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Playful Hacker

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"What's more important, the data or the jazz? Sure, sure, 'Information should be free' and all that—but anyone can set information free. The jazz is in how you do it, what you do it to, and in almost getting caught without getting caught. The data is ones and zeroes. Life is the jazz."
Datatech Sinder Roze, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, "Infobop"

As opposed to the malicious Cracker who uses his computer skills for profit and mayhem, the Playful Hacker normally wants nothing more than to explore new territory on the Net and learn new things. Sometimes, he plays harmless pranks which can cause clueless authority figures to confuse him with his dark counterpart. Even when his actions are not strictly legal, though, his intentions and presence are almost always benign — even heroic. This is what "hacker" used to mean before mass media mutated it.

When a Playful Hacker and a Cracker collide on the Net, it's always the Playful Hacker whom authorities pursue first, a plot complication which puts additional pressure on the Playful Hacker to track down the Cracker, the true culprit. When the final face-off comes, though, it's going to be the Playful Hacker versus the The Cracker at high noon at the 0K Corral with virtual six-guns.

The Playful Hacker usually owns a Magical Computer, which allows him or her to do all manner of things impossible to normal computers and users, especially when engaging in Rapid-Fire Typing. (See Hollywood Hacking.)

He may or may not be a Mad Scientist depending on who you ask. Chances are a more-benign Playful Hacker might turn out to be a Reluctant Mad Scientist or a Stupid Scientist. A Playful Hacker viewed in a positive light can also be a Science Hero. Modern iterations may also be Tech Bros.

See also: Everything Is Online, It's A Small Net After All, Omniscient Database.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Battle Angel Alita: Weasel not only hacked Mbadi's cameras, but also uploaded a virus that disabled Mbadi's mind control that coincidentally activated when Mbadi was caught on camera ordering his minister to illegally fire Damocles and destroy the Space Angels.
  • Nene Romanova from both Bubblegum Crisis and Bubblegum Crisis: 2040 is a very skilled hacker in a cyberpunk universe, and an electronics warfare specialist within the Knight Sabers.
  • Ed from Cowboy Bebop, currently pictured above. Ed creates animal-VR viruses in order to discover information about bounties for the Bebop crew that is being kept secret from the general public. Ed's childlike behavior means she never seems to consider trying to give them money more directly.
  • Matt Jeevas from Death Note is often depicted as this in the fandom due to his Chaotic Neutral hacking in the main series.
  • Rebecca Hawkins from Yu-Gi-Oh!. Seto Kaiba is one as well but could fall more under The Cracker (he certainly never does this for fun), but, technically, the few times we see him hacking, he's helping out the good guys. His younger brother Mokuba is this as well.
  • Aoi Kyougoku from Imadoki!, especially with the elevator.
  • Christina Sierra from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 and Hilde Schbeiker from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing were hinted to be these. Though Christina isn't seen doing lots of hacking, Hilde does get some info for Duo which he uses to find Quatre and contact him, and later she sneaks into a battleship and gets vital info for the Wing Boys, as the cost of being severely injured and barely surviving.
  • Takashi Katori and Olivia Lawrence, the main characters of Video Warrior Laserion. In fact, Takashi becomes Laserion's pilot because he got caught snooping and hacking around. (Their relationship is similar to WarGames, below.)
  • Helba from .hack. She is considered a criminal due to the fact that hacking is a capital crime after Pluto's kiss, but does it entirely for fun and to protect the online game The World.
  • Russia of Hetalia: Axis Powers is mentioned in the 2010 Bloodbath and the second Hetalia Fantasia CD as "tinkering" with his computer. He says that one of his hobbies is "tweaking" technology, and at one point hacks Finland's audio and cell devices to get them to go off constantly in an attempt at forcing him to spend time with him. He describes Estonia as his rival tweaker, and at one point, Estonia accuses Russia of hacking his blog and turning it into a fansite for himself. He didn't...and was quite upset at Estonia for thinking so.
  • Ran Musen the genius programmer from R-15.
  • Lynn Lambretta in Bodacious Space Pirates. She was arrested for it when she was in middle school. In high school, she uses her leet skills to foil a pirate attack.
  • Kazari Uiharu in A Certain Scientific Railgun. In the hacker underground, she goes by the pseudonym "Goalkeeper" and is highly respected.
  • Kululu from Sgt. Frog. He could drain all information from the internet and single-handedly take over earth, but he seems more interested in causing mischief and making softcore porn.
  • Lupin III:
    • During Lupin III: Dead or Alive, Lupin is able to hack into highly secret government files. As an international thief, he is easily mistaken for The Cracker, however, he doesn't use his computer skills to steal or manipulate people's identities. Lupin's computer skills are used to discover information only.
    • Lupin III: Part 5 has Ami, a teenage hacker who could rule the internet with her skillz (sic), but is content to use it to find private places on her school campus and fool criminals with internet filters.
  • Macross:
    • Macross Plus has Yang Neumann, who normally is a mecha engineer but pulls double duty as this in his free time. He's even seen hacking into Sharon Apple's system at some point and unintentionally causes her to see Isamu, which will cause her to notice him...
    • Besides being an Idol Singer, Reina Prowler of Macross Delta serves as this for Walkure; in fact, her trying to hack into its parent organization Chaos was what got her recruited in the first place.
  • Matsu in Sekirei. Unlike most of Minato's other Sekirei who fight directly, she's more often than not seen working with her computer to provide support as Mission Control, sometimes even hacking the MBI systems to help the others. In fact, she's introduced using her computer to spy on Minato when she takes an interest in him.

