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Who are you defending against?
Professional - Not generally a threat to the home user. These crackers are after something specific, with a specific purpose in mind. They generally have some motivation, be it money, patriotism, religion or something else. Their purpose may be industrial espionage, terrorism, or some other task. The professional is extremely stealthy. If they are after information on your system, they go in, get it, and you never know they were there. If their goal is to take you down, you will not know of their presence until the attack is launched.