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< Previous Section: Do I need to worry about Security?  Table of Contents   Next Section: Security and Linux >

1.2      The “Hacker” word

The term “hacker” is frequently used in the media when describing an individual who breaks into other people’s computer systems. This is actually a misuse of a word that at one time did not have the negative connotations it now has. Years ago the word hacker was used to describe a talented computer programmer. Hackers were generally admired for their ability to rapidly write complex and efficient computer programs.

Sadly the term is now used in a derogatory sense to refer to what is essentially a criminal act and this new use for the word is now firmly rooted in popular culture. It is used by the news media, included in book titles and was even adopted by Hollywood the 1996 Angelina Jolie film titled “Hackers”. For better or worse the new meaning is here to stay even if those of us who remember the old meaning of the word wish it wasn’t so.

In this book we will bow to popular culture and use "hacker" in its new context with sincere apologies to those who would prefer that a hacker was still nothing more than a great programmer.

< Previous Section: Do I need to worry about Security?  Table of Contents   Next Section: Security and Linux >

 
 
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