I always laugh when most people talk about “hackers”; the “hackers” are a kind of urban myth; since everyone knows one and everyone dreams to be one.
Notice how I use “hackers” word, the “hackers” are those defined by media and person without knowledge; my definition by those are simple: Script Kiddies.
Media most common (and childish) definition is separate into two groups: white hat “hackers” and black hat “hackers” (good and bad) and to make more special the term “hacker” they also put other colors to hats, like red, blue, etc, etc, etc.
Most people definition of “hacker” is a Script Kiddie, if you don’t know a Script Kiddie is just a person with two abilities:
1) Can fetch some basic information of the system and
2) Can search on internet for exploit scripts.
Time ago I was suffering since I installed Joomla and I didn’t check any updates, a exploit was found which allow to execute shell commands, after checking my logs, I notice the “hacker” downloaded a program which stop the web server; the data was never stoled or in danger (even with the Joomla security hole it was easy to fetch some information), and the program was a kind of brute-force DOS against the web server (in the localhost), so the web server will stop working.
In my university was a very common topic the script kiddies, since our student server was attacked frequently to make the system stop working, even the people close to the administrator (and girlfriends and even other friends of the friends) knew the root password, and they tried exploit script just to test how safe the server was (!).
In a dedicated server in which I’m working there is always logs like: “Failed authentication trying to login as fred, john, etc”, some people were running automated logins (best way to hack =) )
Today I found a site: Curso Hacker (Hacker Course in spanish), they said to give you all the tools and information to become a “hacker“; you just need to pay a minimum of $49 USD at month to access all the content.
In the maximum price ($99 USD) you can talk with a professor in friday night (I imagine a 14 years old teen eating pizza while his mother try to make him go to sleep).
The course is full of “hacker” jargon, like cracking wep keys. The fact is they only will show you how to be a “hacker“, this is a script kiddie exploiting in ICQ/IRC and similar; in my little knowledge I haven’t seen anybody which become a famous hacker, not even considered a serious hacker; but pay that money and surely you will be the most wanted of your neighborhood.
I remember the last linux congress here in my city, a group described as: “teenages precocious” (that’s the spanish translation, man I’m learning english =) ), teached some of this kind of techniques, to all the people I talk on those days, they only knew him because the last year they fire up the bed of the hotel and they were drinking and noisy all the nights.
In their course they teach how to send fake emails or enter in a non-protected user session, like when somebody create the www user and leave with a password and /bin/bash as default shell (!), again this is a gossip I heard >=).
I forgot, if you know a bit of spanish, check the forum of the Curso Hacker (there is a link on almost every page to show how grateful are the users to learn all this power).
The forum is full of “Man I’m a starter and I know more than Neo in Matrix Revolutions”, or “Thanks to all the people who were hacking with me this night, W3 4ul3z”.
Do you want to be recognized, it’s very easy: LEARN HOW TO PROGRAM, if you are a programmer is more easy to find bugs, a bug can be converted in a security hole, a security hole can be converted into a root entry into a system, or things like that, of course that if you are a black hat “hacker” (according media), if you are a white hat, then you will notice a security expert group and surely you will be recognized among them; and not by replacing c‘s by k‘s or s‘ by z‘s, or mix number and letters