Hacking is a broad term used to describe many complex activities wherein the end goal is typically to obtain access to a computer system's servers, database(s), or stored files. This access may be any combination or desired or undesired, and legal or illegal.

Legal and condoned hacking is known as "white hat" hacking, and is used to test the security of a given computer network by hiring an individual or group of individuals to try to break in to it electronically, in order to determine the network's flaws or lack thereof.

Illegal or unwanted hacking is known as "black hat" hacking, however the term "cracking" is often used to describe malicious or malevolent hacking in which the end goal is to cause damage to the integrity of the targeted computers, whether to destroy, copy, or modify files, or possibly to install easy routes back into the system known as "backdoors".

Not all condoned hacking is legal, however. For example, if Jim's friend challenges him to hack or crack into his home computer, and Jim does so, it is still technically illegal despite the consent of his friend. Legal hacking (in the United States of America) needs to be approved with paperwork and status of employment; hobbyist hacking is generally always illegal.

Techniques for hacking vary intensely, and can incorporate activities including, but not limited to, creating pieces of software designed the circumvent (or falsely authenticate) the security in place in a given targeted computer network, creating pieces of hardware designed to do virtually the same thing known as "dongles", social engineering (a favored form of the famous hacker Kevin Mitnick), exploiting known or unknown (and subsequently discovered) bugs or flaws in the software that handles authentication to a given network, and other more obscure and clever methods.

Hacking can also refer simply to toying with computers and other electronic equipment in order to get them to do something they aren't supposed to do. This is the original and most true sense of the word, and is usually done for pleasure, amusement, proof of concept, or simply to exercise the brain. This type of hacking is generally harmless, and can even result in advances in current technology.

Unfortunately, the modern media has given hackers a poor portrayal, typically insinuating or outright stating that they are concerned with malicious destruction of electronic property, or even making accusations of cyber-terrorism. This sort of activity is more realistically descriptive of the cracking community (such as script kiddies), as true hackers do not typically ever hold the intent to cause harm, but engage in the activity for enjoyment, intellectual stimulation, or simply to surmount an obstacle. The goal is usually little more than obtaining access; once inside the system, a hacker's interests rapidly decline, as he or she has no intention to modify, copy, or destroy the files therein.

Hollywood has also given hackers an unrealistic image, portraying fancy graphics and unrealistic execution of the hacking in general. However, some movies have shown true tools or programs that real hackers have been known to use, such as the tool nmap.

Demographical data for true hackers is difficult to obtain, given their usually secretive nature, however the majority of hacking communities (such as 2600) indicate a much greater presence of males than females.
Most of us around the café here are into hacking, although some just like to watch.

He was caught hacking into a major government computer system and is currently pending trial after being arrested that same day.
by JoshM June 15, 2006
Hacking is willful act of gaining unauthorized access an information system using a digital device online or offline.
Hacking is unauthorized access the computer system
by s j tubrazy September 23, 2014
Making weird status on someone who forgot to log off their facebook account
Girl: I just hacked his Facebook account!
Guy: Wow! When did you learned hacking?
Girl: I didn't. He just forgot to sign out after using my laptop.
Guy: ...
by Pyromania August 28, 2011
To emphasive a different word, or replace the word really.
He makes me so hacking mad!
Thats so hacking awesomist!
Are you hacking kindding me?
by Julia~Gulia October 23, 2007
The illegal penetration of a persons' body or possessions by an individual or individuals either themselves or by use of tools.
Rupert Murdoch was arrested for phone-hacking performed by The News of the World. Judge Albert S. Pat Murdoch was arrested for person-hacking a prostitute.
by MrJeremyT July 20, 2011
Replacement for "fucking" used by youtube star Fred.
Fred-"I hope my mom doesn't hacking ground me, cause thatd be hacking retarded!"
by blahblahblahchica3 April 01, 2009
Something that means very used on Fred Figglehorn's popular YouTube videos.
You're so hacking mean Kevin
Judy is so hacking hot
I was a hacking awesome tree in Grease
Fred is hacking awesome
Kevin you are so hacking fat
Kevin is fatter than a gorilla, so hacking true!
Judy is so hacking bratty
Hacking awesome!
I hacking love Judy
I did a hacking good job as a tree!
I forgot my hacking meds!
Where are my hacking meds??
I need my hacking meds!!
My mom is hacking out of rehab!!
I hacking very strongly dislike my grandma!!
by Loliver-lover February 24, 2009
A hacker is someone specialised with computers, they don't even have to know how to hack (though alot do because they find security holes).

A cracker is someone who breaks into computers
Linus Torvalds is a great hacker

Kevin Mitwick was a great cracker
by ReVoLT March 21, 2005

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