To hack or not to hack

We’ve received an inquiry from some of our readers regarding the usage of the term “hacker” on our website. Here, at Viruslist.com we rely on this term to denote any malicious activity related to gaining unauthorized access to a computer system.

Some of our readers have noted that in the early days of computing the term was used with a different meaning, denoting a person skilled at optimizing computer systems, patching kernels to them it work more efficiently or reset the administrator password when lost.

Over time however, the original meaning was lost, as not all “hackers” limited themselves to patching kernels and resetting passwords when asked. Some started to break into poorly secured systems to prove “it’s possible” and eventually, crossed the border into breaking into systems specifically to steal information and/or services.

So, the term “hacking” became a gray border definition. To cope with that, new terms such as “black hat”/”white hat” were invented.

More about these and other parts of the history of “hacking” in an upcoming article, on Viruslist.com.

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