History: Hacking? What does it mean?

When I started to pursue my career in the field of computers, software, system and other technologies, I don’t really mind at all what will be the next opportunities awaits from me when I pass all my units on the course I take. When I started to learn some form of hacking on the web, there I thought this kind of skills will measure how great you are in any technologies but it does not really define you as a great person. I do not even consider myself as a hacker even though I do some of their skills for a purpose and as an ethical hacker. I know you are likely bored on what am I discussing on my first blog post but let define first the terms that you will meet on this article.

What is Hacking?

Based on Merriam-Webster, hack is to cut or sever with repeated irregular or unskillful blows. It allows you to write computer programs for enjoyment and to gain access to a computer illegally. It is usually a creative solution to a computer hardware or programming problem or limitation.

What is Hacker?

Again thanks to Merriam-Webster as one of my reference for this blog post and on the next discussion of my topic. Hacker is the one that hacks. They are expert at programming and solving problems with a computer and who illegally gains access to and sometimes tampers with information in a computer system.

So you can see from this definition, hack is already consider an illegal form of skills because it is trying to create something that can gain access illegally. But for you, do you really think hacking is really illegal? Does the hacker can be an outlaw? Or can be considered as patriot? Since some of the hacker now a days regards their selves as a defender, especially of each right, against presumed interference by the federal government.

Before the world of computers came up, the word hack is already used a long time ago. Let’s just say, from the era of the creative minds, Socrates and Galileo. Hack is a different word to them of course but it means they have their own theory and techniques on how to manage to run not a system but the mind of others. I have a subject which is Information Security, there before we start to discuss all the .PDF files given to us we had a short documentary viewing about hacking. There I learned that the word hack already existed since then. It even started on the telephone lines. Some of the hackers here are called “phreaks” or “Phone Phreaking”. It is the art and science of cracking the phone network (so as, such as, to make free long-distance calls). By extension, security-cracking in any other context (especially, but not exclusively, on communications networks).

John Draper
John Draper – in his younger years.
Colorized version of B&W photo
from NightScribe – (Broken link – Sept. 25, 1999)

It is the early 1970’s when John Draper makes a long-distance call for free by blowing a precise tone into a telephone that tells the phone system to open a line. Draper discovered the whistle as a give-away in a box of children’s cereal. Draper, who later earns the handle “Captain Crunch,” is arrested repeatedly for phone tampering throughout the 1970s, this is based on the St. Petersburg Times Online article I have read: A history of hacking.

"Berkeley Blue" (Steve Jobs) and "Oak Toebark" (Steve Wozniak)
Starting from the right, “Berkeley Blue” (Steve Jobs) and
“Oak Toebark” (Steve Wozniak) – in their younger years.
from Steve Jobs Entrepreneur

Also, creator of the first computer also became hacker before. “Berkeley Blue” (Steve Jobs) and “Oak Toebark” (Steve Wozniak), the two members of California’s Home brew Computer Club begin making “blue boxes,” devices used to hack into the phone system. Later go on to found Apple Computer. This is based also on the St. Petersburg Times Online article I have read: A history of hacking.

At early 1980s and so on from this modern times, when computer was created and transform into other much more easy and portable to use, hackers are also increasing. Lot of crimes and illegal acts were also found. Well, we cannot really control them from what they want because as time goes by people also learn new things and we need to face that truth. We are the one who needs to learn how to adopt into this new things around us. If you want to read the complete history of this hacking, you can use my reference: A history of hacking based on the St. Petersburg Times Online. And if you want a complete timeline about this, you can also read A Brief History of Computer Hacking by Michael Devitt.

Age does not matter on hackers. I thought hackers will be around their mid-20s or 30s and above but no, there are also teens who can hack different kind of system just by using their computers and doing some hacking skills. Their ages were listed in the references I used to build up this post.

I read Mr. Devitt conclusion about the hacker and on his article he said, “Don’t Hate the Hacker”. From this I believe that lot of agency like FBI in United States does not like what hackers do because they are destructing some of the private and confidential information of other government sectors. Hackers should really need to ask first for permission before they hack something but this can lead to some misunderstanding because what if the company person know that their system need to hack of course they will know who will be the mastermind once the system crashed or a system failure occurred. That’s why mostly of the hackers remain to be in silence and do the tweaking without any noise. (Tweak means to make small adjustments and refers to fine-tuning or adjusting a complex system, usually an electronic device). And hackers can really help to improve one system since they can decide what the possible weakness of the system and avoid other hackers to manipulate it. As Mr. Devitt also think that hackers serve a useful purpose in that they make companies take action and be responsible for their laziness and lack of organization.

We all have our own choice whether it is good or bad. And as we go on to different chapters of our lives, we all have reasons on our choices. It just a matter on how you will accept the consequences you will meet in the end. New International Version (©1984):

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10

Because only; New Living Translation (©2007):

“God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.” – Ecclesiastes 12:14


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