    Comic Books 
  • Lab Rats: Dana's hacker abilities help out the team on several occasions and eventually it seems she was able to disable her transponder implant which helps her outlast the rest of the group but does not save her.
  • Prez (2015): The recurring characters include a team of anonymous hackers who play a role in the unlikely chain of events that results in Beth Ross being elected president, and later uncover and foil an assassination attempt while challenging each other to hack into various bits of the Capitol's IT architecture.
  • Robin (1993): Tim Drake is one and before completing his training this was the only way he was allowed to aid Batman, early in his career as Robin, Dick points it out as one of the things Tim is better at than him.
  • Spider-Man: An issue of Spider Man Family had a couple of kids looking for the next big game stumble into one of Stark Industries' files. What they thought was an awesome game turned out to be a program devised by Howard Stark dating back to World War II to protect America from the Nazis. Both Spidey and Iron Man had to destroy the robots that were activated and Tony (as Iron Man) made sure the boys knew they were in trouble.
  • The Transformers (Marvel): Adam Reynolds was attempting to find out how much money was in a friend's bank account to win a bet, but managed to accidentally hack into the Decepticons' data files. Which is the equivalent of walking to the bank and ending up in the secret military lab in the middle of the ocean.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Glitch is a good-natured little gremlin who is quite good at hacking earth-based and extraterrestrial computers.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Georgia "George" Redmond has a strong sense of right and wrong and a lot of energy, the better to keep up with her best friend Wonder Girl. She's also the most accomplished hacker in the series.
    • Wonder Woman: Warbringer: Theo is quite friendly with a nervous kind of energy and is also a hacker and programmer, whose hacking background proves quite advantageous for the heroes once the true villain is revealed.

