What are some common misconceptions about hacking?
- Lots of people talked me about "hakers" like wizards.
- Hakers are mostly related with illegal activities.
- Saw a lot of 0/1 in TV films.
...But, in the real world...
- The most of the so wrongly called "hacking" is done every day by using publicly known bugs and vulnerabilities of bad software -- please patch your system.
There's no magic in hacking, just a lot of knowledge, science, technics, experience and maybe strategy.
It's like medicine, I think, or any other discipline that runs between science and art.
In particular, the word "hacker" is commonly referred to computer science experts that show brilliant abilities in that field, more properly by exploiting something, or getting to a target by an unexpected way.
That's because computer programming is all about defining the precise behaviour of a machine, and, the more a machine is safe and well programmed, the more you know how the machine will behave.
So, if someone knows your program better than you do, and if this one is able to produce an unexpected behaviour from your program, than you must say that he's smarter than you: he is an hacker.
This term shouldn't be used just for badly surprising abilities, like violating a computer system (that in some cases may be rather easy for anyone).
Also, some times hackers violate computer systems with the...good...intention of making it of pubblic domain that the system was not safe. I don't know if that is a good kind of intention. There are other ways to talk and manage problems, even computer problems. But sometimes, from the outside, you can't know if a system is safe untill you break it. And think of a computer system you rely on: you want to know if it's safe.
Anyway I'm definitely sure that nobody on the Web is able to read a rapidly scrolling flow of 1/0.
And please note that, simply by installing a software or app, YOU are the top most level programmer of your computers and devices, that are connected and exposed to the Internet.