J. Random Hacker

What Does J. Random Hacker Mean?

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


Techopedia Explains J. Random Hacker

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.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…