Some responses to Carolyn Meinel's SciAm Article.. 

In the October 1998 special report on
computer security, the term "hacker"
was used incorrectly. You stated that
hackers are malicious computer security
burglars, which is not the correct mean-
ing of "hacker" at all. The correct term
for such a person is "cracker." Hackers
are the expert programmers who engi-
neered the Internet, wrote C and UNIX
and made the World Wide Web work.
Please show more respect for hackers in
the future. Further information about
this distinction can be found at the
Hacker Anti-Defamation League's site at on the
World Wide Web.
via e-mail

Editors' note:
We agree that there is indeed a differ-
ence between "hacker" and "cracker,"
but the mainstream media has used
"hacker" to encompass both. We did,
however, try to draw a distinction by
using the term "white-hat hacker." Part
of the problem with "cracker" is that
the word has been used disparagingly
in the past to refer to a poor, white per-
son from the South.

As a computer security professional
with many years' experience in
both public and private industry, I was
extremely disturbed to see that you
published an article by Carolyn P.
Meinel in your October issue ["How
Hackers Break In ... and How They
Are Caught"]. Meinel has absolutely
no credibility in the computer security
community. She does not have the tech-
nical awareness to be considered know-
ledgeable, nor is she in any stretch of
the imagination considered an expert in
the field.
Her article probably gave CEOs a
fairly good sense of how insecure their
networks might be, but I shudder to
think that companies looking to jump
on the computer security bandwagon
will now be using her article as a tech-
nical reference.
via e-mail