Difference Between Hackers and Crackers | Hackers vs Crackers

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

In the last two decades, there has been a debate between hackers and crackers. Both the terms are related to hacking. Hacking and cracking are the two categories of a person who is skilled in hacking. The difference between hackers and crackers is based on who is well-versed in systems, how they function, programming, coding, and everything else. Most individuals don’t know the difference between a hacker and a cracker and confuse the two.

In this article, we will be learning about the difference between hackers and crackers. Let us check the difference between hackers and crackers straight along with the details about hackers and crackers individually.

Difference Between Hackers and Crackers PDF

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Difference Between Hackers and Crackers

The major difference between hackers and crackers is that hackers are decent and honest professionals whereas crackers are unethical and seek to profit from unlawful activities. Let us see the difference between hackers and crackers listed in the table below.

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Key Differences Between Hackers and Crackers



The hackers with good intentions to gain knowledge.

They hack to violate a system for benefits.

They are well skilled and equipped with knowledge of OS and programming languages.

They are not as skilled as hackers, and they may know a few tricks to steal or temper data from a system.

They work in favour of organizations to protect data and provide security to the data.

They work to harm the organizations and gain benefits from them.

They are ethical professionals.

They are unethically involved in illegal activities over the internet.

They have legal authorities and certificates with them.

They may or may not have certificates.

What is Hacking?

Hacking is a strategy or planning that is used to gain access to unauthorized systems. To put it simply, getting unauthorized access to a network or computer. That person is exceptionally intelligent and proficient with computers. The skilled person in hacking is divided into two categories:

  • Hackers
  • Crackers

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What are Hackers?

Hackers are good people who hack systems for a good purpose, to obtain knowledge, while Crackers are bad people who violate the system with bad intentions. The difference between hackers and crackers basis the intention of hacking a system. They are programmers or computer professionals with sufficient knowledge of programming and coding who discover gaps in a system and attempt to close them in order to defend the system.

The hackers attempt to eliminate holes in the system in order to make it more secure. They never work with the intention of causing harm to the system or stealing and misusing data. We have understood the term hacking and the intention behind hacking the system. Now proceeding further, we will discuss the meaning of crackers and the intentions behind them.

What are Crackers?

Crackers are people who gain access to a computer to harm or temper the data. They may steal the data or destroy the information of the system. Crackers are unauthorized persons who are involved in illegal activities. Crackers are always hidden as they hack the system to perform illegal activities. The illegal activities are phishing, stealing important bank details of a person, and bypassing passwords on websites and other social media accounts.

Crackers, like hackers, have a thorough understanding of systems, programming, and coding. They also engage in the same actions as hackers. However, their goal is to compromise the system and network in order to gain unauthorized access. This is the primary difference between hackers and crackers.

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