackers; this irritates real hackers no end. The basic difference is this: hackers build things, crackers break them." This is enough citation imho, let's just forget about the hats... "Most crackers (black hat) would strongly object to being called hackers." It's the other way around, hackers object if somebody confuses them with crackers and other lowlife entities... Aldum (talk) 01:28, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Just because one contingent (admittedly the original contingent of "hackers") doesn't like that the use of a word doesn't mean that it isn't a correct usage of the word. Cracker is a term that is almost solely used by a small group of academic hackers. my including that link wasn't me saying that Raymond was correct, but rather refuting the previous opinion that black hats don't like being called hackers. Raymond's article is largely opinion —Preceding unsigned comment added by H6x6n (talkcontribs) 02:26, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Yup, most instances -- if not all -- of the word "hack(er)" should be replaced with "crack(er)" because that is the technically correct term, at least according to Richard Stallman. Stallman suggests the new word "hack" (which has origin from the MIT campus) should rather mean something like "to improve your own system, be it your computer or your car." You've heard of the term "cracking the code" or "cracking the safe" before? Then explain to me why people do not say "hacking the code" or "hacking the safe?" It's a silly verb because you'd need a metal blade to do such. This shows how media can be inventive with "new" words, especially if some do not see the commonality between a safe and software. Escallic (talk) 20:06, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

I understand that unskilled crackers (that is, most of them) want people to call them hackers, but making a misleading article in order to claim an undeserved title shouldn't be allowed by Wikipedia. PabloArielZ (talk) 4:03, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Blue hat[edit]

Not sure if this can be confirmed, but if anyone can: was "blue hat" inspired by the blue badges Microsoft-employed code monkeys wear? I can't remember where I read this, but if anyone else did... --SheeEttin 02:32, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Reference; someone with better knowledge of proper wikiformat can link it in properly, but I'm too lazy to learn. Abb3w 22:53, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Horatio Huxham[edit]

I sincerely believe that the link and entry for Horatio Huxley does not deserve to be here. It was probably added by himself as some kind of self promotion stunt and reads like a CV. His entry on Wikipedia previously contained false claims of his association with cDc, but this was removed. He is a relatively unknown character in South Africa who has only one claim to fame, and that is that he managed to write yet another logger to demonstrate that you can capture online banking passwords (and mouse clicks). In fact, what he demonstrated in 2003 was already demonstrated previously by Nic Roets in 2001 and was covered by a national television station.

He managed to get a major South African news paper to do a story on this, and this same story was echoed in other publications. Otherwise, he is relatively unknown in the South African information security and hacker community and his entry and his references for credibility (dr_juz and Justin Shaw) are either fictional or insignificant. There are quite a number of black and white hat hackers in the South African scene who are certainly more noteworthy than this character and I wouldn't even go as far as saying any of them really deserve to be mentioned as notable hackers or security professionals on an international level.

Josip "Ewolix"[edit]

I believe this is also a cheap self promotion stunt and he does not deserve to be listed among other, really significant security hackers. Google doesn't know anything about this person, there is no slovenian whitehat community and the URL redirects to which is a amateurishly done flash page with no significant information.

Thank you for your suggestion! When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the Edit this page link at the top. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes — they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome.
Abb3w 05:24, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

To quote myself:

