The term “hacker” is frequently
used in the media when
describing an individual who breaks into other people’s computer
is actually a misuse of a word that at one time did not have the
connotations it now has. Years ago the word hacker was used to describe
talented computer programmer. Hackers were generally admired for their
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
rooted in popular culture. It is used by the news media, included in
titles and was even adopted by Hollywood
the 1996 Angelina Jolie film titled “Hackers”. For better or worse the
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.