With the computer age , various nomenclatures or names have arisen that are used to designate people or groups of them who are engaged in illicit activities, making use of computers.
There is confusion in the applied concepts, since there are definitely differences between them and it is our intention to detail their true meanings.

Over the years, the journalistic media, influenced by the transnational software companies, adopted the name of ” hacker ” to describe any person involved in acts that violate intellectual property, network security, authors of viruses, server intruders, mail message interceptors, cyberspace vandals, etc.


Although the word pirate is evocatively romantic, this name is attributed to people who make use of software created by third parties, through copies obtained illegally, that is, without permission or license from the author. Non-genuine software is called ” pirated copy “, but in real, raw terms it should be called stolen software .

The word pirate, associated with the illegal use of software, was mentioned for the first time by William Gates in 1976, in his ” Open Letter to Hobbyists ” by means of which he expressed his protest because many computer users were making use of software developed by him, without his authorization.

Throughout the world the use of illegal software is subject to sanctions and penalties, which are exacerbated when the pirate becomes a marketer of software illegally copied for his own profit. In Peru, the penalty for this crime varies from 1 to 4 years of conditional prison for end users and with a maximum of 8 years of effective prison for marketers.


Hacker is an English idiomatic expression whose literal translation into Spanish has several meanings, the most popular being attributed to “a person hired for a routine job” and that by the nature of it his work is tedious, delivered, he could even be maniacal.

The nickname of hacker was created at the end of the last century when the United States of America began to receive a massive migratory movement of people from all the countries of the world who hoped to find economic well-being and progress in the “country of opportunities”.

Hackers were informal longshoremen who spent all day unloading the suitcases and packages of individuals and entire families arriving on ships at the ports of New York, Boston, San Francisco, etc. These workers were indefatigable, as they often worked without rest and even slept and ate among the bundles of the docks in order not to miss an opportunity to earn money. The word “hack” in English has several meanings in Spanish, including “ax”. As if they were tree fellers who use their ax, tirelessly until they fell, their tenacious purpose earned them this nickname.

The word hacker applied in computing refers to the person who is dedicated to a research or development task making efforts beyond the normal and conventional ones, putting a passion that exceeds his normal energy. The hacker is someone who is passionate about computers and dedicates himself to them beyond the limits. Hackers have “a healthy sense of curiosity: they test all door locks to find out if they are locked. They don’t release a system they are investigating until their problems are solved.”

” The computing revolution has been brought about by hackers, ” the famous pioneering researchers and researchers of computer viruses, Rob Rosenberg and Ross Greenberg, categorically state .

From the beginnings of electromechanical computing based on relays, coils and vacuum glass tubes, the programming tasks were very tedious and the language of those years was the cryptic machine language and later the Pnemonic Assembler was used . In the initial phase of computers, not as we conceive them now, there were men, women, youth and adults devoted entirely to diversified tasks of research and experimentation, considering their work, routine, extremely persevering and whose results have only been recognized by through the years.

A woman, the admiral of the North American Navy Grace Hooper is considered the first hacker of the era of the computer. While she was working and researching on the Mark I computer during World War II, she was the first person to assert that computers not only served war purposes, but could also be very useful for various uses in favor of humanity. She created a programming language called FlowMatic and years later invented nothing less than the famous COBOL language .