But what about the good things hackers have done? Like the light bulb?
“Hackers are NOT what the mainstream media portrays as people who break into networks, computers, and do bad things,” says Larry Maloney, a volunteer with the Hacker Dojo, a community center for those good tinkerers in Mountain View, California. It’s a “misnomer for a Cracker or a Black Hat. A hacker is someone who takes things apart to learn and see how they work and then puts them back together.”
Some examples of great hackers in history (both past and present)? Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve “Woz” Wozniak.
Those people out there who break things or create viruses to be destructive? They’re crackers, Black Hats, and anarchists.
“Hackers build things; crackers break them,” Maloney said. He says the Hacker Dojo does not condone or provide tools that might be used to compromise or hack into other websites. “A hacker is anyone that is skilled at what he or she does; an artisan.