The term hacker really carries some negative connotations thanks to the media.
Whenever there is an act of cyber crime the news media is quick to point out that hackers are responsible. Movies portray hackers as evil geniuses locked away in rooms as they navigate their way through mazes in cyberspace. Even heroes in books take on the dastardly hackers who are trying to rule the world by controlling a computer.
Because they got the term wrong, they never point out the guys who call themselves hackers but use their skills to make computers better and safer. These white hat hackers are the ones who built the technologies that we use today because they weren’t afraid to think outside the box and modify how things work – the true definition of the term hacker.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at five hackers who made computing what it is today.
5. Tim Berners-Lee
Like many other white hat hackers, Berners-Lee did get himself in a bit of trouble for using his skills irresponsibly at times. But after all, he was learning. And without these experiences he would have never been able to create the World Wide Web (not the Internet, the Web).
4. Jon Lech Johansen
As a true hacker, Johansen hated the fact that an encryption system on DVDs prevented them from being played on Linux based systems. Using his skills, he was able to hack the encryption system and allow uses of open source operating systems to play DVDs with Microsoft’s proprietary codec. When the powers that be tried to bring him up on charges, he was acquitted by the Oslo District Court.
3. HD Moore
Proof positive that not all hackers are bad guys. Moore actually created Metasploit, one most widely used penetration testing applications that helps computer security experts find vulnerabilities in their systems so they can better protect against the criminal hackers.
2. Steve Wozniak
Yes, the other Steve is a hacker. He and Steve Jobs got their start building blue boxes so users could make free long distance calls. The money helped start up Apple computers and now, we have iPhones as a result.
1. Richard Stallman
The founder of the GNU project, Richard Stallman epitomizes what hackers truly stand for. He believes that all software should be free. Not free of charge, but free to be modified or hacked in any way the person who owns it wants.