There is so much going on in the online world nowadays, wherein we are thrown with such much complex news and information that we sometimes do not even understand. Sure, the internet brings with so many advantages that have made our lives efficient. However, it is not short of the shady side and shady people.
Thus, with this comes a myriad of well-meaning information about the risks of malware attacks and hackers that roam the sites. But have you ever heard of crackers? As a non-tech savvy, you are probably thinking that crackers are an interchangeable word used for hackers. That is not the case.
Hackers Vs Crackers
A hacker is a person who possesses the interest, skill, and understanding of the internal workings and skeleton of a system, computer or network. Unlike popular myth, hackers are not bad people. Hackers use their skills to find weaknesses within a system or network and find a way to mitigate the problem. They normally legitimately hired by organizations as systems and network auditors to spot out and recommend solutions to vulnerabilities.
These security professionals possess knowledge in programming, computer lingo, codes, and computer security. And they normally conduct their work ethically, yes, they hack ethically! Hackers work to improve systems and create defenses rather than just penetrating the existing defenses. Because of their skills they can anticipate risks to which your system or networks are exposed to y thing as malicious attackers.
Crackers on the other end are those individuals that you are constantly warned about. These individuals work to penetrate the organization’s systems and networks without authorization. These are the culprits that hackers work to keep out of your systems and networks. Crackers are normally malicious, with the intent of steal information or hijacking your networks and systems for ransom.
They work by looking for the backdoors to your systems bad to penetrate them in this manner. These same backdoors are the ones that hackers work to identify and close before crackers take advantage. Crackers can also be the ones who beat software algorithms to guess the activation codes of reputable manufacturers like Movavi. One can even say a cracker is the ultimate poster child for cybercrime.
So unlike hackers, the main objective of a cracker is to penetrate, steal, ransom or destroy. These individuals are normally motivated by financial gain – so whether they are commissioned by a competitor to steal and destroy data or are simply looking to steal credit card information, they are always up for financial gain. And other crackers, simply extend their sociopathic tendencies to the virtual world and a merely motivated by publicity and satisfying their egos.
And some of the few crackers may even be breaking into systems and networks, believing they are doing so with altruistic purposes. A good example, crackers who break into networks of big corporations hated by people en masse for some reason – maybe because they are polluting the nearby lake or involved in child labor abroad. Crackers break into these systems for the sole purpose of making the corporations pay either by ransoming data or simply destroying it
In general terms, we can say hackers are the good guys whilst the crackers are the culprits. Hackers are normally given the legal mandate to break into networks with the main purpose of spotting out loopholes. Their report is then used to fortify the system’s defenses. This makes their whole process ethical. Crackers on the other end, do the opposite. They penetrate systems with the main purpose of harming and there is normally a hidden agenda whether its financial gain or publicity.
Differences in Skills
Typically, hackers possess broader skills compared to crackers. Hackers are skilled in multiple computer processes including codes, languages and can even design and build up their programs and systems. Crackers on the other end possess limited and compounded skills.
Whilst they can penetrate the one specific system, they normally do not possess the skills to build their programs. Yet, even with these limited skills, they are never to be ignored as they have invested their time in search of ways to penetrate and damage systems.
The bottom line is that we can say, hackers are the gray hats of the IT world. Yes, there is black and white in this world. Hackers simply have to think and operate as crackers to spot out the vulnerabilities in systems or networks. What makes them good and ethical is that they normally have permission to do. Ever heard of those adverts from Tesla or Microsoft, prompting you to penetrate systems of newly launched products or software. This also counts as permission for hackers.
And most often in these situations, when the hacker spots out the vulnerabilities, it well within their right to request a fee for the work. And they are normally compensated for their time and work. Crackers on the other end are simply criminals. They will exploit the vulnerabilities of these newly launched products or software for destructive purposes and personal gain.
Know The Differences
Thus, with the growing fears spread by media outlets, there’s no better time to always equip yourself with more knowledge of what is going on around. This helps you to make informed decisions rather than being overly fearful with the masses thanks to the media frenzies that blow everything out of proportion.
This isn’t to say that you should not follow up and listen to vital information and news but it is also important to also be knowledgeable of current information. Consequently, hackers and crackers are not the same. As much as we need anti-malware programs and software to protect us from malware attackers and skimming individuals all over the internet, we also need hackers to build these programs.
Think of it in the direction of, with no hackers, we wouldn’t know how to fortify defenses, design protection software and even better our systems and networks. And yes, crackers are the instigators, the culprits of malware attacks. The ransomware, phishing emails, adware, and all those annoying and lethal programs.