And what are ‘grey hot‘ and ‘hacktivist‘?
A hacker is a technical user who bypasses computer systems to hack and disorganize them. Sometimes this distraction is great, the purpose of creating something beneficial. Other times, hacking is serious and aims to harm people through identity theft or other harm.
You’re probably familiar with the 1980s hacker. The evil criminal who is socially isolated. While this stereotype describes some modern ‘black hat hackers, there is a very small number of hackers who are not criminals. Many hackers use their knowledge for good
Today, a ‘hacker’ is a distributor that subdivides into three categories:
- ‘Black Hack’ Hackers: Criminals and Mistakes.
- ‘White Hack’ Hackers: Ethical hackers who work to protect systems and people.
- ‘Grey Hat’ Hackers: Cabbage in both black hat and white hat hacks.
Black hat hacker’ = criminal with criminal intent. Go / Ballast
This is the classic definition of a hacker: a computer user who hacks or steals from other people’s networks.
‘Black hat’ is a stylish way to describe their unfortunate pursuit. Black hats are gifted but unscrupulous computer users who are motivated by feelings of power and petty revenge. They are electronic thugs in every sense of the word, and they share the same personality traits as emotionally distraught teenagers who tear out bus stop windows for personal satisfaction.
‘White hat’ hacker = security professional. Yan/Getty
Different from the classic black hat hackers, white hat hackers are either working with respectable movements, or they are mercenaries working on respectable agendas. Also known as ‘ethical hackers’, white hats are talented computer security users often employed to help protect computer networks.
Some white hats are reformed black hats, like ex-convicts who work as store security guards. Although they have been immoral in the past, their current position is considered white hat.
Ethical hackers are motivated by a steady panache. Ethical hackers are not surprised to spend their checks on very expensive personal computers in their personal lives, so they can play online games after work. Unless they have a well-paying job to support their habits, an ethical hacker is generally not motivated to destroy or steal from their employer.
Special Note: Some white hat hackers are ‘academic hackers’. These are computer workers who are less interested in system security, and more interested in creating clever programs and beautiful interfaces. Their motivation is to improve a system through change and addition. Academic hackers may be casual hobbyists, or they may be serious computer engineers working on their graduate-level degrees.
Gray Hat Hackers: A Mixture of Good and Bad. People’s Party / Getty
Gray hat hackers are often hobbyists with interview technical skills. These hobbyists take apart and enjoy their computers to enjoy their hobby, and they will sometimes dabble in petty white-collar crimes like file sharing and cracking software. If you are a P2P downloader, you are a gray hat hacker.
Gray hat hackers tend to become serious black hat hackers.
Subcategories of Hackers: Script Bidders and Hacktivists
Script Prisoners: This is a stylish name for hero hackers who are unusual. Script dialects can be white hats, black hats, or gray hats. Hacktivist: This is a hacker who is fighting for a cause. Some say that famous hackers like Lulzack and Anonymous are hacktivists fighting government corruption and corporate malfeasance. A hacktivist can be a white hat, black hat, or brown hat.