Wikipedia’s norms and to be inclusive of all essential details. Their work is not illegal because it is done with the system owner’s consent. They often steal, exploit, and sell data, and are usually motivated by personal gain. Their work is the hacker ethic pdf illegal.
Crackers find exploits for system vulnerabilities and often use them to their advantage by either selling the fix to the system owner or selling the exploit to other black hat hackers, who in turn use it to steal information or gain royalties. They may both fix and exploit vulnerabilities, but usually not for financial gain. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Today, mainstream usage of “hacker” mostly refers to computer criminals, due to the mass media usage of the word since the 1980s. This usage has become so predominant that the general public is largely unaware that different meanings exist.
The controversy is usually based on the assertion that the term originally meant someone messing about with something in a positive sense, that is, using playful cleverness to achieve a goal. But then, it is supposed, the meaning of the term shifted over the decades and came to refer to computer criminals. As the security-related usage has spread more widely, the original meaning has become less known. In popular usage and in the media, “computer intruders” or “computer criminals” is the exclusive meaning of the word today. For example, “An Internet ‘hacker’ broke through state government security systems in March.