cracking

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cracking
1. Gaining, or attempting to gain, unauthorized access to computers with malicious intent. Distinguished from hacking, which may be benevolent or neutral.

2. Obtaining plaintext passwords or encryption keys, usually from information protected by irreversible encryption.

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cracking Stage in oil-refining during which the products of the first distillation are treated to break up large hydrocarbons into smaller molecules by the controlled use of heat, catalysts and often pressure. The cracking of petroleum yields heavy oils, petrol, and gases such as ethane, ethylene, and propene (propylene), which are used in the manufacture of plastics, textiles, detergents, and agricultural chemicals. Cracking is, therefore, a means of yielding greater amounts of lighter hydrocarbons from heavier fractions such as lubricating oil.

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cracking Breaking down or decomposition of large, more complex molecules, particularly hydrocarbons, into small simple molecules, usually by heating. The process can occur naturally, resulting in older deposits containing lighter crude oil than those of younger fields. Commercially, cracking is carried out in oil refineries.