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Hacker (from the English. Hack - chop)

Hacker (from the English. Hack - cut) - an extremely qualified IT specialist, a person who understands the very basics of computer systems. This word is also often used to refer to a computer hacker, which is generally incorrect.

Hackers are, for example, Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman and other creators of world-class open systems. In Russia, a striking example of a hacker is Chris Kaspersky.

Sometimes this term is used to refer to specialists in general - in the context that they have very detailed knowledge of any issues, or have a rather non-standard and constructive thinking. From the moment this word appeared in the form of a computer term (which occurred in the 1960s), it had new, often quite different meanings.

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  • The original meaning of the word “hacker” probably originated within the walls of MIT in the 1960s, long before computers became widespread. Then it was part of local slang and could mean a simple, but crude solution to a problem; damn clever trick of students (usually the author was called a hacker). Until that time, the words “hack” and “hacker” were used for various reasons, regardless of computer technology in general.

    Originally appeared the slang word "to hack" (chop, shred). It meant the process of making changes “on the fly” in one’s own program or someone else’s program (it was assumed that the source code of the program was available). The verbal noun "hack" meant the results of such a change. A very useful and worthy thing was considered not just to inform the program's author about the error, but to immediately offer him a hack that fixes it. The word "hacker" originally originated from here.

    Hack, however, was not always aimed at correcting errors - he could change the behavior of the program against the will of its author. It was precisely such scandalous incidents that became the main source of publicity, and the understanding of hacking as an active feedback between the authors and program users never interested journalists. Then came the era of proprietary code, the source code of many programs became inaccessible, and the positive role of hacking began to fade away - the huge time spent on the hacked source code could only be justified by a very strong motivation, such as the desire to make money or scandalous popularity.

    As a result, a new, distorted understanding of the word “hacker” has appeared: it means an attacker who uses extensive computer knowledge to perform unauthorized, sometimes malicious actions on a computer — hacking computers, writing and distributing computer viruses. For the first time in this sense, the word "hacker" was used by Clifford Stall in his book "The Egg of the Cuckoo", and the Hollywood film "Hackers" contributed a lot to its popularization. In a similar computer slang, the words “hack,” “hack,” usually refer to cracking the protection of computer networks, web servers, and the like.

    The echo of the negative perception of the concept “hacker” is the word “kulhatzker” (from the English words of cool hacker), which became widespread in the domestic computer environment, practically with the growth of the popularity of the original word. This term is usually called an amateur who tries to look like a professional, at least externally - by using supposedly “professional” hacker terms and jargon, using “hacker-like” programs without trying to figure out their work, etc. The name “kulhatker” sneers at that that, supposedly, such a person, considering himself a cool hacker (English cool hacker), is so illiterate that he cannot even correctly read in English what he calls himself. In the English-speaking environment, such people have been given the name "scripkiddi".

    Some of the personalities known as free and open source advocates — for example, Richard Stallman — call for the use of the word “hacker” only in the original sense.

    "Glider", an unofficial symbol of the movement of hackers.

    A very detailed explanation of the term in its original sense is given in the article by Eric Raymond “How to become a hacker” [2]. Also in October 2003, Eric Raymond offered the emblem for the hacker community - the symbol of a “glider” (glider) from the game “Life”. Since the hacker community does not have a single center or official structure, the proposed symbol cannot be considered the official symbol of the hacker movement. For the same reasons, it is impossible to judge the prevalence of this symbolism among hackers - although it is likely that some part of the hacker community accepted it.