A history of hacking
Hacking has been around for more than a century. In the 1870s, several teenagers were flung off the country's brand new phone system by enraged authorities. Here's a peek at how busy hackers have been in the past 35 years.
University facilities with huge mainframe computers, like MIT's artificial intelligence lab, become staging grounds for hackers. At first, "hacker" was a positive term for a person with a mastery of computers who could push programs beyond what they were designed to do.
Unlike most computer crime / misuse areas which are clear cut in terms of actions and legalities (e.g. softwarepiracy), computer hacking is more difficult to define. Computer hacking always involves some degree of infringement on the privacy of others or damage to computer-based property such as files, web pages or software. The impact of computer hacking varies from simply being simply invasive and annoying to illegal. There is an aura of mystery that surrounds hacking,and a prestige that accompanies being part of a relatively "elite" group of individuals who possess technological savvy and are willing to take the risks required to become a true "hacker". An interesting alternative view of how hackers positively impact areas such as software development and hacker ideology is presented in Technology and Pleasure: Considering Hacking Constructive.
Even attempting to define the term "hacker" is difficult. Perhaps the premiere WWW resource in introducing individuals to hacking is the The New Hacker's Dictionary (http://www.logophilia.com/jargon/jargon_toc.html), a resource which encompasses everything from hacker slang, jargon, hacker folklore, writing style and speech to general appearance, dress, education and personality characteristics. According to TheNew Hacker's Dictionary, a hacker can be defined as:
A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities,...