Hacking is the gaining of access(wanted or unwanted) to a computer and viewing, copying, or creating data(leaving a trace) without the intention of destroying data or maliciously harming the computer.

This represents the Good Guys most of the time for they are the ones who search for these exploits to prevent crackers use a method called cracking(opposite of hacking).

Hacking and hackers are commonly mistaken to be the bad guys most of the time. Crackers are the ones who screw things over as far as creating virus, cracks, spyware, and destroying data.

Cracker - Person who gains unauthorized access to a computer with the intention of causing damage.

Cracking - Method by which a person who gains unauthorized access to a computer with the intention of causing damage.

Hacker - Person who gains authorized/unauthorized access to a computer WITHOUT the intention of causing damage.

Spyware - A Program that was created by a person(most frequently a cracker) to watch the computer and it's actions and report the details to the origional maker.

Virus - A maliciously made program that is used to destroy data, or hurt the performance of the computer. Makes copies of itself and sends it to more people.
Subject A : A hacker killed my computer! All my reports are gone and it's due tomarrow!

Subject B : Dude, if you lost all your data, that's probably a cracker that broke into your comp.

Subject A : I'm white you numbskull.

Subject B : No, a cracker destroys your data. A hacker looks at your data.

Subject A : Does it look like I care?
by Ei0nN August 22, 2004
Get the hacking mug.
Using something and change it, and make it do what you want with it.
Commonly used in the opensource communety becose every one can (re)use eatch other source code.

Confusing a computer program to give you access to that machine is also a hack. Doing this becose you want to test securety is a white hat
Intendedly useing a hack to take over that pc to do your bidding is a cracker or black hat.

Downloading hacks and try them to gain access to a computer with out knowing that it realy does is a script kiddy
putting linux on the nintendo DS is a good example of hacking.
the DS was not intended to do it but they made it do it.

by Diederik February 14, 2006
Get the hacking mug.
The act of operating a car as an illegal or unlicensed taxi service.

In the United Kingdom, the name hackney carriage refers to a taxicab licensed by the local authority. The New York colloquial term "hack" (which is probably derived from "hackney carriage") refers to a taxi or taxi-driver.
I made $200 yesterday hacking.
by glamorousoutlaw May 27, 2010
Get the hacking mug.
continual play of drum licks after instructor has cut off group.
Quit hacking on those drums so we can go on!
by blueberry29 June 28, 2010
Get the hacking mug.
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
Get the hacking mug.
1. finding possible exploits in software codes as to make it do your bidding. may be good (jailbreaking) or bad (cracking, piracy, virus, etc)

2. posting "i'm gay." or "i'm so hot." in a facebook account of a person who forgot to log out.
1. Hacking requires creative thinking.

2. OMG you hacked my facebook! You fiend!
by yoasakura38 December 26, 2011
Get the hacking mug.
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
Get the hacking mug.