While examples from the Google Groups archive of USENET should be explicitly included as references, the content of this article is fundamentally sound. Given this, I can can imagine no justification for this edit made by Comperr, nor the movement "Hacker (computer security)" to "Cracker (computer security)2". Historically, the Hacker-Cracker distinction is limited only to a subset (admittedly large but proper) of the post-1983 computer expert community. The distinction was never made prior to 1983, and is seldom recognized by any other social community. Until comprehensive and authoritative sources for such a claim to a "correct" definition can be supplied, such changes can only be assumed as based on personal prejudice and reverted accordingly.
And yes, I consider myself a hacker in the non-intruder sense, and restrict my very intermittent cracker work to systems that I either have legal title of ownership on, systems I have been made responsible for operating and administrating by the holder of such legal title, and work on pencil-and-paper theoretical attacks. My desire for the rest of the world to understand the difference in terminology does not make the technical jargon usage "correct". Abb3w 20:17, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia evidently prevents non-administrators from making such revert moves. I'll also note, having checked, that Comperr's User talk page history includes mention of a prior block (for reasons unknown) and an attempt to eradicate his user talk page by requesting speedy deletion of same. In my (limited) experience, anyone who attempts to discourage community interaction at their user page (such as the comment "DO NOT CHANGE" in the aforementioned history) has been unhelpful to the Wikipedia community. While I am not suggesting any sanction to the user, given the existance and nature of the Hacker definition controversy this move-back seems essential to maintaining NPOV. Abb3w 20:52, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

I've moved the article back to Hacker (computer security) and blocked any further moves until they're discussed. —Pengo talk · contribs 02:31, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Pardon me a moment of unencyclopedic unprofessionalism: WOOHOO!
Thank you. =)
Abb3w 02:56, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Requested move 2: The Next Generation[edit]

In my limited experience with the hacking (and cracking) community at large I would like to make this suggestion: Set up a page so that all links formerly directed to the "Hacker (computer security)" page be sent to a page that discusses the differences between the terms "hacker" and "cracker". Then perhaps a separation of the two subjects into two different pages linked to this one. I know that this is an awful large project to undertake but I think it would make the reading much easier and please most people.

Luke —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lukjad007 (talkcontribs) 17:37, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

This isn't a reply concerning your proposal, but I just wanted to tell you to sign your posts by tping four tildes(~~~~). Thanks, IceUnshattered (talk) 22:32, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Firewall as "Hacker literature"[edit]

I would debate that Firewall is actually a "hacker" movie. The movie may be about hackers, but it is not widely accepted by the hacker community. People don't hold it close to their heart (like they would Wargames, for example). I don't feel it has a place in this article. For comparison, Live Free Die Hard was also a movie "about hackers", but again, it's not accepted as hacker gospel either. I am going to remove "Firewall" from the list. --Othtim (talk) 03:50, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand why a film being 'accepted as hacker gospel' is the criteria here.-- (talk) 15:06, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Notable intruders and criminal hackers without a main Wiki article[edit]

It's very easy for someone to add an entry for a "legendary" hacker responsible for all manner of exploits. Without the lack of a main Wiki entry, however – where the normal citation and inclusion of verifiable facts would be included – they all look very dodgy. A list of "notable" hackers requires that each would have a main Wiki article that would meet the obligations of Wikipedia:notability and where verifiable sources would be cited. I have therefore deleted some recent additions that look particularly dubious. Grimhim (talk) 21:23, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

It also seems very much so like an opportunity for hacker "gangs" and script-kiddie "gangs" to brag. (talk) 02:42, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Not sure where to put it, but this seems notable, without article [1] [2] [3] TGCP (talk) 08:21, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

redirect problem[edit]

h4x0r redirects here, with no mention of leet. Is there a way to make this page show the leet link at the top when people redirect from h4x0r, but not when they come directly to Hacker (computer security)?Jwray (talk) 05:24, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Your better option is to remove the redirect from h4x0r, explain briefly what h4x0r is and then put the link to both "Hacker" and "Leet" within that article. Grimhim (talk) 06:42, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Hacker Group(s)?[edit]

Earlier today when I went to a website, there was the following message:

Hacked By [Pseudonym] For Türkiye -- ---

Curious--as who would not be who didn't already know anything--I did a search for '' for starters, and found ten pages of almost identical citations, some by the same name as I've omitted above. There was more of that sort of thing than any objective news or information, but I did find a few messages on forums by people reporting that their site had been hacked by this group; one was dated 2005 so apparently 'they' have been around for some time. After briefly looking at the site for "" (It said 'com' in the message but perhaps it varies)--there was a page of hacker-related software but little else--I came to Wikipedia but there's nothing. They might be from, or based in, Turkey. I should add that I didn't do a general search for "hacked by..." to see if there are other organized hacking groups doing the same thing.

