Security is a hot topic and a field that is growing with the growth of technology and a need for safeguarding software and data as more and more data is getting shared around. While product owners are always trying to remove or fix all the security vulnerabilities there is one section of programmer or technology enthusiasts who are constantly analyzing various products to find more security loopholes. Some do it for fun, some for money while some are professionals helping companies make their products robust, but there is one common word to define them all, and that is Hacker.
In this article, we will learn about various different types of Hackers and how they are different.
White hat hackers are also known as Ethical Hackers. They are computer experts(basically good guys), who do penetration testing on products to secure data and to find loopholes in the product only to report the issues to the company making that product so that they can fix it. They help in removing malware and spy infections from software products. Most white hat hackers hold a college degree in IT security or computer science and must be certified to pursue a career in hacking. By hiring some white hat hackers, companies have a chance to fight other hackers and stay ahead of them at all times. These hackers have positive intentions and they are fighting the war on the good side.
Black Hat hackers are individuals who use their skill to attack a software product online to expose or leak critical data or to steal it. Many times they are traced down using network footprints and have to face court trials also leading to imprisonment. They generally look for banks and other companies with weak security infrastructure and they then steal credit card information, user's personal data, email addresses or any other important data they can get their hands on. They use their skills maliciously for their personal gain. Blackhat hackers are talented but unethical hackers who have a lot of knowledge and skill yet have harmful motivations. Common crimes include producing computer viruses and distributing it, carrying out DDoS attacks on websites, carrying out identity theft, creating Ad worms, performing XSS attacks etc.
Grey Hat Hackers are a mix of both black and white hat hackers. They often look for vulnerabilities in websites or server without the owner's permission, and if they find anything, they report it in return of monetary benefits. They are the conflicted ones who are uncertain about which side of the law they are standing on. They enjoy modifying and disassembling their own computers and often take part in minor illegal activities. They crack software and leak files. If you use torrents or meddle with copyrighted software and content, you yourself might be considered a grey hat hacker. Grey hats might not use their access for bad purposes but they do indulge in compromising cybersecurity without permission.
Script Kiddles normally don't care about hacking. They will use tools developed by other hackers to perform attacks on software products and websites. They search for malicious code, copy the code and use it as a virus or SQL Injection, or for carrying out DDoS attacks. They don't have enough knowledge about what is happening behind the scene. They like to play around with various scripts and attack tools that other, more skilled people have built. They attack computer systems just for the fun of it . These are wannabe hackers, but that doesn't mean they stop there. If you like hacking and love to try a few hacking tricks you can start with Kali Linux, its a version of Linux which is packed with amazing tools to hack software and find security vulnerabilities.
Script Kiddles are also divided into two types:
A Hacktivist is a kind of hacker who thinks hacking can bring social change in the society. They use hacking to make governments listen to their opinions, or to protest. They are soldiers on the cyber battlefield and they are prepared to fight. They always target government and big organizations to expose malpractices. They are skilled and they can write their own exploits. They can break into strong systems and make backdoors in the system. They do various acts such as mirroring websites or shutting down services. Some hacktivists work to bring awareness about issues and rally people together to bring about positive change.
The above categories of Hackers are just a general outline and categorization based on skills and intent of a security expert who has an inclination towards making the world more secure either by exposing security issues, helping fix them or use them to bring about a bigger change.
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