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Do you think the media stereotypes hackers?
YES 71%
NO 28%

Votes: 35

 Hackers; Victims of media stereotype

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jun 11, 2002
It seems like you're always hearing in the news about hackers who are getting put in jail for "hacking" into websites and stealing vital information. What the public doesn't know is, it's not hackers who are breaking into those sites, it's crackers; a totally different thing! Crackers are the one's who are cracking into websites, crashing networks, infecting online users with virii and simply causing mayhem! But the media has put a sterotype all over hacker name claiming that they're the one's to blame for all the damage done! What they dont know is, hackers are the one's who made the Internet and the World Wide Web! Hackers are the one's who are testing security, making firewalls, anti-virus programs and other security related programs. But with the sterotyping that the media has put all over the hacker name companies are shutting down hacking related sites, getting people fired from their jobs because they're suspected of being a hacker and simply giving hackers a bad name. If only the media and the public could see the truth behind all this, they would truly know that hackers are the people trying to protect online users, such as yourself, from the evil grasps of crackers! But until the media sees that they're wrong...hackers may never get the praise that they so rightfully deserve.

[editor's note, by Peter Johnson] Our rejection letter is enclosed.


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From: shoeboy <>
Subject: Your submission

Dear shadowfox,

We at were offended by your recent submission entitled "Hackers; Victims of media stereotype." While we do not deny that many web site defacements and information thefts are the work of Caucasians, we find your unfounded assertion that all such attacks are performed by whites to be extremely distasteful. This was only compounded by your use of the ethnic slur "cracker."

Please take your hatred of persons of European extraction elsewhere. We will not be publishing racist statements.

Peter Johnson
Senior Editor,


Is this some kind of sick joke? (none / 0) (#1)
by mrt76 on Fri Jun 14th, 2002 at 09:43:28 AM PST
No where in this submission does the author mention skin color or ethnicity. CRACKING is an ACTIVITY, therefore one who CRACKS is a CRACKER.
"...I'm in no mood for a freak show this afternoon..."

Honky wanna cracker? (none / 0) (#2)
by Peter Johnson on Sun Jun 16th, 2002 at 11:05:52 PM PST

Are you adequate?

Mr. Johnson (none / 0) (#3)
by mrt76 on Mon Jun 17th, 2002 at 09:21:05 AM PST
I am aware that cracker is also an ethnic slur. However I just don't see how you thought the author was using it that way. Please enlighten me.
"...I'm in no mood for a freak show this afternoon..."

In other news, (none / 0) (#4)
by because it isnt on Mon Jun 17th, 2002 at 01:03:42 PM PST
Johnsons. You hypocrite. -- because it isn't

Props (none / 0) (#5)
by InvaderTIM on Mon Jun 17th, 2002 at 02:57:11 PM PST
You are right my friend, even the government hires hackers to TRY and break in to thier systems so that they can find the back doors and find effective ways to block them off. I appluad you

Cracking (none / 0) (#6)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Jul 16th, 2002 at 01:45:13 AM PST
I can understand Mr. Johnson's objection to this letter and why he believes that it is offensive, however he shows a misunderstanding of some terms used in the computer world. In computers, racial slurs do not tend to occur (at least, not as much as in real life). As a result, the term 'Cracker' has been taken to describe someone who breaks into other people's computers. The term probably came from "cracking a safe".

Hm... I wonder? (none / 0) (#7)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Aug 8th, 2002 at 02:02:23 AM PST
I believe that you removed the part about what you feel is racism... right? I bet he used the term 'White Hat Hacker'?

Anyways, whether he did or not, I will explain the current underground, and a users status.

White Hat: These are true hackers, advanced programmers, scripters, network Admin's etc. They do not believe in malicious acts and try to prevent them by helping people. White Hat Hackers try to stop, or prevent the attempts of a Black Hat Hacker

Black Hat: These are essentially Crackers... They perform illegal activites, and are malcious... these people are really hated by the underground/White Hat hackers

Neither of these have any ethnic relations, they are based on White=Good, Black=Bad, and should not be taken as an insult to a particuler race

There are other status', about 2 other primary status's, but no need to go into detail... they are 'Lamers' and 'Newbies'

I am a computer programmer, scripter, networks, and have some knoweldge in computer security, and I have been referred to as a WHITE HAT hacker many time, though I have NEVER gained illegal access to a server.

I would be proud to be considered a hacker by my peers, it is an honour, not an insult... unless you are referring to BLACK HATS/CRACKERS, I would be extremely insulted if so

I hope this is a better description, and meaning to the term Hacker, and its counter part, cracker?

I am Caucasian, but I am in no way racist, I have many great friends who are from different decent, including African

Geoff - AKA - Freakyg

PS. I hope that article 'Is your son a computer hacker' is dead and gone... That was ridden with so many flaws... anyways... better not get into that;)

PPS. For a great site, to learn the truth about hacking, is It is a site that allows NO ILLEGAL Discussions on its BBS. I do my best to keep it clean and legal. Its primay goal is to undo what the media has done, and bring back the meaning as it was Old School, people who sat at computers, and learned;)

NOTE: No insult is intended towards anyone, including the site, (Well, some insult may be taken by those who intend to do anything malicious to a computer... what did they ever do to you?)

protect your sun ? (none / 0) (#11)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Sep 6th, 2002 at 08:17:41 AM PST
I recently read one of your articles on a father trying to open the possibility to parents that thier children are hackers...
I find this highly insulting as a hacker by definition is someone who works with networking i have a home network, does this make me a hacker?
This man also describes a hacker as anyone who wishes to upgrade thier computer...well in reply to this I would have to say, would that mean that my teachers and peers are hackers? He also described linux as a hacker based operating which is not the case at all, it is simply and operating system built for the more advanced user. He also says that anyone who doesnt use AOL is a hacker, i would be willing to bet that the people who made this site wouldn't be using AOL, infact your website is made with "PERL" a supposed hacking tool. He made constant errors relating to technicle terms and also says that if your sun spends more than 30 minutes on the internet a day or if he plays "quake" (a computer game) that he is a hacker, if this is the case then what sets quake apart from the millions apon millions of other software titles and wouldnt therefor anyone who plays computer games be a hacker. so in conclusion as a message to this man, you have insulted alot of people with your letter and should get your facts streight before putting your false conclusions on the internet.

Watch what you say about Linux! (none / 0) (#8)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Aug 14th, 2002 at 12:44:48 PM PST
Let me simplify this:

A "hacker" breaks into a server and edits a web page or deletes something.

A "cracker" sends viruses to people; overloads a targeted server with traffic (beware of forum flooders), causing a Denial of Service attack and bringing a server to its knees; or implants worms/viruses in a server, causing the data to be ruined.

In short, a hacker hacks a website directly, while a cracker uses indirect methods. Another type of cracker "cracks" pirated software to bypass the software's copy protection. Crackers do NOT belong to any particular ethnic group.

Oops. (none / 0) (#9)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Aug 14th, 2002 at 12:47:08 PM PST
Apparently, the subject line of an earlier comment gets pasted into the subject field of the next comment you post...

What is wrong with these people? (none / 0) (#10)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Sep 1st, 2002 at 06:46:50 PM PST
Where did so many ignorant, ill-informed and generally stupid people come from, and why must they insist on spewing out their rantings of hatred and intolerance on their "community."

People like this shouldn't be allowed electricity, let alone a domain name.

I'm not a hacker but I recognise their importance and that their intensions are mainly benign. I can't beleive the editors of this site can show so much lack of responsibilty.


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