Judging from the variety of hacks they've accomplished (or perpetrated) and the bewilderment of the people whose sites were hacked, I can find no reason to think that the members of "" are 'white hat' hackers working for Web sites or firms to test their security. Are they 'black hats' with criminal intent? or 'gray hats'? I can't judge. In any event, there doesn't seem to be a category in this article for what appears to be "An organized group whose members exploit insecurities in Internet sites, specifically or at random, and hack these sites for no apparent reason other than for the hell of it." or perhaps "An organized group, etc., which hacks sites in order to persuade site owners to buy or use its security software to prevent people like them from hacking the owners' sites." I'm aware that such additions would have to be verifiable, so someone would have to find news reports, etc. like ORGANIZED GROUPS HACK SITES AT RANDOM TO SELL SPYWARE, or somesuch. If anyone wants to do the work, I'll be happy to read the resulting edit. --JWMcCalvin (talk) 00:27, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Issue: hacker group not mentioned in article[edit]

Why is Anonymous not listed here as a "major hacker group"? They are very dangerous and I think the wiki page to Anonymous should be linked in this article as to better serve and inform users about this potential danger to them on the internet.

--moorty 13:35, 17 September 2011 (UTC)


Are there any well-recognized sites where hackers take requests? For example, the History Channel claims the dredges at The World (archipelago) are computer controlled. Is there somewhere you can go to ask please, please, pretty please, I'm begging you, someone hack one of those dredges to bury a celebrity's super 50 million dollar estate under a pile of muck... ;) Wnt (talk) 19:10, 24 February 2008 (UTC)


I have no idea how to put a citation on this page, I noted that it asked for one. There is a book: Software Forensics: Chapter 2 -- The Players: Hackers, Crackers, Phreaks, and Other Doodz Written by Robert M. Slade; published by McGraw-Hill 03.29.2004 that covers a lot of this material. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:26, 3 April 2008 (UTC)


Please see Hacker motives. Gwen Gale (talk) 01:35, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Section: "rembrandt"[edit]

I notice that recently, has made an entire new section near the bottom of the article regarding a hacker named "rembrandt". There are several (quite a few) spelling and grammar mistakes, and I believe the last sentence contains a syntax error. The section is entirely without citations and seems quite dubious to me. Could someone please either go ahead and remove it or find some info about it? I am never good with research and dare not remove it myself in case it is true. Thanks, Danny Sepley (talk) 07:00, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

MBTA vs. Anderson[edit]

I would appreciate if anyone could lend a hand in fleshing out the MBTA vs. Anderson case. Madcoverboy (talk) 18:57, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Merge common methods section to computer insecurity[edit]

This section duplicates that article, especially the content related to methods (eg: trojan). The section could be re-written as prose with links to the articles, not as sections. --h2g2bob (talk) 22:19, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

well go on then! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:11, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Hacktivism vs. Cyberterrorist[edit]

Hi, User:Nallen20 (talk) added the Cyberterrorist element to the "Hacker attitudes" section. The question is, can these be combined under the Hactivist section? A cyberterrorist is a Black hat, no doubt, he also is a Hactivist, as he is hacking for political reasons. Thoughts? Sephiroth storm (talk) 14:38, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

I'll add a little more to my explanation. The Hactivist definition seemed too limited (only refers to political). Additionally and more importantly, a cyberterrorist's goal is to interfere with a population's lives. The focus is on the way they cause problems, not as much why they do it. Also, I would think of the cyberterrorist's activities on a larger scale than the hactivist. Taking out a website and replacing it with a message of your beliefs would be a hactivist activity. Taking down the municipal computer network of a city would be a cyberterrorist activity. It essentially shuts down the local government (in this case). More thoughts? Nallen20 (talk) 20:59, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Well the problem IMO is that Cyberterroism is not limited to Hacking. all of the other categories are specifically related to hacking. With Cyberterrorism, hacking is simply the tool. It could be worth adding to the Hacktivist section, and linking to the Cyberterrorist article. Sephiroth storm (talk) 22:06, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

