A cracker is a type of computer hobbyist who enjoys trying to gain unauthorized access to computer systems. That means they are a kind of low-tier hacker, not out to do damage or steal information, merely to prove their own skills. They often leave a sort of calling card to prove their success either to themselves or within their community. While many crackers are not out to harm the sites they crack, some definitely are, and they pose a security risk for their targets.
Technipages Explains Cracker
Obviously, any sort of hacking can compromise websites and the data on them, but while some hackers have specific goals and targets, such as stealing credit card information, that is usually, at best, a secondary goal.
An important difference between hackers and crackers is that although both can operate outside of the law, only hackers have a ‘legal’ equivalent – penetration testers, or hackers who are hired to test a security system.
Whether crackers are necessarily malicious or not, their security breaches are illegal, and even ones that only want to test their skill negatively affect the sites they hit.
Both have a formal understanding of the intricacies of cybersecurity and know how to circumvent it, however, crackers are simply cyber-criminals, and usually ones less skilled than hackers.
Crackers usually do not create their own software in order to break in, but rather use someone else’s, or even reverse engineer existing software in order to find a weakness to exploit. For crackers that do aim to do financial harm – they are often after data to sell or something like credit card information.
Common Uses of Cracker
- Crackers are a type of cybercriminal intent on breaking into secure websites and web services.
- Crackers are sometimes but not always driven by financial gain – some are just out to prove their skills.
- Unlike crackers who are inherently criminals, some hackers do work to a positive outcome and to improve cybersecurity.
Common Misuses of Cracker
- Crackers are a type of program used by hackers in order to compromise a website or server.