A thing is not esoteric because it is secret or kept hidden. It is esoteric because its existence is in some sense unmanifest, private, and by its very nature not available for examination from the outside: it is only available to participation, not, ultimately, merely to examination. In other words, the realm of the esoteric is, before anything else, the realm of consciousness, of experience.
Hackers, in fiction, are the trickster-gods of the realm of computing. They go where they’re not supposed to, steal anything that isn’t nailed down (or rather, written down in ink on parchment with a quill plucked from a white goose), and boast about it.