That makes sense to me. Do you have any recommendations on what you think the Hactivist section should look like with the inclusion of the linkage to the Cyberterrorist article? Thanks, Nallen20 (talk) 13:39, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

I merged the sections as we had discussed. Please feel free to make any modifications you feel are necessary. Thanks, Nallen20 (talk) 14:01, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

That looks great! Sephiroth storm (talk) 14:15, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Tone and Objectiveness of Article[edit]

The article really seems to be written by hackers. Parts of the article seem to glorify hacking or otherwise undermine the objective facts of hacking. Specifically, the "Hacker Attitudes" section seems to have too many subjective statements that aren't supported by any references. --LepVektor (talk) 00:53, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

I removed a few unnecessary unsourced comments to remove some of that biased tone. To be perfectly honest, it ironically read more like it was written by a noob than anyone else. The definition given for "noob" was originally:

Someone who has almost no knowledge of the workings of technology, and hacking; yet sometimes pretend to be experts on the topic or declare themselves as "Hackers" when they have no idea on the topic or the true meaning of what is actually means to be a Hacker. Noobs also lack the discipline it takes to be a true hacker.

If that doesn't sound like the writings of someone pretending to be something they aren't (but which they truly idolize) I don't know what does. --JohnDoe0007 (talk) 10:33, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
lol, good edits Joe. I may have some time now to go find some references soon. Sephiroth storm (talk) 15:43, 12 June 2010 (UTC)


This is a no-brainer. Language is a concensus of opinion and that's how we use it to communicate - if the majority of the English-speaking world agree overnight that green means blue, then in English green will mean blue. In this case, despite the desperate efforts of a minority to change the real world, "hacker" means someone who breaks into computers, and "cracker" is a pejorative term used by black people to describe white people. Whilst we're at it, "ethical hacking" is a contradiction in terms - hacking is by definition unethical. --Legionofdoom99 (talk) 15:53, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, I certainly agree with you on the first point, language IS a consensus of opinion. However, the truth is that with the advent of the ethical hacking job or whatever you want to call it, the word hacker is recognized even within the media to have multiple meanings. However you are going to face a world of difficulty trying to get support to change it here on wikipedia. On the ethical hacking point, it may be a contradiction or not, but everyone who has heard of it knows what it is. I would ask however, hwat would you call it? Sephiroth storm (talk) 03:10, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Requested Move 3[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus to move. Vegaswikian (talk) 19:36, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Hacker (computer security)Cracker (computer security) — Some of the information on this page is incorrectly labeling a hacker, if not all of it. A hacker is a skilled/professional programmer, whereas a Cracker are "People committed to circumvention of computer security" (reworded) . Headchopperz (talk) 17:22, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose. "Hacker" is the most common term. "Cracker" can mean a number of other things too. Including someone who circumvents copy-protection. See also related discussion on this page. -- œ 17:36, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
If another person is wrong, but claims to be right, does not necessarily mean they are right. Using the old saying 'Two wrongs, dont make a right'. If Wikipedia is storing incorrect information (never seen that before), than people will see it was correct, even when it is sourced to invalid sources. The correct terminology should be used.
It is also very common for hacks to hate its newfound terminology which is being advertised by sites such as Wikipedia as this information is incorrect. Rather than referring programmers to their skill, they get referred to as criminals.Headchopperz (talk) 18:09, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes well, words evolve over time. Mostly due to ignorance by the media. Unfortunately we have to conform to what's currently entrenched in the popular mindset, misinformed as it may be. Wikipedia:Article titles#Considering title changes is also relevant. -- œ 19:17, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Original research[edit]

Many parts of this article contain what is likely original research. Rather than citing reliable secondary sources, the facts are likely produced from an editor's own experience.