    Fan Works 
  • The Babylon 5 fanfic The Dilgar War has Francis O'Leary: in his first scene he boasts about his ability to penetrate protected websites and tries to impress a girl by penetrating the site of EarthForce and showing her the photography of a female officer. Who just happened to be the girl he was trying to impress. Next scene, he joins the Earth Intelligence Agency to avoid serving prison time.
  • In the Miraculous Ladybug fic The Voices of the MiracuChat, "Snowpaw" (real name unknown) hacks a chat conversation fifteen years before her birth because she wants to talk to her mother as a teenager. She doesn't mean any harm, but her blaseness regarding potential paradoxes gets her chided for being irresponsible.
  • In Code Geass: Paladins of Voltron, Rai truly enjoys hacking enemy computers and makes sure that when he's done, a cartoonish image of Voltron's laughing face is displayed on the target's computer screens so they know just who hacked them.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Flynn from TRON. His son Sam in TRON: Legacy is just as computer savvy as his dad, using his skills to annually crack Encom and prank them.
  • David Lightman from WarGames, is a Playful Hacker whose attempts to preview games nearly cause a global nuclear war.
  • The entire plot of the movie Hackers — while the protagonists are not wholly benign, they are put in contrast with an extremely evil villain who makes them seem positively helpful in comparison.
  • Attila in Dante 01, who repeatedly teases the head of the prison when he hacks into his computer.
  • Aram Fingal (played by Raúl Juliá]]) in the Made-for-TV Movie Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, at least initially. He kicks off the film's plot by spending his work hours "scrolling up cinemas" at the office, but once his consciousness is placed in the HX368 supercomputer (long story) his shenanigans end up creating severe weather disasters all over the world, causing billions in property damage to the Evil Corporation that he works for.
  • Stanley Jobson in Swordfish. Arguably Deconstructed — he's got the requisite mad skillz and moral compass, but this just means The Government is that much more smug when they catch up with him and punish him for his actions: destroying the FBI Carnivore program was actually praised by enough of the public to force them to parole him away from computers instead of giving him a prison sentence. But, when his alcoholic wife divorces him due to him losing his job (because they won't let him use computers), they have a judge award her with their daughter even after she marries the porn king she works for. The FBI even brags about how his daughter will end up "a fluffer in her new daddy's videos" as punishment for him screwing up their ability to read every American's email.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, effortlessly hacks a live senate broadcast and several military satellites just to prove a point in Iron Man 2. He also has a tendency to hack other people's sound systems to play appropriate music for his dramatic entrances, as in The Avengers (2012).
  • This drives the plot of Who Am I (2014), where Ben from a benign hacker group hands sensitive data to The Cracker MRX which results in an informer being killed, making Ben and his group prime suspects.
  • Jurassic Park (1993):
    • Dennis Nedry rigs his workstation so that it will lock itself in an infinite loop if anyone tries to access anything on it without "saying the magic word".
      Computer Nedry: Ah ah ah... You didn't say the magic word.
      Arnold: PLEASE! God damn it! I hate this hacker crap!
    • Lex, who insists on being called a hacker and not a "computer nerd", is the one to bring the park's systems back online when everyone else is too busy or too dead to do it.

