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In IT parlance, J. Random Hacker is a mythical figure, a kind of “Joe Sixpack” or “John Doe” of the IT world. The name has been used as a pseudonym for authors, a cliche in talking about IT security, and in certain types of placeholder situations, for example, in name or title fields in a database.
Some attribute the emergence of the term “J. Random Hacker” to scientists at MIT in the 1960s. As for the “J” at the beginning of the title, some point to that notoriety of J. Fred Muggs, a chimpanzee who was the mascot for NBC in the mid-1950s, and J. Presper Eckert, one of the original makers of the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer or ENIAC.
The Jargon File, a stock source for IT lore, includes an appendix called “A Portrait of J. Random Hacker” with all sorts of organized characteristics attributed to this imaginary person.