Hacking - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences

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For years, "hacker" was a positive term that described computer enthusiasts who had a zeal for computer programming. Those who hacked took pride in their ability to write computer programs that stretched the capabilities of computer systems and find clever solutions to seemingly impossible problems. Although many computer enthusiasts still ascribe to this definition, the everyday usage of the word has changed significantly. Today, "hacking" generally refers to individuals who break into computer systems or use their programming skills or expert knowledge to act maliciously. (Traditional hackers—the good kind—prefer to use the term "cracker" to refer to these individuals.)

Some of the most common types of hacking include:

  • Breaking into computer networks;
  • Bypassing passwords or copy protection in computer software;
  • Defacing and/or damaging Internet web sites;
  • Causing a denial of service attack on a web site or network (preventing legitimate users...

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This section contains 1,455 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Hacking Encyclopedia Article
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Hacking from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.