  • Cory Doctorow's book Little Brother centers around a group of Playful Hackers as they are caught and detained under suspicion of a terrorist attack. Interestingly, The Cracker isn't even represented in the book—it's the Playful Hacker versus the evil Homeland Security.
  • Net in Feliks, Net & Nika is a genius hacker and amazing programmer.
  • Discworld:
    • Replace 'hacker' with 'cracker' and you have the three guys who make up "The Smoking Gnu" in Going Postal. This being the Discworld, they hack the semaphore-driven "clacks" network, which is a telecommunications system, but without the electricity.
    • As of The Science of Discworld II, Hex has also joined the Playful Hacker ranks, as it's hooked up to the semaphore network, has cracked their operations codes, and can slip messages onto the network for free, passing them off as internal signalling. So far as we know, it's only done this to save the UU faculty the expense of sending c-mail messages. Ridcully's reaction to learning this is to ask some serious questions, starting with "Could anyone find out we're doing this?"
  • Catherine Jinks' Evil Genius Trilogy:
    • Cadel Darkkon functions as this. Slightly subverted, as in the first book Cadel was closer to a cracker, given his initially amoral nature—until he met one of the victims of his destructive schemes.
    • Most of the members of Genius Squad are playful hackers, though Hamish Primrose would be the best example.
  • "Smokin'" Jay Gridley from Tom Clancy's Net Force.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • One of the Hats worn by Bothans is that of the hacker (the others are vicious-backstabbing-politician and spy). The Bothan pilot who makes it into Wraith Squadron is a bit malicious but more or less Playful.
    • Ghent, from The Thrawn Trilogy and later the Hand of Thrawn duology, is one of these. He is very good at hacking and does so for the sheer pleasure of it. He also has blue hair.
  • Bobby Newmark in the Sprawl Trilogy.
  • Wyatt Gillette from Jeffery Deaver's The Blue Nowhere.
  • Ravirn. In a world where computer hacking skills and magic have combined, Ravirn definitely fits this trope.
  • Snow Crash. Although his business card boasts of his badass swordsmanship and pizza-delivery skills, Hiro Protagonist's skills as a hacker actually serve him better in the story than his skills with a katana.
  • Bob Salmon in the Doctor Who Past Doctor Adventures novel Blue Box by Kate Orman, who uses his skills to help the Sixth Doctor and Peri take down cracker Sarah Swan.
  • Ender in Ender's Game, who cracks into the desk system in the Battle School and figures out how to send messages under other students' names while preventing other students from using his name. This is only used for pranks, of course, as Ender is only six years old at the time. And the computer system is deliberately set up to allow and encourage this sort of competition/play/hacking.
  • In Vernor Vinge's cult-classic novella, "True Names", most of the members of The Cabal fall under both this and The Cracker. They're all out to have fun and to gain bragging rights, but they're all also criminals. Of course, some of them are more criminal than others, so we do eventually get the classic Playful Hacker vs The Cracker showdown.
  • Karma of The Girl from the Miracles District can break in anywhere thanks to her magical ability to manipulate numbers. She likes to have her fun, too - she once broke into secure bank accounts of a leader of an order of assassins, replaced all the values with 6,66 in whatever currency they were in, and then reset everything back to normal after a day just to show that she could.
  • Fate/strange Fake has Flat Escardos, an Idiot Savant who cheerfully goes about the Holy Grail War in hopes of making friends with every Servant. He's also an astonishingly talented magus who can rewrite meticulously laid defensive wards in four seconds simply by touching a building and flooding it with his magical energy.
  • Spellhacker: Diz is a skilled hacker who enjoys using her talent to steal maz (magic) from a Mega-Corp and digging up dirt on authorities.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Frohike and Langley of The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen would seem to qualify. Byers, for the most part, is their Straight Man.
  • Though General Hospital's Spinelli is portrayed as this by friends, he's a lot closer to the Cracker archetype.
  • Leverage:
    • Alec Hardison falls under this trope.
    • His nemesis Chaos is the villainous variant who's willing to kill to get what he wants.
  • Freddie tries to be this in the "iRue the Day" episode of iCarly to counter Cracker Nevel without success.
  • Crossing over with Real Life, a playful hacker team calling themselves "Oz and Yug" managed to interfere with a demonstration on The BBC's Micro Live in 1983; The hosts were demonstrating the then-new technology of e-mail live on air, but during the prep for the show the floor manager told one of the hosts the password while his microphone was live, which was picked up by some of the guests waiting in the green room, who promptly relayed it to a hacker they knew. The end result was the hosts reading out the lyrics of the Hacker's Song live on air. You can see it here.
  • Caleb from Pretty Little Liars, one of the resident Troubled, but Cute bad boys of Rosewood, is a kindhearted hacker with a Dark and Troubled Past of being The Cracker.
  • Charlie Bradbury from Supernatural is one who likes to divert funds from the Republican Party to animal rights groups in her spare time at work. Until she learns what's really going on at Richard Roman Enterprises when she's asked to hack Frank Deveraux's hard drive and has to run and take a new identity—apparently not for the first time.
  • Mr. Robot: While Elliot isn't "playful," his interest in hacking is benevolent. He wants to help people and punish wrongdoers.
  • Near the end of Oliver's Travels the heroes are put in touch with one who helps them hack into the villain's computer system and get evidence of his wrongdoing.
  • Lucas Wolenczak of SeaQuest DSV is also an example. We see an entire episode of this in Photon Bullet.

  • In "Banned from Argo", the ship's "Lady of Communications" (Uhura) hacked Argo's main communications net to make all callers appear naked.

  • Roc in the Firefly game of Cool Kids Table is the engineer, and is also good with computers. Shannon regularly makes good rolls to access computer systems with him.

  • Freddie from Behind The Veil fits pretty well, despite being born a wolf. Mike Hoffman also has shades of this.
  • Amy from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, after she's turned into data which can freely roam the Internet. While Finn wants her to hack through firewalls as part of his various plans, Amy herself just does it because she wants to learn and be helpful.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Cyberpunk had Spider Murphy and her Big Brother Mentor Rache Bartmoss, the two greatest netrunners to ever live. Rache was a Well-Intentioned Extremist who lived by Obfuscating Insanity, playing up being an Ax-Crazy Cloud Cuckoo Lander so both his allies and enemies would underestimate him, and disliked the idea of innocent people being caught in the crossfire or causing large-scale destruction but went to extreme lengths in his war on the Mega Corps. Murphy on the other hand acted as Cloudcuckoolander's Minder to him but had plenty of her own eccentricities like babbling Lewis Carroll poems while working or using a large-chested anime girl as her online avatar.
  • The Computer Phreak secret society in Paranoia.
  • The Shaper faction in Android: Netrunner is comprised of these guys.
  • Miniatures game Infinity features hacking as a core mechanic and has several characters that fit the trope: Valerya Gromoz and Isobel McGregor are both young women who became known for their hacking skills while Uhahu and Mary Problems are child-like expert hackers that put the former two too shame with both their skills and bratty attitudes.

