What is a computer cracker?
A cracker is an individual who tries to access computer systems without authorization. These people are often malicious, unlike hackers, and have many means at their disposal to break into a system.
To the computer crackers also they called ” black hats “. They look for back doors in programs and systems, exploit those back doors and steal private information for malicious use.
While hackers work to help organizations and individuals protect their systems and networks, crackers have a different goal in mind. When they breach the security of a network, they do so illegally without the permission of the owner, and they do so for personal gain. The skills and knowledge they possess are expressly used to breach security with malicious intent . Their objective may be to steal credit card information, obtain private data that can be exploited for illegal activities, obtain private data and sell it, or simply destroy the data.
Crackers are guilty of committing computer crimes ; they launch phishing campaigns on company employees and decrypt devices ranging from routers and laptops to printers and fax machines to enter an organization’s network.
They often take advantage of companies when they are most vulnerable, such as during mergers and acquisitions, or they attack suppliers in an organization’s supply chain, as they are often the weakest link.
All attack vectors of a computer cracker have the same end result: obtaining data illegally. Data can be compromised, but not always, as crackers may have different motivations behind their illegal activities.
What motivates crackers?
Hackers create, computer cracker breaks and destroys. Hackers are often driven by financial gain – we are largely familiar with ransomware attacks in which a hacker breaks into a system via a phishing email and malicious attachment, then blocks the access to a computer or data and threatens the victim with exposing their private data if the ransom is not paid.
Some crackers will also steal credit card information, or any other private information they can use, to access victims’ bank accounts and steal money from them.
Of course, there are other motivations that push a computer cracker to engage in illegal activities. There are cases where crackers have breached a network simply to show off and gain publicity . With so many outlets covering breaches, it’s no wonder that many want to use that to make themselves “famous,” especially since some types of cybercrime don’t require a high level of skill.
We can also find crackers who want to reverse engineer software to exploit its weaknesses. And there are also those who do it just for fun.
Types of crackers
There are several types of computer crackers that we are going to see below.
They are malicious programmers who modify the content of a certain program, for example by changing the expiration dates of a certain program to make it work as if it were a legitimate copy.
Crypto crackers are called those who are dedicated to breaking crypto.
This is a computer cracker specialized in telephony. He has the knowledge to make free calls, reprogram telephone exchanges, record conversations on other telephones so that he can later listen to the conversation on his own telephone and other illegal activities.
They are those cybercriminals of web pages or computerized systems. They dedicate themselves to destroying the work of others.
It is a person with lack of technical skills, sociability or maturity and incompetent in a subject, specific activity or within a community. It is a person who claims to have knowledge or skills that he does not really have and that he has no intention of learning.
They are named to cybersquatters who browsed bin ATMs how to find the keys credit card to access the bank accounts of customers over the Internet.
Finally, insiders are those people unhappy in their corporate work or former employees who try to attack their workplace creating chaos.
Differences between cracker and hacker
At this point, many differences between hacker and cracker may seem obvious, but let’s go over their main differences:
The hackers are the good guys, white hats who break into networks to discover gaps and restore security of corrupt networks to build a secure system. They never do it illegally and always inform their hiring organization or individual of their actions. However, crackers will enter the same system for personal, financial or other gain without the knowledge or permission of the owners of the system, in order to participate in illegal activities.
Hackers have the ability to create software programs and tools; they are experts in multiple codes and languages and have advanced knowledge of several selected computer languages. The crackers , on the other hand, do not need to have a thorough knowledge except how to break a system, and usually do not see them with the ability enough to create their own programs. Even with so few crackers skilled enough to create tools and software to help them exploit the weaknesses they discover, we must never ignore their threat.
Nothing is black and white in IT when it comes to hackers and crackers. That’s where gray hats come in.
The easiest way to describe the gray hats is that they are people who are only acting illegally for the purpose of improving the security of the system or the network they have entered. They will not have the permission of the organization or software vendor before looking for vulnerabilities, and may even report their fee for discovering a vulnerability for remuneration. They often take advantage of an discovered vulnerability in order to raise awareness.