The Word ' Hacking '

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Nothing has been abused as much as the word ‘secularism’ in modern day Indian politics. Similar is the case with the word ‘hacking’ which has been excessively used and abused in the information technology lexicon. It’s quite interesting to note the etymology of the word ‘hacking’. In its original technological sense, the word ‘hacker’, coined at MIT in the 1960s, simply connoted a computer virtuoso. Note the sharp contrast between its original meaning and the general public opinion of the word ‘hacking’. However, even the latest edition of the New Hacker’s Dictionary defines a hacker as someone ‘who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities; one who programmes enthusiastically, even…show more content…
Then, even among the hackers’ community, damaging others’ systems while exploring, intentionally or unintentionally was considered unethical and incompetent. Under such circumstances the early 90s saw the emergence of the term “Crackers”. The ‘hackers’ were concerned with “ethical hacking”, while ‘crackers’ with ‘unethical hacking’. Even to this day, there are advocates of the term ‘hacker’, who don’t want it connote anything negative, but obviously that’s what it does in general sense.

I. Present Day Understanding

A few decades ago, the term ‘hacker’ and ‘hacking’ were known only to a relatively small number of people, mainly those in the technically specialized world of computing. Today they have become ‘common knowledge’, something with which most people are familiar, if only through hearsay and exposure to mass media and popular culture accounts. Due to this pop culture element there is often misunderstanding among masses who identify every other kind of cybercrime as ‘hacking’. Improper representation of hackers and hacking activities in movies, TV shows, and sometimes in mainstream media is responsible for this misunderstanding. The public discourse on hacking appears to evoke fear and fascination in equal measure. At one hand, media exaggerate degree of threat or danger that the activity carries. On the other, they exhibit considerable ambivalence to produce a kind of admiration.
Current discussion has coalesced around
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