Hacking; my definition is this
Here at Vervainglobal, we use the word "Hack" quite a lot. But to many people, that word takes on a rather different and often sinister meaning. This article defines what we mean by the word "Hack".
Many of the articles on this site demonstrate how to "hack" or alter various bits of technology and machinery. The word often stirs up slight controversy as the media use it increasingly to describe the fraudulant and illegal use of technology. But hacking isn't necessarily illegal, it just depends on what you hack, and why.
Say your grandma forgets the password for her Windows computer. There is no way to recover a forgotten password on the welcome screen. No matter how hard she tries, she simply cannot remember her password, nor the administrator one either. So you download a live CD, boot from it and run something like OPHcrack to recover her password. You have just hacked her machine, but in doing so, you have helped her regain access to it, and saved her the cost of hiring a professional to do it. Your little hack has done good rather than harm. Let's call this "ethical hacking".
Now let's say that you're a little short on cash. Your evil genius mind comes up with a plan to build a fake website that collects credit card details and takes money from innocent peoples accounts and promises them a product or service that you never intended to actually give them. This is definitely illegal, and is very un-ethical. You would be stealing from others and could be prosecuted under cybercrime laws.
Vervainglobal certainly is not trying to promote un-ethical hacking, and in fact strongly advises against any activity that involves theft, damage or loss to others. Hacking, in the eyes of this website, means to solve problems and often save money (remember, no theft).
Sadly, a lot of hacks fall in to a grey area. You might jailbreak your iPhone and install third party applications on it that Apple refused to approve. Although such activities are not exactly illegal, they are very much frowned upon by the device manufacturers. Often companies threaten to void the warranty of the device you hack, like Apple often does if you jailbreak your device, or how Sony would do if you took a screwdriver to your TV. In these cases, it is up to you to decide whether or not you want the warranty.
Vervainglobal promotes only ethical hacking, and does not endorse any kind of illegal activity. The site and its admin cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or risk to health caused by following any article. With that out of the way, happy hacking!