How to catch a cracker in the US?

Larry Sheldon LarrySheldon at
Thu Mar 13 23:35:00 UTC 2014

On 3/13/2014 8:22 AM, Sholes, Joshua wrote:
> On 3/13/14, 12:35 AM, "shawn wilson" < at> wrote:
>> A note on terminology - whether you know what you're doing, actually break
>> into a system, or obtain a thumb drive with data that you weren't supposed
>> to have - it has the same end so I'd refer to it by the same term -
>> hacking. Trying to differentiate terms based on skill, target, or data
>> type is kinda dumb.
> If one came up in this field with a mentor who was old school, or if one
> is old school oneself, one tends use the original (as I understand it)
> definitions--a "cracker" breaks security or obtains data unlawfully, a
> "hacker" is someone who likes ethically playing (in the "joyful
> exploration" sense) with complicated systems.
> People who are culturally younger tend use "hacker", as you are doing, for
> the former and as far as I can tell no specific term for the latter.
> If you ask me, this is something of a cultural loss.

Not sure I can agree with that.  I have been in this game for a very 
long time, but for most of it in places where the world's population 
cleaved neatly into two parts: "Authorized Users" who could be 
identified by the facts that they had ID cards, Badges, and knew the 
door code; and "trespassers" who were all others.

Then you new kids came along and (pointlessly, in my opinion) divided 
the later group into the two described above.
Requiescas in pace o email           Two identifying characteristics
                                         of System Administrators:
Ex turpi causa non oritur actio      Infallibility, and the ability to
                                         learn from their mistakes.
                                           (Adapted from Stephen Pinker)

More information about the NANOG mailing list