Society’s representation of hackers and defi nitions describing them either demonize them or turn them into legends, depending on the source.

A Robin Hood of the computer era? Electronic pirates willing to try anything for a few hours of notoriety? Autistic geniuses? Angry adolescents? Maladjusted nerds? Keen researchers? Political activists? Th e plethora of defi nitions and points of view doesn’t give us a clear and consistent image of hackers, while the many interpretations of the term lead to an accretion of misleading views that in time become accepted. Few other groups have ever given rise to such a variety of defi nitions that are often incompatible and contradictory.