You’re right Pete, and the following sums it up nicely:
There is another group of people who loudly call themselves hackers, but aren’t. These are people (mainly adolescent males) who get a kick out of breaking into computers and phreaking the phone system. Real hackers call these people â€˜crackersâ€™ and want nothing to do with them. Real hackers mostly think crackers are lazy, irresponsible, and not very bright, and object that being able to break security doesn’t make you a hacker any more than being able to hotwire cars makes you an automotive engineer. Unfortunately, many journalists and writers have been fooled into using the word â€˜hackerâ€™ to describe crackers; this irritates real hackers no end.
The basic difference is this: hackers build things, crackers break them.