    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: Ayane is very skilled in hacking, finding all manner of information hidden, she also provides Ann the means to open any encrypted locks.
  • Metal Gear:
    • B.B. from Metal Gear Ac!d 2. Instead of being childlike, though, he was—literally—a child (age negotiable, but still in Elementary School). He played comic relief throughout the game, culminating in him copying Psychic Powers from a boss and hypnotizing the President of the United States—totally ridiculous, but it worked because it was funny.
    • One of Otacon's talents in Metal Gear Solid. He clearly takes great pleasure in hacking into his boss's files during the third act, and cheerfully remarks that the hacker label describes him "pretty well". In fact, that's why the FBI fired him.
  • In Deus Ex, Silhouette's claim to fame is hacking a Superbowl broadcast and inserting anti-UN propaganda.
  • Hammer from Xenosaga is said to have top-notch hacking skills, so much so that he's been headhunted by the top corporations of that 'Verse. The database states that in his youth, he hacked into a criminal database and that his current employers, the Kukai Foundation, protected him from them.
  • The "hacker" from the original System Shock. The story gets kicked off when he gets caught.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The way Kasumi Goto meets Commander Shepard in Mass Effect 2 is by hacking an advertisement machine to talk to him/her.
      Commander Shepard, enter the password and receive a free gift.
      Having trouble with Collectors? Try Kasumi's credit agency.
      We have the finest companions for you. Perhaps something petite, smart, and Japanese would be to your liking.
      Just enter the password for a fabulous prize worth billions of credits.
      Seriously, how many times can you walk past without investigating?
    • Between the events of Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, Cerberus attempts to regain control of the Normandy after Shepard cuts off ties with them. Unshackled EDI's response? Spamming the Cerberus hackers with seven zettabytesnote  of porn...from Joker's Porn Stash.
    • The crew of the Normandy is joined in Mass Effect 3 by Samantha Traynor, who among other things enjoys strategy games and manages to impress EDI with her ability to sift through data to track a Cerberus shuttle.
  • In Grand Theft Auto V, Joke Character Heist crewmate Rickie Lukens can develop into this as he's the most outgoing and sociable among the hackers, but starts off as the most incompetent as his Establishing Character Moment has him asking Michael of all people to help him deal with a virus he downloaded while looking at porn. If you bring him along often enough he becomes as skilled as The Ace Paige while still maintaining his playful attitude in contrast to Paige and Christian's professionalism. He makes a return for the Diamond Casino Heist in Online, although with none of the potential competence the player could've helped him obtain in the base game.
  • Shinji Naruse, a childish and Tsundere high school student in Lux-Pain is a gifted hacker who manages to break into the files of the main character's secret organization... because he can. He ends up facing the Cool and Unusual Punishment of having doctored (and dirty) photos of him posted on the internet by said organization.
  • Yukabacera from Iji is apparently one, according to his hidden character pages on Daniel Remar's official site. He'll hack one of the station terminals in the room just to code a video game for other people's enjoyment. (This game can actually be played in Sector 6, the sector where Yukabacera is hiding) He apparently tries cracking his own logbook in his spare time and is responsible for the Scrambler, which was your standard-issue Universal Translator before he got his hands on it.
  • TRON 2.0: Jet Bradley is as bad as his Honorary Uncle (see the film section). His father is definitely not thrilled.
  • You in Uplink, if you so choose. Hack someone's academic record and give him nonsense degrees! Change their status from "Single" to "Married" or even to "Deceased" for no particular reason. Hack into the bank and steal exactly one credit just because you can. As well as the player in the Spiritual Successor Hacknet.
  • Bentley of the Sly Cooper series is the team's tech expert and can hack practically any computer they need him to. He's also technically The Cracker as he's part of a gang of thieves, albeit a largely heroic gang.
  • Isis and probably Alice from Hack 'N' Slash have the attitude and means down, except they're hacking the fabric of reality instead of just computers.
  • The Data Angels of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri are an entire country of these, headed by Sinder Roze, a cybercriminal who got aboard the Unity by opting to work as the ship's network admin as part of her community service. The Data Angels are concerned greatly about the freedom of the individual and the freedom of information, which often puts them into conflict with the collectivist Human Hive and the fanatical Lord's Believers. The Data Angels have access to Probes which are not only more effective than those of other factions, but much cheaper as well, and they gain any technology for free when it is discovered by three other factions. Unfortunately, they can't use the Power value in social engineering, giving them fewer options for building a strong military, and they have a much harder time keeping order in their cities and generally working as a group - in a nation of individualistic hackers, everyone wants to have a voice, and nobody wants to be just another soldier in someone else's army.
  • Sombra from Overwatch blurs the line quite a bit in deciding whether or not she's a Playful Hacker or a Cracker. On one hand, her motives seem just, which is to know who really runs the world, and she has an extremely prevalent mischievous streak, but she works with the terrorist organization Talon to find this info, and is also quite keen on "making friends" to obtain more.
    Moira: Started any wars lately?
    Sombra: (cheerily) I'll have to check my schedule.
  • Persona 5 has Futaba Sakura, the Phantom Thieves' mischievous tech genius, who's capable of hacking anything from her friend's smartphone to all of Japan's airwaves.
  • In Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - Hacker's Memory, the Player Character is a member of a team of white-hat hackers who go around helping people & Digimon (and turning a profit while they're at it).
  • Anonymous from BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm is trying to learn how to hack so he’ll have another tool in his arsenal to play tricks on people. Later we meet Til, a playful Hackette who mainly uses her abilities to keep his in check.
  • Halo: Many Smart AI are capable of doing this when plugged into a network. Cortana in particular was designed with the intent of infiltrating any system, even Covenant-designed and controlled ones, and taking them over. She's even subverted control from Forerunner systems. The novels describe her as having every single hacking protocol that ONI could fit inside of her at the time of her creation, plus quite a few she made herself (and would often amuse herself by testing said security systems to see how fast she could break through).
  • Neptunia: Nepgear moonlights as one when she wants to with her trusty N-Gear, with it being casually mentioned she's used it to hack into government databases or other servers. Luckily, she's only ever really used it in order to find info the bad guys want to keep hidden.
  • VA-11 HALL-A: Alice_Rabbit, a parallel to Anonymous who vandalizes government pages and releases government files in the name of fighting corruption. Alma has some shades of this but mainly treats it as a job, and even rants early in the game about how Alice_Rabbit endeared the Playful Hacker trope in the youth and made them want to hack to stick it to the man, when doing such a thing is not only very difficult but also incredibly dangerous.
  • Sunrider: If Claude Triello's battle lines are any indication, her accuracy-debuffing skills work by hacking into an enemy unit's system to upload malware and mess with their HUD, such as replacing their cursor with her selfie or "accidentally" stealing all their porn. The impish delivery of said lines fits her nature as The Gadfly.
    Claude: (Gleefully) Oops, I accidentally downloaded his entire porn collection! (beat; confused) ...Space whales?

  • Jack from Gunnerkrigg Court has made a hobby of hacking his dorm's security system so he can sneak out and explore the Court after-hours.
  • Yuri from Spacetrawler. She can open or lock any door on the ship, and she's already read a number of files that the captain doesn't want anyone to see.
  • Vauxhall from A Tale of Fiction fits the bill. He seems to know more about the tyrannical DUF than almost anybody else from his hacking activities and works against them but otherwise is a harmless and funny (if porn-addicted) guy.
  • Candy Chip from The Sunjackers. She's the team's resident tech girl, and fits the 'trans hacker' stereotype nicely, despite the Crapsack World she lives in. This is best exemplified when she gets to answer askbox questions, and gleefully describes how her job works.
  • Sollux Captor and Alpha Roxy Lalonde from Homestuck. Sollux is probably a better example of the trope — he once managed to initiate contact from Terezi to Doc Scratch. Who doesn't have an account on the chat client. And uses a TYPEWRITER. AND LIVES ON A MOON.
  • Metompsychosis Union: Tilo is a recreational hacker, whose first use of the ability in comic is after being taken captive by revolutionaries who are going to leave the last person in a shipping container behind as they don't have the time or expertise to free them from their bio-locked container. Tilo's reaction is to ask for a minute to see if they can subvert the system, which they do, though the imprisoned being breaks out as soon as the containment is breached rather than wait for Tilo to finish unlocking the entire mechanism.
  • The aptly named Hacky from Sidekicks has a superpower that allows him to do so. Although he denies it.
  • Hachuling from Tower of God, a cheerful fellow who can take over your Lighthouse like it's nothing.

