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Computer Terminology
White Hat Computer Hacking
The Difference Between

What is the difference between hacking and cracking?

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November 05, 2009 7:26AM

They are both the same thing...Sort of. A hacker is a person who is proficient with computers and/or programming to an elite level where they know all of the in's and out's of a system. There is NO illegality involved with being a hacker. A cracker is a hacker who uses their proficiency for personal gains outside of the law. EX: stealing data, changing bank accounts, distributing viruses etc. What the hacker does with their knowledge of systems within the definition of the law is what defines them as a hacker vs a cracker. It's then safe to say that all crackers are hackers, but not all hackers are crackers. This is an important distinction. The term cracker and hacker are used interchangeably (albeit incorrectly) largely due to the ignorance of the general populace, especially the media.