Hacker vs Cracker. What’s The Difference?

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In the late 60’s – early 70’s, the internet had not evolved much into anything more than a few military installations communicating with each other in a rudimentary way. Not having been a military man, I wouldn’t be able to say much as to how rudimentary these communications were, along with the fact that I wouldn’t want the FBI knocking on my door asking questions about that information despite it being decades old, with most of it now being in the public domain.

I am ask the question a lot, as of late, I have been ask the question more than normal. “What’s the difference between a Hacker and Cracker?”

The explanation is simple really. One is good and the reason that technology – everything from tubes to transistors – has progressed to the point that it has and the other one, not so much. As a matter of fact, the cracker is the one that continues to terrorize the internet as we know it today, not helping in the progress for good, but determined to destroy as much as possible of a internet that 90% of people world wide have to rely on as a way of life.

You see. In the 60’s through 90’s – and somewhat in today’s world – technology was “new”, “fresh”, “exciting”. Everybody wanted to play with it, touch it, poke it with a stick, everybody wanted to know what made it tick; what all can it do, referring to a single integrated circuit, resistor or transistor.

Thousands of geeks completely enthralled with this new thing called technology, they set out to didactically dissect these new things to find out what made them tic and how can they make them do things that they were not designed to do in hopes of maybe getting the manufacturers to revise these devices, produce new ones and then they would build a newer, better project. Think Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. They, like most of us were tinkerer’s playing with new ideas and technology and we see were that led to the progression of technology today.

The sad reality in today’s world is that, like mentioned above, 90% of everything is reliant on the internet functioning with what I could only guess just about as many people not giving a rats butt about what makes it all work.

Enter the “cracker”. This is a person(s) that doesn’t have a care about all the individual parts and pieces that make it all work, they are more concerned about how can they get into someone’s computer, IOT device or network. Like a hacker, they do serve to enhance a security industry that was born out of necessity.

The unfortunate part of all of this is that crackers have proliferated to the point that they have automated systems – bots and C2 servers – with the sole propose of propagating everything from spam to complete destruction of an entire network.

On a almost daily basis, it only takes turning on the TV, Radio – or internet to see that there has been another data breach or a complete city held hostage by a ransomware attack.

While today’s technology has evolved to a mature state, it is nothing of what I thought it would be like as a child dreaming of all things technology.

I can only imagine that in the coming decades, there will be an all-out cyber war that carries on to point of individual violence that the world is not ready for or to see.

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