Computer hacking is the practice of modifying computer hardware and software to accomplish a goal outside of the creator’s original purpose. People who engage in computer hacking activities are often called hackers. Since the word “hack” has long been used to describe someone who is incompetent at his/her profession, some hackers claim this term is offensive and fails to give appropriate recognition to their skills.
Computer hacking is most common among teenagers and young adults, although there are many older hackers as well. Many hackers are true technology buffs who enjoy learning more about how computers work and consider computer hacking an “art” form. They often enjoy programming and have expert-level skills in one particular
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A simple search using the term "hacker" with any search engine results in hundreds of links to illegal serial numbers, ways to downloadand pirate commercial software, etc. Showing this information off to others may result in the students being considered a "hacker" by their less technologically savvy friends, further reinforcing antisocial behavior. In some cases, individuals move on to programming and destruction of other individuals programs through the writing of computer viruses and Trojan horses, programs which include computer instructions to execute a hacker's attack. If individuals can successfully enter computers via a network, they may be able to impersonate an individual with high level security clearance access to files, modifying or deleting them or introducing computer viruses or Trojan horses. As hackers become more sophisticated,they may begin using sniffers to steal large amounts of confidential information, become involved in burglary of technical manuals, larceny or espionage
Unlike most computer crime / misuse areas which are clear cut in terms of actions and legalities (e.g. softwarepiracy), computer hacking is more difficult to define. Computer hacking always involves some degree of infringement on the privacy of others or damage to computer-based property