Did you know one of the first modern hackers used a toy whistle from a Cap’n Crunch cereal box to tap into the U.S. phone system? Or that companies often hire hackers called “red teams” to test the security of their systems and computer networks? You might think of hackers as thieves or troublemakers or spies—but is that always true? In this adventure, you’ll meet some real-life hackers and get a chance to decide for yourself.
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What did you learn about hackers? Are all hackers bad?
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What Is Computer Hacking, Anyway?
Excellent question. In this Code.org video, internet security experts Parisa Tabriz and Jenny Martin explain the most common computer hacking strategies and types of cybercrime.
How Are Hackers Like Hammers?
When you hear the word “hacker,” you might think about someone in a dark room, using their computer to break into other computer systems and cause problems. But hacking can take many forms. Check out this short video from NOVA to see what we mean
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Meet a Real Hacker
What Does Hacking Actually Look Like?
Hint: Not like in the movies, where there are blinking computer screens everywhere and a lot of fast typing. Watch as two experts explain what Hollywood gets wrong (and right) in some famous hacking scenes.
Hacking Between Karate Lessons
Meet Reuben Paul. He’s a 12-year old from Texas who has a knack for hacking—and he’s using his skills to raise awareness about security weaknesses in internet-connected devices and other items. Are any of them in your home?
Code Like the Ancient Greeks
Hacking computers involves a lot of code-breaking and puzzle solving. But even before computers, people came up with incredibly creative ways to protect and share information. For example, the ancient Greeks used something called a “scytale cipher” to code secret messages on long strips of leather. Watch this video from Jess Science to learn more and make one of your own!
Let's Get Stealthy
How is a hacker like a ninja? For one thing, they both specialize in the art of stealth—keeping themselves hidden and undetected. So let’s learn some super stealthy ninja moves. Find an open space in your home and practice jumping, walking, and rolling silently. You may want to pause or rewind the video while you master each move.