Paul Buchheit on "Hacking"
Buchheit has produced a really good article that, at last, clearly describes the nature of "hacking."
I especially like how he handles the debate about hacking being a good thing ("clever hack") or a bad thing (eg. illegal breakins). Some people propose that we use two different words ("hacker" and "cracker"), but those never quite feel right. The essay explains why.
- Once the actual rules are known, it may be possible to perform
"miracles" -- things which violate the perceived rules. [...] Although this
terminology is occasionally disputed, I think it is essentially correct --
these hackers are discovering the actual rules of the computer systems (e.g.
buffer overflows), and using them to circumvent the intended rules of the
system (typically access controls).
-- Paul Buchheit, Applied Philosophy, aka Hacking