|What do _you_ associate the term "hackers" with?
It appears as if Spike Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org> answered:
|Hackers? Guessing passwords, writing fake log-in screens in
|order to capture other people's passwords, then putting little
|surprises in their computer accounts, etc. Im old enough to
|have been around when computer science was first being offered
|in my college. My roommate was the system manager (HP3000
|then a DEC 11-780). We would be classified as hackers
|back then, mostly oriented towards pulling gags. For example:
RFC 1983 (FYI 8), Internet Users' Glossary, p.11: \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
A cracker is an individual who attempts to access computer systems without authorization. These individuals are often malicious, as opposed to hackers, and have many means at their disposal for breaking into a system. See also: hacker, Computer Emergency Response Team, Trojan Horse, virus, worm.\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
RFC 1983 (FYI 8), Internet Users' Glossary, p.20: \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in particular. The term is often misused in a pejorative context, where "cracker" would be the correct term. See also: cracker.\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
To quote RFC 1432:
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ Hacking and Cracking
Hacking is skillful programming. Cracking is breaking and entering. If you don't know the difference, read the first two books below. If you don't think it matters, read the last book below, which examines how law enforcement agencies confused about computers and networks did some very strange things.
Levy: Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, p. 473, Anchor Press/Doubleday, Garden City, NY, 1984. $17.95. ISBN 0-385-19195-2 (hc). $4.95 ISBN 0-440-13405-6 (pbk). Tales of the real hackers who invented the modern computer industry. Some of these people are still quite active on the nets today. Raymond & Steele: Eric S. Raymond, ed., Guy Steele, The New Hacker's Dictionary, p. 453, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1991. ISBN 0-262-18145-2 (hc). $10.95 ISBN 0-262-68069-6 (pbk). The authority on hacker jargon, and a very amusing book. Look it up in here when you doubt a definition in the press.\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ [...]
Bruce Sterling, The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the electronic frontier, p. 352, Bantam, New York, 1992. $23. ISBN 0-553-08058-X. An in-depth examination of the forces of law who try to deal with computer crime, and of the issues involved, written by one of the science fiction writers who invented cyberpunk. The real story behind Operation Sundevil and the Legion of Doom. Readable, informative, amusing, and necessary.\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ (In short, the Secret Service attacked a company which made games, because
they didn't understand the difference between hack and crack. ;-)
[Funny hacker story] :-)
Back to the story about the crackers supposed to have "stolen" a satellite:
The simplest way to do it would have been cracking the system software on the satellite controlling system, command the satellite to move so so you no longer can reach the dish from Earthside. The satellite would effectively go offline.