The most common visual is the pale nerd in his mother's basement, who settles into his university's server to change the ranks of his rival chess. Then there are the different Hollywood representations that show "master criminals" manipulating traffic lights and financial markets. This is a fairly recent use of the word "hacker" and for the previous years it had a very different meaning.
In the early 90s, when introducing Linux (a popular free operating system), the word hacker did not even exist. Users of these operating systems have qualified as "hackers" solely because of their ability to manipulate and reuse programming code for their own purposes, outside of the original intent. If you think of them as chefs, everyone has this basic recipe for lobster bisque, but each chef will give his own twist to the recipe to make it their own. They were / are very competent programmers who had the passion to write their own programs.
The majority of these "hackers" have used their skills for good. For example, helping a friend who needed new software allows them to keep track of their inventory in a grocery store. There are also other famous hackers, such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, who have earned a lot of money by creating a mainstream computer for the home. A small percentage used their skills for less than honorable purposes, such as Kevin Poulsen and Adrian Lamo. These dishonorable pirates are what gave its bad reputation to the noble leisure of computer manipulation.
Due to the great media attention on the subject, in recent years the term "hacker" has become synonymous with crime and people are using their skills to steal and create fear. While this may be true in some cases, it is not the majority. Now we distinguish right from wrong with hats (figurative):
"White hacker" or "ethical hack" is a person who hackers for good to find his own vulnerabilities or those of another organization and report them for improvement.
When the term "Black" is used with "hacker", they are considered someone who hackers for a hex or personal gain.
The "gray hat hackers" are in this state of uncertainty between the two who could offer to repair a vulnerability for a fee.
"Blue Hat hacker" does not usually belong to computer security consulting companies that test software or systems to detect bugs in search of exploits so that they can be closed before publishing. software or system.
Remember: not all pirates are bad.