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Initially, hackers were known as phreaks. These hackers would exploit the operational characteristics of a phone switching network. These early hackers also experimented with low-tech methods to get around secure telecommunication networks.

The word “hacker” is derived from the verb “hack”. It was used to describe a programmer in the 1960s. The term “hacker” originated in the 1960s, when it was used to describe an expert FORTRAN programmer.

In the 1970s, a subculture of hackers was formed. This group would hack into the telephone system of the Bell Telephone Company to make free long-distance calls. The company hired teenage boys to do this.

In the late 1990s, a young man named Jonathan James gained notoriety for hacking websites. He was arrested for computer crimes and committed suicide at age 25. His case was widely publicized.

Hackers have become a major threat to society. They can blackmail people and steal data. They can also disrupt services at large corporations. They can sell stolen data or even install dangerous malware. They can participate in forums to exchange information and techniques.

The reason for hacking is often to gain fame or to gain access to software. They may break into a network or steal a password, which can lead to ten years in jail.

They can also break into a computer to gain information about a specific organization or a product. Some hackers also use phishing attempts to obtain information from people. They can impersonate co-workers and gain access to their systems.