August 12, 2004 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Hacker Pleads Guilty. The Minnesota man who spread a modified version of the MSBlast worm over the Internet last summer pleaded guilty on Wednesday and faces 18 to 37 months in prison.
posted by semmi (7 comments total)
ARGH! He's a cracker, not a hacker.

Ok, ok, ok, so noboy uses the english language properly anymore. I don't blame you. :-)
posted by shepd at 1:53 PM on August 12, 2004

ARGH! He's a cracker, not a hacker.

Hey, who're you calling a cracker, honkie?
posted by COBRA! at 1:58 PM on August 12, 2004

The "cracker" terminology sucks too, since it has been used to describe people who crack software protections long before it was used to describe people who "crack" into websites.

And this guy spread a worm. What did he "crack"?

More importantly, though it's a word that's used to demonize.
Promoting the use of the term "cracker" to describe anyone who uses a computer maliciously ("some cracker phished my credit card number!") is just as bad as the use of the word "hacker." It's like characterizing someone as a "terrorist." Are mercenaries "terrorists"? What about rebels against dictatorial states?

He's not a cracker. He's a guy who spread a malicious worm.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:31 PM on August 12, 2004

He's a guy that took some code he didn't write combined it with some other code he didn't write and used that to try and take control of other peoples computers.

He's not a hacker, he's an asshole.
posted by Bonzai at 3:40 PM on August 12, 2004

He should get life. Screw'im. Gotta start sending messages sooner that later.
posted by HTuttle at 3:54 PM on August 12, 2004

ARGH! He's a cracker, not a hacker.

Oh, fuck off. If I ever meet ESR, I'm going to kick his ass for introducing this particular knee-jerk reaction. It's as bad as RMS and his bloody GNU/Linux.
posted by reklaw at 4:19 PM on August 12, 2004


there's some history behind it. Originally 'hacker' was applied to people who could apply technology, possibly in unintended manners, to solve a problem. There's a deeper meaning too, not all engineers or computer scientists are hackers. Hacker wasn't a word applied to anybody who did something illegal or questionable with computers. That meaning was introduced by the media.

Hacker wasn't a word that described good guys or bad guys, it was a word that described a particular type of technical expertise. Some people ESR would label crackers were also hackers. This guy in Minnesota is just a putz.

ESR is guilty of trying to sanitize the word, the media is guilty of trying to stigmatize the word.
posted by substrate at 5:28 AM on August 13, 2004

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