Aesthetics Wiki

The Hacker aesthetic is based around computer hacking, a term for utilizing computers through non-standard means, and the corresponding subculture of Hacker culture built around it. Hacker culture abides by a philosophy known as "Hacker ethic", based around the idea of freedom of information. Hacker aesthetic is closely related to Old Web, with hackers idealizing the freedom of the old internet and rejecting the corporatization of it. The term "Hacker" originated in the 1960s in technology academia. Hacker culture developed parallel at campuses such as the the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University. With the invention of the internet, hacker culture was able to become much more widespread as computer hobbyists could meet online from across the country. Hacker culture can be considered to be the first internet aesthetic.


Computer setups often in dimly lit rooms, filled with electronics such as keyboards, monitors, CDs. An example is Neo's apartment from The Matrix. This part of the aesthetic is similar to Web Creep with the same elements of disorganized wires and electronics strewn about.

Elements of Glitchcore are often seen.

Digital Rain[]

Green terminal screens filled with falling computer code (referred to as "Digital Rain") originated from The Matrix and have become a popular visual of the aesthetic.

Anonymous Masks[]

The anonymous mask is a symbol of anonymity and resistance commonly associated with hackers and the loose hacker collective labeled Anonymous. It originated from the Guy Fawkes mask from the graphic novel and movie V for Vendetta. The mask soared in popularity as it was handed out in a marketing stunt for the movie[1], and then became a symbol for Anonymous after its members decided to adopt the mask for a protest against the Church of Scientology called "Project Chanology".


More information: Wikipedia:ASCII Art Art created using ASCII characters and symbols, similar to the way words are written in Leetspeak. There are many techniques and styles of ASCII art. Crackers are known for using ASCII art logos in the nfo files of their releases.


Leetspeak (1337)[]


A table of Leetspeak numbers and combinations to replace letters.

Leetspeak, also known as leet (written as "1337"), is a pseudo-language used online by hackers. It is based around a system of modified spellings that replaces words with a resembling combination of numbers, signs and symbols. For example, the word Hacker becomes Haxor (H4x0r) and Elite becomes Leet (1337).

Leetspeak is a way to bypass text filters as well as an argot (a language designed to prevent outsiders from understanding). It developed various 'dialects' on different internet forums as the symbols used for substitutions varied. Leetspeak is not used anymore by hackers for the most part, due to text filters improving over the years, and non-technical users now use leetspeak. However, it has been adopted by Scene members.

Types of Hackers[]

Black Hat Hackers are hackers who practice unethical Hacking and violate the law when they hack. Some examples of crimes commited by Black Hats include spreading malware, ransomware and spyware, stealing data, breaching websites and stealing financial information and personal information. Black Hat Hackers are the most stereotypical and well known variant of Hackers due to their bad reputation and representation in the media. The concept of "Black Hat" and "White Hat" hackers references Western movies from the 1950s, when the bad guys would wear black hats and the good guys would wear white hats.

Grey Hat Hackers are a type of hackers who are experts at cybersecurity and computer hacking, but sometimes break the typical ethical standards when they practice it. However, contrary to Black Hat Hackers, they don't always have malicious intentions.

Red Hat Hackers are hackers who enjoy picking up fights with Black Hat Hackers and defending victims and innocent people. They may also use hacking to spread social, political, religious or ideological messages and activism and bypass governmental dictatorships.

White Hat Hackers, also known as Ethical Hackers, are a type of hackers who practice hacking for ethical reasons, such as testing and spotting errors, bugs or loopholes on websites, and spot vulnerabilities and security issues online. White Hat Hackers usually only hack if they have the consent to do so by the owners of the respective websites.

Skids, otherwise known as Script Kiddies or Wannabe Hackers, are a subcategory of 'Hackers' characterized by being beginners at hacking or exploiting. They are often judged by the Hacker community due to their inability to program, and the way they take codes and scripts made by other people and claim it as theirs and don't give credit to their respective creators. They are often young and unskilled and use third party hacking resources for malicious intentions because they want to be like Black Hat Hackers. They are also known to enjoy vandalizing websites or ruining online videogames for people and use cheap or free programs to do so. Skids are usually found on online videogames and social media websites such as Roblox, Fortnite, Discord or V3rmillion. Skids usually grow up to be White Hat Hackers, have another non-cybersecurity computer job, or abandon computer science altogether. Only in rare cases to script kiddies become black hat hackers.

Social Engineering or Human Hacking is a type of non-computer hacking of tricking and scamming people into giving away their credentials. Such attempts at hacking include lying and impersonation. For example, sending scam messages to people and pretending to be part of important organizations such as the government or a bank, so the victim gets tricked into giving away their personal information. As Social Engineering is by definition not computer hacking, Social Engineers who claim to be true hackers are often frowned upon in the Hacker community because many Hackers believe Social Engineering doesn't count as true hacking, although many hackers know how to engage in social engineering.


Films/TV Shows[]

  • War Games (1983)
  • Hackers (1995)
  • The Matrix (1999)
  • Mr. Robot (2015)

Video Games[]