  • History: Origin of the word hacker. Seems unlikely that the entire paragraph derives from the same source as the cited quote. (If so, that certainly should be clarified.)
  • History: "Developed alongside phone phreaking"
  • History: "The first recorded hack was accomplished by "Joe Engressia" also known as The Whistler." Dubious.
  • History: Other sources of early 70s hacker culture can be traced towards more beneficial forms of hacking, including MIT labs or the homebrew club, which later resulted in such things as early personal computers or the open source movement.
  • Artifacts and customs: Sentence containing "to support these views" is unclear, unsourced. Sentence containing "ethically justified for this goal" is also incoherent. Aliases claim is unreferenced.
  • Hacker groups and conventions: "draw many people every year" is uncited. Unclear exactly what the given citation refers to (hacker groups, or just credibility?).
  • Elite hacker is pure OR.
  • Techniques: "A common approach is to repeatedly try guesses for the password" needs a citation.
  • Hackers in fiction: Intro sentence needs citations.

I replaced the {{original research}} banner because this is a problem throughout the article, and bringing editors and potential contributors' attention to it is helpful, both so that they fix the problems and avoid creating more unsourced material. --Pnm (talk) 18:36, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

I think it is unlikely to have that effect, most editors can't get past the hacker vs cracker argument. I will adress your concerns individually.
  • 1.) It is possible, without seeing the reference, it is impossible to tell, but it would also be improper to assume a referenced section is OR without proof. It infact looks like the section was likely copied out of the book.
  • 2.) This is well known information. Many of the first well known compsec hackers were and started out as phone phreakers. Kevin Mitnick is an example. It is mentioned in numerous titles and articles.
  • 3.) Look at the article, it has references.
  • 4.) While it may need to be reworded for POV purposes, it is essentially correct. Homebrew club I believe is credited with helping the invention of the PC and can be referenced to "Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer"
  • 5.) Again, public information, look up grey hat hacking or hacktivism and you will see this echoed. I dont have access to my library to confirm, but you could reference it to the "Webster's New World Hacker Dictionary"
  • 6.) Not OR, not only is it a historical term, it is still mentioned in many computer security classes and books, as the opposite of the script kiddie.
  • 7.) Look up brute forcing.
  • 8.)agreed for the second sentence.

My point is, you apparently have the opportunity to assist in the betterment of the article. Either you do it, or it sits around for another year in the same or worse state. I'll list some specific sources here if I happen across them, but I cant promise anything. I'm semi-retired. Sephiroth storm (talk) 05:29, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

[4] "University facilities with huge mainframe computers, like MIT's artificial intelligence lab, become staging grounds for hackers. At first, "hacker" was a positive term for a person with a mastery of computers who could push programs beyond what they were designed to do."
  • Same article links phreakers in the next bullet. "John Draper makes a long-distance call for free by blowing a precise tone into a telephone that tells the phone system to open a line. Draper discovered the whistle as a give-away in a box of children's cereal. Draper, who later earns the handle "Captain Crunch," is arrested repeatedly for phone tampering throughout the 1970s.

Yippie social movement starts YIPL/TAP (Youth International Party Line/Technical Assistance Program) magazine to help phone hackers (called "phreaks") make free long-distance calls. " You can also reference the movie "Hackers Wanted" by Adrian Lamo, which includes an interview with Mr. Draper.

