Updated: 09/15/2017 by Computer Hope

A hacker may refer to any of the following:

Anonymous individual using a laptop.

1. 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 evening rates were billed to customers during midday hours.

Today, a malicious hacker is usually called a malicious user, black hat, or criminal hacker. These terms describe 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 test their abilities. Other reasons can include hacking for profit, political, 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 curious about how computers, hardware, 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 called "black hats." Honest hackers with good intentions are called "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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