Computer programmers write their programs in a set of instructions called code. When they're finished, the code is processed by a special program called a compiler. This translates it into a program that the computer can run. Hackers are programmers who break into completed programs and change the basic code. Not all hackers are bad. Some are just curious, breaking into a program to see how it does what it does. The danger comes when hackers break into somebody else's program in order to steal information or vandalize the system. Large corporations spend a lot of money to keep their data safe. Hackers can sometimes get around the safeguards that companies put up and steal or alter that data. Hackers can also break into copy protected programs to make illegal copies. Hacking is illegal, and those who get caught are subject to long prison sentences.
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