Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

A hacker may refer to any of the following:

Computer hacker1. A hacker is a term that first started being used in the 1960s and described a programmer or someone who hacked computer code. Later the term evolved into an individual who had an advanced understanding of computers, networking, programming, or hardware, but did not have any malicious intents.

In 1981, Ian Murphy, also known as "Captain Zap", became the first hacker to be convicted of hacking. He hacked into the AT&T computer network and modified the billing rates system, changing the internal clocks so that cheaper late-night rates were billed to customers during mid-day hours.

Today, a malicious hacker is usually referred to as a malicious user, black hat, or criminal hacker, which describes any individual who illegally breaks into computer systems to damage or steal information. Some people who consider themselves leet may refer to themselves as a leet haxors, h4x0rs, or HaXXorZ. However, often these users are nothing more than script kiddies.

Why do people hack?

Most computer hackers hack because of curiosity, for the lulz, to bypass restrictions, or to test their computer abilities. Other reasons can include hacking for profit, revenge, and destruction.

Are all hackers bad?

No. Movies, books, and the media often promote the stereotype of hackers as malicious, antisocial, anti-establishment programmers. In reality, most hackers are just curious about how computers, networks, or programs work. When they hack, they are experimenting, innovating, learning, and developing new technologies. To distinguish between "good" and "bad" hackers, malicious hackers are referred to as "black hats". Honest, well-meaning hackers are referred to as "White hats".

2. In online gaming, a hacker is a term associated with a gamer who is cheating.

3. Hackers is a cult favorite movie first released on September 15, 1995, starring Angelina Jolie, Johnny Lee Miller, and Matthew Lillard.

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