Knowledge base
11 Oct 2022

What is a cracker?

Mateusz Kopacz


The father of modern hackers is Joe Engressia (Joybubbles), a blind 7-year-old who discovered that a whistle on a telephone receiver with a certain frequency prevented the operator’s telephone exchange from being charged (phreaking). It is worth mentioning that the first money that Steve Jobs and Steve WoĹşniak (the later creators of Apple) earned, came from the sale of the so-called Blue Box – it was a device that allowed people to make calls and not pay for them. This was their first commercial product.

Over time, the economic aspect of finding software vulnerabilities has become the driving force behind the entire “IT industry.” In the beginning, they were computer viruses. The first versions were rather used to prank people (e.g. they turned off the monitor), but with time, less fun programs appeared, that could, among others, permanently damage your computer’s hard drive. And this fueled the demand for antivirus programs. The development of computer networks and the Internet has resulted in the emergence of a new generation of activists.


There is an official division into:

Black hats – these are people who live off crimes committed over the Internet. They steal data, which they later sell on the black market, encrypt databases or computer drives and make ransom demands for decryption, attack a specific network and blackmail the owners. They often work on commission. This group also includes people who pretend to be trustworthy institutions to obtain credentials or install a remote desktop on the device. The concept alludes to westerns where the “villains” always wore black hats.

White Hats – these are people whose task is to legally find gaps and test previously prepared security measures. They have extensive knowledge and an architectural approach, their job is to create a safe environment, often for thousands of people. This group includes all kinds of specialists who undertake testing the security of the ICT infrastructure. At the request of the owners, they conduct resistance tests to attacks. Their activities are preceded by an appropriate agreement which formally regulates such activities.

In order for the initial picture to be complete, we also distinguish the so-called gray hats – people who hack with good intentions but without permission. They are also IT enthusiasts who operate in the gray area of law and ethics, sometimes breaking the law, perhaps because of their own ignorance or sometimes consciously. Systems security researchers who break the law in the course of their research can also be gray hats.

So what is a “cracker?”

To answer this question, it should be made clear that the word “hacker” is understood differently in the mass media than in the IT community. The media commonly use it against people who break the security of computer systems, which in the IT vocabulary is called “cracking”, and those who break these security are called “crackers”. Formally, the definition of a hacker defines a person who gains unauthorized access to computer resources / system.

People or groups that we now equate to hackers in our colloquial language are:

Script kiddie – their activity is limited only to downloading ready-made programs or tools and using them to perform an attack. They do not know the technical details of what they are going to do, let alone create any tools on their own. Unfortunately, this group is growing very quickly, because a whole portfolio of programs or services that can be purchased has appeared on the Internet.

Scammers –criminals pretending to be shop owners, courier companies, offices or websites with advertisements and even a vaccine lottery. In addition, they use social networks, targeting where information spreads very quickly. Fraud is based on instilling trust in another person, thanks to which it is possible to easily control their choices and forcing them to entrust, for example, their money or personal data. The correspondent fraudster promises something that the other party counts on.

Hactivists – the most popular group of hactivists nowadays is Anonymous, which has no leader and is very spontaneous. It is an international community that demonstrates its protest in a matter by means of attacks on the Internet (usually DDoS). In Poland, the most famous was the ACTA protest, during which government websites or the police website were attacked. Hactivists played an enormous role, for example, in the revolution in Egypt and other North African countries.

Military hackers – each self-respecting country creates special operational groups whose goal is to be active on the Internet. Such groups specialize in breaking into foreign government databases, official computer networks of other countries, and recent cases show that the activities of such groups may even affect the election results. They have a practically unlimited budget, especially when they operate in areas considered to be state security. Let’s hope that soon there will also be a cyber police force that will eliminate threats like this gentleman:

Cyberterrorists – the activities of this group appear more and more often in the headlines of news websites. The internet has no boundaries, so you can do a whole host of activities designed to harm people or systems in another country. The activity of such a group may result in, for example, switching off the power grid, water supply or oil-bearing network.

Mercenaries – they distribute malware as a service. Thus, you do not need to be familiar with any technologies, it is enough to wait for the result of the ordered action.

Pirates – they take possession of digital content such as programs, movies or games with the intention of further copying and making it available to the public outside of official distribution channels.

Ethical Hackers – an essential feature of ethical hackers is to act in accordance with the law. Professionals in this field build and secure huge network infrastructures, build tools for protection and cyber attacks themselves, analyze malware or have the status of scientific researchers in the field of security. Many of the ethical hackers also deal with risk analysis in smaller and larger organizations, organizing information campaigns and educating staff. An ethical hacker may also offer cybersecurity consulting or security auditing services. Especially for them, many companies create bug bounty programs in which they reward 5 or 6 digital payments for finding a vulnerability or a potential vulnerability to attack. There is one condition, you should report it directly to administrators and share information more widely only after “patching” the hole.


You can see from many real examples that IT “for business” escaped from detailed regulations years ago, so today we have to “secure” instead of “use a safe environment”. There are areas that need to be addressed by experts, especially at the beginning of creating cyber-resilience, but the most important in the entire security process is you, your common sense and awareness of the dangers.

This time we finish with a pro tip – how to enable God mode in the Windows operating system?

  • Create a new folder on the desktop without giving a name
  • Rename the folder to GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
  • Enjoy convenient access to all system functions in one place