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Cracker "breaks / reverse engineers code"

By digidash ·
FYI, a 'cracker' is NOT a hacker; they are two separate things.
Crackers specialize in 'cracking code.' They may or may not also be hackers. Hackers often assist crackers, and vice-versa. Cracker typically illegally reverse-engineers (is there a 'legal' form of that - actually, yes) and develops 'keygens' or other means to subvert the controls of the application - whether it be MS Office, AutoCAD, etc. Crackers pride themselves in "stealing the keys to the code;" hackers pride themselves in breaking through network security (well, that's one thing they pride themselves in).

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Euro-trash. No text.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to So what language is that ...
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With fava beans and a fine chianti <nt>

by NetMan1958 In reply to Crackers with P'nut budde ...
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Ooh. What time are we doing this?

by seanferd In reply to With fava beans and a fin ...

I'll clear my appointments.

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Whenever you arrive.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Ooh. What time are we doi ...

We can't get started until you bring your ... uh, THE liver.

Not 'your', 'the'.

Yeah, 'the'; that's what I meant.

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Message has been deleted.

by aoomall In reply to Cracker "breaks / reverse ...
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differentiation between cracker and cracking

by Neon Samurai In reply to Cracker "breaks / reverse ...

"One who breaks security on a system. Coined ca. 1985 by hackers in defense against journalistic misuse of hacker (q.v., sense . An earlier attempt to establish worm in this sense around 1981--82 on Usenet was largely a failure."

http://catb.org/jargon/html/C/cracker.html

I'd agree that the distinction causes confusion. I see Cracking as breaking security mechanism which can be done by a Hacker or a Cracker. The distinction is ethical though. A hacker may crack encryption for a number of ethical reasons not least of which include education (one's own lab network), protection of others (demonstration with permission), product improvement (QA, Security research), fair use (legally obtained content like DVDs) and reverse engineering (also fair use, consider creating of drivers in absence of vendor provided information or drivers).

The earliest recorded use of Cracker (listed above) uses it to differentiate what one may call an unethical hacker or general criminal with malicious intent be it breaking into someone's system without permission or infringing copyright.

I do also remember when Crack specifically meant a utility that removed DRM protections from games and a Cracker was one who discuvered vulnerabilities and produce the crack packaged with or without the related software. This still falls within the definition of one who breaks security mechanisms with illegal intent.

A Hacker may or may not be a Security Hacker and may or may not know or research methods to break (crack) software mechanisms. If they are one who does know or research methods for breaking software or other security mechanisms, they are still a Hacker provided the intent is ethical.

Mind you, if you have older historical use of "Cracker" outside of the context given in the jargon file, I'd be interested in it.

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