Basic Security Terminology

The term hacking is used frequently in the media. A hacker was once considered an individual who understood the technical aspects of computer operating systems and networks. Hackers were individuals you turned to when you had a problem and needed extreme technical expertise. Today, as a result of the media use, the term is used more often to refer to individuals who attempt to gain unauthorized access to computer systems or networks. While some would prefer to use the terms cracker and cracking when referring to this nefarious type of activity, the terminology generally accepted by the public is that of hacker and hacking. A related term that is sometimes used is phreaking, which refers to the "hacking" of computers and systems used by the telephone company.