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Hacker (from English hack - cut)

Hacker (from English hack - chop) is an extremely skilled IT specialist, a person who understands the very basics of computer systems. This word is also often used to refer to a computer burglar, which is generally not true.

Hackers call, for example, Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman and other creators of open systems of world level. In Russia, a vivid example of a hacker is Chris Kasperski.

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 unusual and constructive way of thinking. Since the appearance of this word in the form of a computer term (which occurred in the 1960s), he had new, often quite different meanings.

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  • The meaning of the word "hacker" in its original sense, probably originated in the walls of MIT in the 1960s long before computers became widespread. Then it was part of the local slang and could mean a simple, but rude solution to a problem; devilishly cunning trick of students (usually the author and called a hacker). Until then, the words "hack" and "hacker" were used for different reasons, regardless of computer technology in general.

    Originally, the slang word "to hack" appeared (hack, shred). It meant the process of making changes "on the fly" to one's own or another's program (it was assumed that there are source code of the program). The verbal noun "hack" meant the results of such a change. It was very useful and worthy not only to inform the author of the program about the error, but immediately offer him such a hack that corrects it. The word "hacker" originally originated from here.

    Hack, however, did not always aim to correct mistakes - he could change the program's behavior against the will of its author. It was exactly such scandalous incidents, mostly, that were made public, and the understanding of hacking as an active feedback between authors and users of programs was never of interest to journalists. Then came the era of the closed code, the source code of many programs became inaccessible, and the positive role of hacking began to go to naught - the huge time spent on the hack of closed source code could be justified only 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 in the 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 Cuckoo's Egg, and his Hollywood film Hackers contributed a lot to his popularization. In such computer slang, the words "hack", "hack" usually refer to hacking protection of computer networks, web servers and the like.

    The echo of the negative perception of the concept of "hacker" is the word "kulhacker" (from the English words cool hacker), which has become widespread in the domestic near-computer environment with the growing popularity of the original word. This term is usually called an amateur who tries to be like a professional at least externally - by using allegedly "professional" hacking terms and jargon, using "type of hacker" programs without trying to understand their work, etc. The title "kulhacker" ironically over that , that, allegedly, such a person, considering himself a cool hacker (English cool hacker), is so illiterate that he can not even correctly read in English what he calls himself. In the English-speaking environment, such people received the name "scriptkiddi".

    Some of the personalities, known as advocates of free and open source software - 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, Eric Raymond proposed in October 2003 an emblem for the hacker community - a symbol of "glider" (glider) from the game "Life". Since the hacker community does not have a single center or an official structure, the proposed symbol can not be considered an 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.