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Hackers Defined by red hat docs :)


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#1 Bi0s

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Posted 27 December 2002 - 10:27 AM

As I have just re-configured my server, it's now running red hat, I started looking into locking the box down, so I'm going through the red hat security guide, and I come across their "hackers and crackers" page. this is what it says :

Chapter 2. Attackers and Risks

In order to plan and implement a good security strategy, you should first be aware of some of the issues which determined, motivated attackers exploit to compromise systems. Before detailing these issues, we will define the terminology used when identifying an attacker.

Hackers and CrackersThe modern meaning of the term hacker has origins dating back to the 1960s and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Tech Model Railroad Club, which designed train sets of large scale and intricate detail. Hacker was a name used for club members who discovered a clever trick or workaround for a problem.

The term hacker has since come to describe everything from computer buffs to gifted programmers. A common trait among most hackers is a willingness to explore in detail how computer systems and networks function with little or no outside motivation. Open source software developers often consider themselves and their colleagues hackers and use the word as a term of respect.

Hackers typically follow a form of the hacker ethic which dictates that the quest for information and expertise is essential and that sharing this knowledge is the hackers duty to the community. During this quest for knowledge, some hackers enjoy the academic challenges of circumventing security controls on computer systems. For this reason, the press often uses the term hacker to describe those who illicitly access systems and networks with unscrupulous, malicious, or criminal intent. The more accurate term for this type of computer hacker is cracker — a term created by hackers in the mid-1980s to differentiate the two communities.

Shades of GreyThere are levels of distinction to describe individuals who find and exploit vulnerabilities in systems and networks. They are described by the shade of hat that they "wear" when performing their security investigations and this shade is indicative of their intent.

The white hat hacker is one who tests networks and systems to examine their performance and determine how vulnerable they are to intrusion. Usually, white hat hackers crack their own systems or the systems of a client who has specifically employed them for the purposes of security auditing. Academic researchers and professional security consultants are two examples of white hat hackers.

A black hat hacker is synonymous with a cracker. In general, crackers are less focused on programming and the academic side of breaking into systems. They often rely on available cracking programs and exploit well known vulnerabilities in systems to uncover sensitive information for personal gain or to inflict damage on the target system or network.

The grey hat hacker, on the other hand, has the skills and intent of a white hat hacker in most situations but uses his knowledge for less than noble purposes on occasion. A grey hat hacker can be thought of as a white hat hacker who wears a black hat at times to accomplish his own agenda.

Grey hat hackers typically subscribe to another form of the hacker ethic, which says it is acceptable to break into systems as long as the hacker does not commit theft or breach confidentiality. Some would argue, however that the act of breaking into a system is in itself unethical.

Regardless of the intent of the intruder, it is important to know the weaknesses a cracker will likely attempt to exploit. The remainder of the chapter will focus on these issues.


I thought they nailed it fairly well.

#2 hacnslash

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Posted 27 December 2002 - 11:38 AM

Hey, that's one of the extremely few times i've seen hackers being differentiated from crackers in mainstream media.
Good job redhat, now maybe i won't be so turned off by the candylike-xplike gui on 8.0 B) ....... :voteyes: :voteyes: :voteyes: :voteyes: :voteyes: :voteyes:

#3 Zapperlink

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Posted 27 December 2002 - 12:58 PM

Great Job Redhat. BTW about the gui... a few things to keep in mind is the gui enviornment in which you run. KDE or Gnome. Those will define 90% of what your desktop looks like. With that in mind a lot of the options are changeable. Also there are many other enviornments that you can run from.

#4 Bi0s

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Posted 27 December 2002 - 01:26 PM

I think he was talking about the new "blue curve" desktop in Red Hat 8. Alot of controversy was brought up over them doing that. But damn, to me it looks sweet. best linux desktop i've seen yet.

I found that RH was a bit harder to configure as a server /router comapred to mandrake, But i think it's worth it. to many things were "broken" in mandrake.

#5 hacnslash

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Posted 27 December 2002 - 02:49 PM

actually i was talking about bluecurve and indeed it looks great, but it does remind me of xp(shiny stuff, round buttons, a lot of colors). But looking great took up a lot of resources on my computer(and by a lot I mean like 30 percent). That's when I got rid of it, but still redhat is still one of the most used, and good looking, if u have the machine for it. :voteyes:

#6 StankDawg

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Posted 27 December 2002 - 02:49 PM

I am shocked to see an almost perfect definition :omfg:

The front page on this site sys "white hat/grey hat" and I wish more people knew why.

What about "red hat" hackers? ;)




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