Hackers exposed

The Jargon File (www.science.uva.nl/~mes/jargon/) defines a hacker as "a person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary . . . one who programs enthusiastically . . . an expert or enthusiast of any kind".

"Hacker" is a 1960s' computer industry term for programmers, but in recent years it has popularly come to represent people who break into computer systems. Despite the protests of the terminology purists, that's how most people use the word today.

The hackers you'll meet in this article are members of 2600 Australia, a loosely-organised association of people who share interests in computer security - and how to get around it. They spend much of their time prowling the Net, looking for vulnerable systems, probing for cracks in their defences, and seeing just what possibilities exist for exploitation. For hacking purists, the aim of the game is to find these vulnerabilities as an exercise and a display of one's skills, not necessarily to do anything malicious to a compromised system.

2600 member poppy says, "Hacking is the art of manipulating systems to perform in a manner which they were not designed to do," and most other members see the development of skills and knowledge as the main point of the exercise. However, there are also some hackers with darker motives. That's why it's important to know a bit about Internet security, and groups such as 2600 Australia can be surprisingly helpful in your quest for network safety.

Who are the hackers?

Why do they do it?

Black hats, white hats, grey hats

Hack attack

Hacker systems

Security on the Web

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Aldis Ozols

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?