Hacking is defined as the act to attempt to exploit a computer system or a private network inside a computer. Broadly speaking, it is the intentional, unauthorized access to, or control over data in, a computer network system for some illicit purpose. Almost all hacking is a form of trespass. This entry provides an overview of the origins of hacking and further discusses its relationship to hacktivism, the actors involved (i.e., white hat, grey hat, and black hat hackers), as well as attempts to prosecute and prevent hacking.


Hacking and consequently hackers occupy an ambivalent position in popular culture. From early 1960s to 1970s, hacking was a positive term: a hacker was a creative programmer who wrote elegant or clever codes. From the 1970s to mid-1990s, ...

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