  • Same article, "Two members of California's Homebrew Computer Club begin making "blue boxes," devices used to hack into the phone system. The members, who adopt handles "Berkeley Blue" (Steve Jobs) and "Oak Toebark" (Steve Wozniak), later go on to found Apple Computer" You can also find refernces on their articles, im sure. Wonziak is also in the movie mentioned above.
  • [5], [6]
  • [7] and the Hacktivism article. Most are likely to be primary sources as its not traditionally mentioned in mainstream media.
  • [8] [9]
  • can be attributed to a dictionary attack, Hacking for Dummies pg 93; brute forcing, pg.94, or a weakness in default passwords, Hacking Exposed vol. 6 pg 506
By labeling these examples as possible original research, it's to draw attention to the fact that they're not yet attributable to published secondary sources. That's really the point. The idea of "elite hacker" isn't made up, but the facts are: "said to be on 'the cutting edge' of computing and network technology", "in the earliest 2.5 percentile of the technology adoption lifecycle curve", "referred to as 'innovators.'" Those facts may be true, but again, that's not the point: they need to be verifiable. --Pnm (talk) 18:57, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
I can't really follow all of your bullet points. Are you suggesting sources for specific facts? --Pnm (talk) 19:08, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
I understand, but I am of the belief that Tags rarely provoke action. And in some cases finding sources that fall into compliance with our policies and guidelines can be difficult in infosec. There are many articles, white papers and such that may or may not be allowed as reliable sources. Add WP:RECENTISM and who knows where we would be. Anyway, yes, those are source suggestions for the issues you suggested. Sephiroth storm (talk) 22:47, 2 January 2011 (UTC)


The first few paragraphs are at present a horrific mess of self-contradiction. Someone should fix that. I lack the patience. --Oolong (talk) 23:17, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Men Who Hate Women/The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo[edit]

Would it not make more sense to link Steig Larsen's novel (or possibly the trilogy--not sure if that can be done?) under the customary English title or at least to add it in? Admittedly, I'm not too familiar with it, only hearing about it as a very popular book, but not knowing the Swedish title or its translation, I at first thought the page might have been vandalized. Ullpianissimo (talk) 12:51, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Does it have anything to do with Hackers? Sephiroth storm (talk) 13:09, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Good point. I have changed the link. Men who hate women redirects to that page anyway. noq (talk) 13:42, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Anti-semitic rant linked to Reference 6[edit]

You've been diverted to an anti-Semitic rant in the link to reference 6. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Epistemology (talkcontribs) 21:02, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

I have removed the reference - it is clearly not a WP:reliable source. noq (talk) 11:33, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

"Controversy" bias, much?[edit]

Computer criminals are bad, malicious, black hats and security professionals who protect the status quo are the good guys in white hats! It's just like a 1960s western with a clearly defined moral compass and a line in the sand!

I see the point of bringing up the naming "controversy," but the way it is written is bordering on being downright silly. It decreases the quality of the article, but I don't know how to improve it. It can't just be deleted. -- (talk) 23:40, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

There is a standard 'RFC 1983 - Internet Users' Glossary' which clearly defines what the hacker is. And there is no ambiguity there.

     A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the
     internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in
     particular.  The term is often misused in a pejorative context,
     where "cracker" would be the correct term.  See also: cracker.  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:24, 29 September 2011 (UTC) 

Elite hackers[edit]

According to the article there is only one group that seems to qualify as "elite". This is ridiculous, nobody used the term until the movie "Hackers" came out. But if we are going to name a group to such status, let's name something more than just the MoD, ok? How about P.H.I.R.M., l0pht, or some of the others? -- (talk) 03:47, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Recent edits by IP editor[edit]

I've been reverting these edits by the IP editor, who has been making these same changes since mid-November. For one, sourced content cannot be removed without explanation. Two, ignoring the breaking of the references section, there are serious issues with the changes to the lede, what someone "delights in" is irrelevant, and it's not proper wording to say "It is worthy to note that...", the article should not give directions to the reader, so the reader shouldn't be told to "note" anything. Third, removing wikilinks and replacing sourced content with unsourced prose isn't beneficial to the article at all. - SudoGhost 21:26, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Script Kiddie[edit]

Aren't they so called because they run actual scripts, the "pre-packaged automated tools written by others" are often actual computer scripts, rather than the definition that appears that seems to imply the name comes from the more general use of the term "script" Auto98uk (talk) 13:28, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

