(SAM.uh.rye) n. A computer hacker hired to legally infiltrate corporate computer systems for legitimate reasons. —adj.

Example Citation:
Samurai: ethical hacker for hire; unlike criminal or vandalism-oriented hackers and crackers, true silicon samurai adhere to rigorous and self-imposed standards of loyalty to employers; often hired to seek out rogue employees within a corporation's technical staff.
—Keith Ferrel, "Tomorrow,net," Chief Executive, January 1, 1999

Earliest Citation:
The press has associated the word "hacker" in people's mind with the nasty troublemaker who tries to steal secret information from others' computer systems. Certainly there are "dark-side hackers", those who crack into confidential files for criminal or malicious ends. Others — the "samurai" — break into files to steal information for more lawful reasons, perhaps for a lawyer pursuing a privacy-rights case.

But mostly the term "hacker" just means an enthusiastic programmer, who plays with a computer for fun rather than to fulfil a specific task.
—David Rowan, "Lingua Franca," The Guardian, November 20, 1992


—Lynda Edwards, "Samurai Hackers," Rolling Stone, September 19, 1991

Related Words: