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In common usage, a hacker is a person who breaks into computers. The subculture that has evolved around hackers is often referred to as the computer underground. Proponents claim to be motivated by artistic and political ends, but are often unconcerned about the use of criminal means to achieve them. Not all hackers are bad, and some act for good. It depends on their intentions.
A well known hacker group is called "Anonymous".
While other uses of the word hacker exist that are not related to computer security (computer programmer and home computer hobbyists), they are rarely used in mainstream context.
Hackers can also put malware on your computer, find deadly exploits in your operating system and programs.