White/Black and Racism[edit]

Did it ever occur to anybody that the wording "white hat" for "good guy" and "black hat" for "bad guy" might be racist? Disclosure: I am Caucasian. Cristiklein (talk) 13:18, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

Did it occur to you that not every use of black and white is related to racism. I would guess this came from the usage in early black and white western films of the good guys wearing white hats and the bad guys wearing black hats. noq (talk) 18:28, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
That is my understanding of it, it used to be mentioned in the article, not sure if it still is. Sephiroth storm (talk) 18:56, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Sorry if I seemed exaggerated, but there are people who argue that using white for positive things and black for negative ones is racist. Are You - or Your Language - Racist or Not Racist?Racism in the English Language Cristiklein (talk) 21:33, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
The "light" vs. "darkness" dichotomy/paradigm/metaphor is millennia old (see Black-and-white dualism, Yin and yang, and so on). ...Not that Wikipedians made up the terms black hat and white hat, of course. Are there sources that argue as much? --Rhododendrites (talk) 23:13, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the article. I do not understand why people seem to take my comments so personally. I did not accuse Wikipedians of being racists. I only highlighted that there are people in the world for whom the black-and-white dualism might seem racist. If I understand WP:NPOV correctly, then the articles should mention this, whether Wikipedians agree with this view or not. Both the Hacker and the Black-and-white dualism articles might need to include a small discussion. Cristiklein (talk) 06:52, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
People taking things personally on the Internet?? :) NPOV does indeed mean presenting not one but all notable perspectives directly relevant to a topic, but it needs to be understood along with WP:V and, most relevant for this discussion, WP:NOR. The issue you're presenting, while it has merit, is considered "original research" until you find sufficient reliable sources to support its inclusion. And even at that point, unless there is significant existing discussion on the matter, I would probably say it would best serve as an example on the black-and-white dualism page, with this page at most offering a very brief qualifying statement immediately before or after the first mention of "white hat" and "black hat" that links to the black-and-white dualism article. Looks like the dualism article needs some serious help, though, considering how big (and important) a topic it is.
Also, for what it's worth, if you notice a trend of people seeming to take things personally on talk pages, it may be because some of the more jaded editors respond in an overly snappy way when people use talk pages as a forum to discuss the subject rather than the article (which is what talk pages are for). --Rhododendrites (talk) 16:15, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
I argue that editors could be more kind to novice commentators. :) What I actually wanted to say in my initial message was that I heard about a "racist language" issue, but found nothing about it in the article. Hence, I was wondering if anybody knew more about this issue and whether it would make sense to add a section about it. So, my intention was indeed to discuss the article and not the subject, but I agree that my initial message was not clear about this. Now that we discussed this topic, I agree that the Black-and-white dualism article would be a better place to present the issue. Cristiklein (talk) 21:20, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

The paragraph about a script kiddie, it seems to be a bit biased, maybe a bit too personal. I just seems odd. Heartocourage2 (talk) 05:25, 11 March 2014 (UTC)


What on earth is this section talking about? It appears to be written by a 12-year-old without the ability to form complete or coherent sentences. This article needs a serious rework. M.A.Redman (talk) 21:31, 16 April 2014 (UTC)


This article does not have a Simple English Wikipedia. I tried to merge it to "Hacker" but it does not work. Qwertyxp2000 (talk) 05:34, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 28 March 2015[edit] (talk) 12:11, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

± Yea and Hacking means to get to it
Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: No request made. Amortias (T)(C) 13:15, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

wireless networking[edit]

impact of hackers on wireless networking — Preceding unsigned comment added by AGYO90 (talkcontribs) 09:42, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 22 April 2015[edit] (talk) 07:02, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: as you have not requested a change.
If you want to suggest a change, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please also cite reliable sources to back up your request, without which no information should be added to, or changed in, any article. - Arjayay (talk) 07:07, 22 April 2015 (UTC)