The media's definition of the real term malicious cracker. A hacker used to be a well respected individual who loved to tinker with gadgets. In the early 90's the term changed to: A person who maliciously cracks software and or passwords. The real term "Malicious cracker" was not used because the media was careful not to offend with something close to a derogatory term. So to prevent criticism they formed a word that would not offend most people. The correct term for what society labels a hacker is malicious cracker. There three kinds of crackers. (White hats), who detect security flaws and then report them. (Black hats), who maliciously use them to their benefit and (Grey hats), who do both. A group of hackers were described in most of the media during the late early to late 90's. There were too major groups "The brotherhood" (Black hats) : a Canadian group of hackers and "Legion of Doom" (White hats): A group of well known hackers from the east coast of the United States.
Today there is a well known group of hackers (Grey Hats) known as Anonymous.
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