Again, this morning, I found a news article confusing “crackers” and “hackers”. I feel it is a demeaning to hackers to include crackers in the same category. Unfortunately that ship has sailed, and the meanings of these words have developed such that it is now necessary to distinguish between criminal(hackers and crackers) and non-criminal(hackers and crackers).
When I use the word hacker, I never intend to cloak it with criminal gloss. Hackers are tinkerers who wish to understand life and its myriad of components, then adjust, tweak, patch and otherwise modify the pieces to achieve the end of their plan or vision. In the case of crackers, however, I guess I will have to be more precise and distinguish malicious security crackers from [just] security crackers. The latter being those who devote themselves to hardening security systems for a good, non-criminal purpose.