A cracker is a person who breaks into or otherwise violates the system integrity of remote machines, with malicious intent. Crackers, having gained unauthorized access, destroy vital data, deny legitimate users service, or basically cause problems for their targets. Crackers can easily be identified because their actions are malicious.
Why do crackers exists?
Crackers exist because they must. Because human nature is just so, frequently driven by a desire to destroy instead of create. No more complex explanation need be given. The only issue here is what type of cracker we are talking about. Some crackers crack for profit. These may land on the battlefield, squarely between two competing companies. Perhaps Company A wants to disable the site of Company B. There are crackers for hire. They will break into almost any type of system you like, for a price. Some of these crackers get involved with criminal schemes, such as retrieving lists of TRW profiles. These are then used to apply for credit cards under the names of those on the list. Other common pursuits are cell-phone cloning, piracy schemes, and garden-variety fraud. Other crackers are kids who demonstrate an extraordinary ability to assimilate highly technical computer knowledge. They may just be getting their kicks at the expense of their targets.
Difference between hacker and cracker.
Modern hackers, however, reach deeper still. They probe the system, often at a microcosmic level, finding holes in software and snags in logic. They write programs to check the integrity of other programs. Thus, when a hacker creates a program that can automatically check the security structure of a remote machine, this represents a desire to better what now exists. It is creation and improvement through the process of analysis.
In contrast, crackers rarely write their own programs. Instead, they beg, borrow, or steal tools from others. They use these tools not to improve Internet security, but to subvert it. They have technique, perhaps, but seldom possess programming skills or imagination. They learn all the holes and may be exceptionally talented at practicing their dark arts, but they remain limited. A true cracker creates nothing and destroys much. His chief pleasure comes from disrupting or otherwise adversely affecting the computer services of others.
This is the division of hacker and cracker. Both are powerful forces on the Internet, and both will remain permanently. And, as you have probably guessed by now, some individuals may qualify for both categories. The very existence of such individuals assists in further clouding the division between these two odd groups of people. Now, I know that real hackers reading this are saying to them “There is no such thing as this creature you are talking about. One is either a hacker or a cracker and there’s no more to it.