    Web Original 
  • Zaboo occasionally ventures into this territory in The Guild.
  • Several of them in the Chaos Timeline.
  • Mysterious Mr. M of LIS_DEAD can infiltrate deep into a secret organization, barely escape by the skin of his wits, and code a nice little Tetris minigame when he gets home, snarking all the while.

    Western Animation 
  • In Carmen Sandiego, Player is this type of hacker. He specifically calls himself a white-hat hacker when he first talks to Carmen, back when she was Black Sheep.
  • Occasionally in Code Lyoko, when Jérémie is testing a new program. However, he normally uses the Supercomputer to escape from sticky situations. For example, when the school staff tries to find out about William's disappearance and Jérémie uses his voice synthesizer.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: Thanks to her backpack computer, there isn't really anything Dendy can't hack. It takes all of a second to hack into the POW Card Heroputer, and another couple of seconds to write an entirely new program for it to include kappa, something that Carla (the Pow Card company's engineer) states would've taken her forever to write.
  • Mouse from ReBoot. Even weirder when you consider she actually lives inside a computer. One could guess she's some sort of hacking software (just like how Bob is essentially a computer security suite).
  • Odie in Class of the Titans, is this at times. Especially in "Trojan Horse" where he hacks the city's main frame for his own amusement, causing the traffic lights to flash like a disco and Video Game/Pac-Man to appear on an ATM.
  • Once in Robot Chicken, the nerd accidentally nuked Canada while looking for cheat codes. He was sent to Guantanamo Bay and waterboarded until he told them where Mordor was.
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: While he's more of a Technopath, Doc Hartford never lacks for a sense of humor, and is more likely to try to sweet-talk or trick an AI than overpower it.
  • Randy Hernandez in Godzilla: The Series, often getting into restricted networks.
  • Robin in Young Justice (2010).
    "I hacked the motion sensors."
  • Blkmrkt, the Asian and Nerdy 11-year-old from Major Lazer.

    Real Life 
  • Grey Hat hackers often fall into this category, who often try to break into locked systems for the hell of it or to prove they can rather than with any intention of helping or harming the system or its owner. Many offer to fix the exploit for a price to profit off of it, however.
  • A popular April Fool's Day joke on websites is to alter the front page to make it look like the site has fallen victim to internet vandals. Fark is (apparently) particularly vulnerable to guinea pigs, or, as they call themselves, TEH PIGZ.
  • Though it did not involve computers, the Max Headroom broadcast hijacker still applies. The incident occurred in 1987 when a guy dressed like Max Headroom was able to get into the signals of WGN and PBS and broadcast his surreal video.
  • A hacker called NeoN exposed a Russian company's propagation of the fake antivirus program MS Antivirus and posted their earnings from the fraudulent program. The company's name? Bakasoftware.
  • Lulz Security/Antisec members consider themselves to be these, as evidenced by their snarky, meme-laden press releases.
  • The NSA has its own department of white hat hackers (better known as "penetration testers", since certain less technically-literate management types tend to panic at the word "hacker") that constantly test their own systems. And do some other stuff.
  • In fact, many tech-based industries (which is most industries nowadays) employ penetration testers, also called "ethical hackers", and often independent hackers can tip companies off about security vulnerabilities as well.
    • The Netherlands has been known to lead at least a few of those who hack on the path of ethical hackership. These are students who hack their school systems out of fun and/or boredom, getting to know their teachers' login data, changing grades, and even being able to give out free days. Because this proves that the hacked system is obviously a sieve, this has motivated some ethical hackers to take these youngsters on and teach them the path of an ethical hacker. This is effective in multiple ways: the student can do what they are good at (hacking), are one less future menace to society and benefit it instead by testing the systems of large scale facilities like banks.
  • M.I.T. has a long tradition of "hacks" dating back long before computers were available, with their own website dedicated to tracking them, as well as at least five books—one of which is published by the university's museum press.
  • During the PewDiePie vs. T-Series competition, two hackers under the aliases of HackerGiraffe and j3ws3r managed to hack ten thousands of printers and print out messages encouraging people to subscribe to PewDiePie and upgrade their printer security (highlighting how serious printer hacking can be). They also hacked many smart TVs running Chromecast with similar messages. Nest cameras and the Wall Street Journal were hacked also to promote subscribing to PewDiePie.

Alternative Title(s): White Hat Hacker