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Hacker is a person who breaks into computers and computer networks with or without criminal intent. The term originally denoted a skilled programmer, particularly one skilled in machine code and with a good knowledge of the machine and its operating system. During the 1990s, the term "hacker" became synonymous with "cracker," which is a person who performs some form of computer sabotage. To be an effective cracker, one had to be a good hacker, thus the terms got intertwined..