Offending the hackers?

October 16, 2009

Microsoft releases biggest patch on record

It said six of the patches were high priority and should be deployed immediately. The patches — which update software to write over glitches — are designed to protect users from hackers or malicious software downloaded from the Internet.

The word you are looking for is “crackers” NOT “hackers”. There is a huge difference, and it is quite offensive to use the incorrect term.

Please modify your article to reflect the correct usage, and any articles that you may publish in the future.

Man in Scary Mask

As someone who loves words, I’m unhappy when they get hijacked and given a new meaning for no good reason. However, I’m afraid trying to preserve the original meaning of hacker is just a lost cause.

To quote the Associated Press Stylebook, which is recognized by most U.S. media: “In common usage, the word has evolved to mean one who uses computer skills to unlawfully penetrate proprietary computer systems.” GBU Editor

A participant of the “Chaos Communication Camp – The International Hacker Meeting 2007″, sits with a laptop at a hangar of a former Soviet airfield in Finowfurt north of Berlin, August 8, 2007. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Join the Good, Bad, Ugly Facebook Blog Network


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

As one who has both worked at IBM and competed against IBM, I would say IBM is not squeeky clean. In the 1960’s Control Data Corp.launched a suit against IBM for unfair marketing practices and won a huge financial settlement plus IBM sold IBM Service Bureau Corp. to CDC for a dollar. The US antitrust gang instituted an antitrust suit on the last day of the Johnson administration that changed the way IBM did business.

Posted by Bob Stockman | Report as abusive

I don’t believe it. The hackers are always ahead of such acts.

Posted by Muhammad Luqman | Report as abusive

Its a shame that people with such an evident amount of technical skill ability are left with no outlet other than tearing through government firewalls for no apparent gain.

These people clearly have a lot to offer the world, we should be using hackers to develop internet security and further advance our technology.
With a bit of backing I’m sure most hackers could build businesses/sites/technology that would rival that of even the great online companies such as Google and Microsoft

bristol jobs

Posted by Jon | Report as abusive

Sure, hackers have the knowledge to do some hugely constructive things, but the very fact that all they do is create mischief in order to show off their vainglory, designates them as being very obviously psychologically unstable. They are too pathetically antisocial for any positively creative work. That is WHY no one has yet, or will, ever bother trying to harness this ability.

Posted by dedsetmad | Report as abusive