A Cracker is a person who breaks in to a security system only with a malicious intent. A person who breaks in to a computer system for the purpose of earning profit, finding security loopholes of the system, showing protest or just for the sake of challenge is called a hacker. In recent times the differentiation between the definitions of the two terms has become vague due to the misuse of them by the mass media and the existence of the people belonging to both categories.
What is a Hacker?
A person who breaks in to a computer system for the purpose of finding security loopholes, earning profit, showing protest or just for the sake of challenge is called a hacker. This is the meaning of hacker, which comes up in the computer security. There are several types of hackers identified as white hat hackers, black hat hacker, grey hat hacker, elite hacker, script kiddie, neophyte, blue hat and hactivist. A white hat (ethical) hacker breaks in to systems without any harmful intentions. Their task is to test the security level of a certain system. A black hat hacker is a true computer criminal who has malicious intentions. Their aim is the destruction of data and making the system not accessible to the authorized user of the system. A grey hat hacker has the characteristics of both the white hat hackers and black hat hackers. Elite hackers are the most skilled hackers who usually discover the newest opportunities unknown to the community. Script kiddie is not an expert hacker, but merely breaks in to systems using automated tools developed by others. Neophyte is a novice hacker without any sort of hacking knowledge or experience. A blue hat hacker (who does not belong to a certain security firm) will check for security vulnerabilities before launching a system. Hacktivist is an activist who uses hacking to announce a major event or a cause.
What is a Cracker?
A Cracker is a person who breaks in to a security system only with a malicious intent. They are very similar to black hat hackers. In other words, there cannot be crackers who break in for reasons other than harmful ones (unlike some types of hackers such as white and blue hat hackers). His only intension is to violate the integrity of the system and most probably harm data or make the system inaccessible to the authorized users.
What is the difference between Cracker and Hacker?
Generally, both hackers and crackers are people who break in to computer systems. Those who do it only with malicious intent are identified as crackers or black hat hackers. Other types of hackers such as white hat hackers do not have purely malicious intent. But, there is a long running dispute about the real meanings of these terms (cracker and hacker). According to the general public (thanks to the misuse of terms by mass media for a prolonged period of time) a hacker is known as a person who breaks in to computer system with harmful intentions (almost exactly similar to a cracker). However, this is not true according to the technical community. According to them, a hacker should be identified as a positive persona (who is highly talented in dealing with computers – a very clever programmer), while a cracker is actually the person who always commits criminal acts with regard to computer security.