A computer hacker who performs illegal or unethical activities.
Example Citation:
To computing's elite, the hacker's code might be summarized as, 'Figure out, look around, leave no trace.' Hackers look down on their deliberately malicious counterparts, whom they call 'crackers.' The latter, hackers say, give a proud tradition a bad name.
— Paul Andrews, "Hackers: Who Are These Guys?", The Seattle Times, February 22, 1996
Earliest Citation:
But if discouraging hackers is hard, catching them in the act of phone fraud can be even harder. Many hackers — or "crackers," as they now like to be called — route their calls through one long-distance service after another trying to make them more difficult to trace, criss-crossing MCI, Sprint and other services in one bewildering maze.
— William D. Marbach et al., "The Phoniest Phone Bills," Newsweek, March 26, 1984
First Use:
It's obvious that we need some name for those who break the security of computer systems, to fight the pernicious media which are trying to defame the noble word "hacker", meaning one who is spends a lot of time programming. It is worthy of note that the set of hackers is pretty much of a superset of the former crowd.
We need this to be a word which is usable by those in the media, that is, three or fewer syllables. "Security breaker" is right out. The word must also be sufficiently distinctive to have that "appeal" that is so important to commercial television. Maybe we should just call them "thieves", but it just ain't snazzy, nor does it distinguish them from normal thieves.
I am too busy to coordinate the responses, so either post them to the net or volunteer to coordinate it yourself. Here are a few to get started:
— Tim Maroney, "Re: Changing meaning of term "hacker"," net.misc, net.nlang, September 14, 1983
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  • Cracker — may refer to: Cracker (food), a type of biscuit, usually salted or savory edible Cracker (mountain), a mountain peak in Glacier National Park Cracker (benchmark), located in the Lewis Range, Glacier National Park in the U.S. state of Montana… …   Wikipedia

  • Cracker — Crack er (kr[a^]k [ e]r), n. 1. One who, or that which, cracks. [1913 Webster] 2. A noisy boaster; a swaggering fellow. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] What cracker is this same that deafs our ears? Shak. [1913 Webster] 3. A small firework, consisting of a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cracker — steht für: Cracker (Band), eine US amerikanische Alternative Rock Band Cracker (Gebäck), ein Biskuit artiges Gebäck eine Bezeichnung aus dem Afroamerikanischen Englisch für Weiße in der chemischen Verfahrenstechnik eine Anlage zum Cracken im… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cracker — Cracker; cracker; hy·dro·cracker; …   English syllables

  • cracker — CRÁ CĂR/ s. m. hoţ de informaţii implementate în calculatoarele electronice. (< engl. cracker, spărgător) Trimis de raduborza, 15.09.2007. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

  • cracker — [krak′ər] n. [< CRACK1, vi.; CRACKER sense 5 < earlier sense “braggart, boaster”] 1. a person or device that cracks 2. a firecracker 3. a little paper roll used as a favor at parties: it contains a trinket or candy, and bursts with a… …   English World dictionary

  • cracker — / krækə/, it. / krɛker/ s. ingl. [der. di (to ) crack rompersi; crocchiare ], usato in ital. al masch. (gastron.) [biscotto di pasta di pane sottile e friabile, spesso salato] ▶◀ ⇑ galletta …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • cracker — /ˈkrɛker, ingl. ˈkrækə(r)/ [vc. ingl., da to crack «spaccarsi, fendersi»] s. m. inv. 1. galletta, biscotto salato 2. (elab., gerg.) pirata informatico …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • cracker — [n] hard, often salted, baked wafer biscuit, bun, cookie, hardtack, pretzel, rusk, saltine; concept 457 …   New thesaurus

  • cracker — ► NOUN 1) a paper cylinder which, when pulled apart, makes a sharp noise and releases a small toy or other novelty. 2) a firework that explodes with a crack. 3) a thin dry biscuit of a kind eaten with cheese. 4) Brit. informal a fine example of… …   English terms dictionary

  • cracker — 1. cracker [ krakɶr; krakɛr ] n. m. • déb. XIXe, repris 1962; mot angl., de to crack « craquer » ♦ Anglic. Petit biscuit salé et croustillant. « une soucoupe contenant encore quelques crackers » (Perec). cracker 2. cracker [ krakɶr; krakɛr ] n. m …   Encyclopédie Universelle