A person who illegally gains access to another party’s data via computer is interpreted as a hacker. In reality, hackers are expert programmers who are geniuses in the area of technical problem solving. The intent behind their actions could be good or bad, and that is why we classify them accordingly. Hackers are far from what we see in movies and T.V shows like ‘Mr. Robot’. They are not necessarily shady people who are always dressed in black hoodies and operate from basements or remote locations. Hackers look like normal people and many of them put their skills to good use. Hacking is a fulltime career and hackers play a significant role in the tech industry.
1. White Hat Hacker
White hat hackers are ethical hackers who break into systems with permission from the authorities. The purpose is to identify loopholes and test the integrity of the given system. These hackers ensure that the companies they serve have an impenetrable database and secure network infrastructure.
2. Black Hat Hacker
Black hat hackers are the worst kind of hackers who engage in criminal activity. They crack systems and manipulate databases with evil motives. Hackers that rob banks and steal credit card info fall into this category. They are primarily motivated to achieve financial gains and publicity. Some black hat hackers just operate to bring chaos and want to see the world burn.
3. Grey Hat Hacker
As the name suggests, the grey hat hacker is somewhere between a white hat hacker and a black hat hacker. These people do the right thing, using the wrong methods. An example is leaking personal data of a criminal or corrupt organization to reveal their true colors to the police or public. Despite committing the crime of invading someone’s privacy, the outcome of his or her actions is favorable.
4. Script Kiddie
Script Kiddies are kids or amateurs who have limited knowledge of hacking, but are eager to play with what they have. They mainly rely on hacking software or prewritten script to mess with websites or online accounts. They are not capable of causing major damages, but still pose a threat to society.
A Hacktivist is someone trying to bring about a social movement or promote a cause. They usually work as a group like protestors, but rally on the internet rather than the streets. They break into systems and take over to gain attention and support from the public. They may or may not have anything against the websites they hack, but cause them trouble anyway. They use online platforms to spread a personal message and compromise original content in the process.
6. Red Hat Hacker
Red hat hackers are honorable hackers that exist to take down black hat hackers. These hackers have no personal motive and do it out of heroism. Whenever they receive news of malicious activity caused by the bad hackers, they will work to infiltrate their system and intercept the attacks. This helps save the victim from a disaster and eliminates the culprit for good.
Although the majority of Hackers are offenders of law, not all have ill intentions. If you have the skills of a hacker, make sure to put them to good use. If you have no knowledge of hacking, stay safe from hackers around you. I hope this article helped clear misconceptions about hackers and provided you some valuable information.