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Hackers and crackers, or what is good and what is bad?

  Looking through the large number of articles (mainly in electronic journals) about the problems of computer hacking, it is impossible not to draw attention to the fact that no one article is not carried out is the line that, in our opinion, clearly separates all, one way or another connected with the computer security. In general, the opinion of the computer world on this issue or strictly negative (hackers - they were criminals), or-modestly positive (hackers - bearers of the forest). Actually, this problem exists in at least two sides: positive and negative - and among them is a clear border.

   This boundary separates all professionals involved with information security, the hackers (hackers) and crackers (crackers). Both are largely engaged in the solution of the same problems - the search for vulnerabilities in computer systems and the implementation of the attacks on these systems (burglary).

  The most important and fundamental distinction between hackers and crackers is the purpose they pursue. The main task of the hacker to exploring the computing system, to detect weaknesses (vulnerabilities) in its security system and to inform users and system developers in order to further eliminate the detected vulnerabilities. Another task of the hacker - to analyze the existing security of computer systems, to formulate the necessary requirements and conditions for improving its security.

  On the other hand, the main task of the cracker is in the direct implementation of hacking the system to gain unauthorized access to others' information - in other words, for her theft, spoofing, or to declare the fact of burglary.

  Cracker, in essence, no different from an ordinary thief, hacking other people's apartments and stealing other people's things. He hacks into other people's computer systems and stealing other people's information. That is the cardinal difference between those who may be called by hackers and crackers: the first - computer security researchers, the latter - just burglars, thieves or vandals. Hacker in the terminology - is a specialist. As proof, we give the definition from the dictionary Guy L. Steele:

  1.   Individual who enjoys learning details of the operation of computer systems and by expanding their capabilities, unlike most computer users, who prefer to know only the bare minimum necessary.
  2. Enthusiast of programming, the individual who receives pleasure from camogo programming process, rather than theorizing about it.


  This interpretation of the concept of a hacker is different from that adopted in the media, which, in fact, led to a substitution of concepts. Recently, many computer security experts began to accurately relate to these terms.

  Plain crackers motives leads to the fact that 90% of them are kettles, which break into poorly administered systems, mainly due to the use of foreign programs (usually these programs are known exploit). (And it is the opinion of those most 10% of professional crackers.) Such professionals - ex-hackers have become the path of breaking the law. They, unlike Cracker teapots, to stop the really very difficult, but, as practice shows, by no means impossible.

  It is obvious that to prevent possible tampering or eliminate its consequences need to invite a qualified information security - a professional hacker.

  However, it would be unfair to mix in a bunch of crackers, unequivocally calling them thieves and vandals. In our opinion, the crackers can be divided into the following three classes depending on the purpose for which the hacking: vandals, pranksters and professionals.

   Vandals - most well known (thanks largely to the everyday viruses, as well as creations of some journalists) and I must say, the smallest part of the crackers. Their main goal - to hack the system to its destruction. These include, first, fans of teams such as: rm-f-d *, del *.*, format c: / U, etc., and, secondly, experts in writing viruses or Trojan horses .

Quite naturally, the whole computer world hates crackers, vandals perfect hatred. This stage is usually characterized by krakerstva for beginners and passes quickly, if a cracker can be improved (in fact quite boring to realize its superiority over the defenseless users). Crackers that even with the passage of time did not pass this stage, but increasingly improved their skills of destruction, other than social psychopaths, not name.

  Jokers - the most innocuous of crackers (of course, depending on how bad they prefer to joke), whose main objective - fame, achieved by hacking computer systems and placed there by various effects, expressing their dissatisfaction with a sense of humor. Jokers do not usually cause significant damage (except moral). To date, the Internet is the most common class of crackers, usually engaged in hacking of Web-servers, leaving there mention of himself.

  By joker also include the creators of viruses with different visual and sound effects (music, shaking or turning the screen, drawing all sorts of images, etc.).

  All this, in principle, any innocent mischief beginner, either - promotions professionals.

   Crackers - professional crackers, enjoying the highest esteem and respect in krakerskoy environment whose main task - hacking a computer system with serious goals, such as theft or substitution of information stored there. Generally, in order to make hacking the system, you must go through three stages:

  •  A study of a computer system with the identification of flaws in it,
  • Develop software implementation of the attack and direct its implementation.


   Naturally, a true professional can assume that the cracker, which is to achieve its goal goes through all three stages. With some stretch of the imagination can also be considered a professional of the cracker, which is extracted using a third person information about vulnerabilities in the system, wrote software implementation of this vulnerability. Implement the third stage, obviously, can, in principle, each using other people's creations. But whatever it is that crackers - this is a common theft, if we abstract from the subject of theft.

  Unfortunately, here in Russia, is not so simple. In a country where most of the software people use is pirated, that is stolen with the help of the same burglars, almost no one has a moral right throw a stone at them. Of course, breaking into computer systems to steal in no way be called a worthy deed, but crackers, and blame-crackers can only those who have legally purchased all the software used.

   Until now we always considered hackers, crackers from the standpoint of distributed systems, but do not forget that the largest category of crackers deals with more mundane things, namely: deprotection with commercial versions of software products, manufacturing registration key (registration key) for conditional -free programs, etc. But vkontekste this book they will not be mentioned.

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