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Hacking is an activity that involves gaining unauthorized access to computer network security systems. It typically involves exploiting vulnerabilities, either technical or social in nature. Whether the goal is to make some extra cash, gain notoriety for their skill, or simply to cause disruption, bad hackers use a variety of tools and techniques to breach systems.

Some of the most common targets for hackers are internet-connected devices like smartphones, tablets, and medical devices. They also target connected appliances and other home and business equipment. Other popular targets include websites, financial services, and corporate networks. Malicious hackers often seek to steal data for ransom money or sell it on the dark web. In some cases, a particular political or social goal motivates the hack. For example, the hacktivist group Anonymous and WikiLeaks are a few examples of groups that aim to raise awareness for particular causes or issues.

Ethical hackers, on the other hand, help organizations proactively identify and mitigate vulnerabilities. These professionals are referred to as “white hats,” and their skills are in high demand from companies across the globe. They are also able to use their hacking skills for good, as well as enjoy the adrenaline rush of successfully breaking into a system. It’s no wonder that many programmers start hacking as a hobby in their spare time. The thrill of getting into an impenetrable system is addictive. It can lead to a deeper understanding of technology and a more refined set of skills that are useful in a variety of industries.