Hacking, Really?

Over the past few years I’ve seen/heard people throw the word “hacking” around everywhere, even in situations where it’s not even appropriate. A lot of people do it to feel better about their technological skill- “Oh my account got hacked” vs. “I put a weak password and somebody guessed it.”

People have asked me to “hack” their MySpace layouts for them in the past, and that’s just always annoyed me. Here’s the list of what *is* and *isn’t* hacking.

h4. Not Hacking

* Getting into somebody’s Facebook/MySpace/Twitter/AIM account. That’s just the owner’s fault for putting such an easy-to-guess password or leaving the account logged in on a public computer.
* MySpace layouts. It’s all HTML and CSS, not hacking.
* Web Design. Yes, people have told me “wow you’re such a hacker, making websites.” *No, just no.*
* Getting onto a website like Facebook through somebody else’s proxy server.

h4. Hacking

* Getting into a database in order to get passwords and usernames.
* Getting into bank accounts and wiring money to your Swiss bank account.
* Breaking into a person’s computer via the internet and using it for illegal purposes.

Note that the activities in the latter could get you into serious trouble. That’s what hacking really is, a criminal activity, originally started for fun by geeks, which later turned into a more malicious criminal activity. When you call technically-savvy people “hackers” it’s not really a complement— it’s more of an ignorant insult than anything.

Posted in General, Technology
  • http://bennyk.me Benny

    Web Design. Yes, people have told me “wow you’re such a hacker, making websites.”


  • http://taus1f.net Tausif

    I lol’d at the “web designer = hacker” part because it really shows how stupid people can be.

  • http://slantedmndz.com Alec

    I agree so much that people with no Tech skills use “Hacker” for any little computer thing. People will tell me they are “Trying to hack the system” by opening a command line. STFU! But I highly disagree with “Breaking into a person’s computer via the internet and using it for illegal purposes.” And the “hacking really is, a criminal activity…” It doesn’t have to be that way and it gets a really bad rap because the media focus only on the malicious attempt. If you really want to brush up more on what real, good ol’ fashioned hackers do/did: defcon.org and 2600.org

  • http://dzine-studios.com Dan

    Yes, but I mentioned that hacking used to be for fun back in the day, However nowadays, despite a small subculture of true-blue hackers, the vast majority of them have criminal motives.

  • http://benj3.com Benje

    Hackers are terrorists, guys.

  • http://slantedmndz.com Alec

    Not true. Not true at all.

  • http://benj3.com Benje

    I was kidding.

  • http://fynmark.org/home Tim

    I’ve never been called a hacker or known somebody called a hacker who wasn’t. Though, I do know a kid who is a “true-blue” hacker.

  • http://net-cake.com Paul D’Amora

    Speaking of hacking,
    anyone been to China lately?

    :P – virtual cookie if you get it

  • http://dzine-studios.com Dan

    @Paul: DIdn’t China try to hack Google’s servers to get the info on human rights activists in China?

  • http://net-cake.com Paul D’Amora

    Cookie for you.

    They hacked a bunch of major companies (Google, Adobe) but Google was cool enough to hack them back.

  • http://benj3.com Benje

    Obviously, Google is awesome.

  • http://dzine-studios.com Dan

    Plus Google and Yahoo are basically flipping off China now. They’re not going to censor their results anymore and if needed, they’ll move out of China. Now if more major businesses did that, China would be forced to become free-er or risk losing billions.

  • CodeDude

    I wouldn’t mind if Google moved out of China…I can’t stand that the US is so reliant on China.

    (by the way, I like the new hover for your navigation :-)

  • http://kr1s.net Kris

    I was labeled as a hacker just for putting WM6.5 on my (late) WM5 cell phone. *facepalm* Also, lol@China.

  • http://mikeletscher.com Mike Letscher

    Hacking applies to other things as well. It isn’t always a bad thing. Such as web “hacks”, getting around problems by using solutions that deviate from the norm.