To understand the philosophy of a cracker vs. hacker, you must first understand the meaning of the two notions. There are differences between crackers and hackers considering the way they operate and their purposes. But let’s see.
Upon me, the differentiation between the two notions is crystal-clear:
– A cracker is usually that “bad boy” trying to break the line of systems’ security with the purpose of spreading malicious codes (like viruses, spyware, adware, etc…), destroy vital data, deny legitimate users generating DDOS attacks to websites and other similar actions.
– A hacker, on the other side of spectrum, is somebody interested in the hidden, obscure parts of a computer or operating system. Hacker’s purpose is not to compromise data but to discover security breaches and the reasons why such holes exist on the target machine. (I cannot call it “victim machine” while nothing bad happens to it as compared to cracker’s specific activities). Hackers are most often computer enthusiasts or programmers looking for advanced knowledge on programming languages or operating systems. Hackers are usually sharing their discoveries on forums or social networks but never damaging data or sharing information on the machine now easily to become the crackers’ victim.
As you can see, even though these terms are easy to confuse, a savvy Internet user should always make the difference between a cracker and a hacker.