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Hacking is an activity that is not only illegal, but can be harmful to individuals or businesses. It involves gaining unauthorized access to computer systems and is often done for financial or personal gain. Hackers can use their skills to commit crimes such as identity theft, installing malware and stealing confidential information. They can also infect computers with viruses and cause disruptions to internet service.

The term “hacker” originated with members of MIT’s Tech Model Railroad Club who would modify their high-tech train sets to expand their functions. It was later used to describe someone who increased the efficiency of computer programs by removing, or ‘hacking’, excess machine code instructions. Early hackers explored the limits of computing technology, and their willingness to experiment & improve upon existing software led to technological breakthroughs.

However, as personal computers became more widely available in the 1980s, hacking began to take on a more criminal nature. Hackers were now primarily motivated by greed, with many using their skills to pirate software or steal private data. This changed the face of hacking, resulting in a growing number of high-profile hacking incidents & causing Congress to pass several laws around computer crime.

Today, criminal hackers are able to break into any system that is connected to the internet and access confidential information. They can use their hacking skills to steal trade secrets from competitors, access government or military information, manipulate elections and even cause political unrest. Hackers are known to sell this hacked information on dark web marketplaces. Many are also fueled by a desire to get revenge against an employer, business partner or other individual.