The Computer Misuse Act 1990 was introduced in response to a rise in computer hacking. As computers became more commonplace in homes and businesses, the methods by which intrusion and theft took place also changed.
Hacking and cracking have various definitions. Generally, either term can be used to describe an activity that involves trying to gain access to computer systems in order to steal, modify or damage the data that the systems contain. A hacker who illegally attempts to access a computer system can be described as a black-hat hacker.
White-hat hackers, also known as ethical hackers, are computer security experts that attempt to hack computer systems with the permission of the owner. While attempting to hack systems, they look out for security weaknesses and help to put appropriate measures in place to remove these.