We all have heard about them. Some of us even love the idea of being a hacker (ethical) When we hear the term “hacker” An image pops up in our head where a person is operating 10 computers at the same time to hack into some intelligence agency. While hackers do try to break into databases, there are different types of them and not all of them are bad.
Who is a hacker exactly?
Anyone who uses or misuses advanced cyber and technology knowledge to hack a cyber network is known as a hacker. The term first originated in the 1980s when the cyber industry was just growing up. Now that our lives have become more digitized than ever, hackers have also become stronger and more active than ever.
What are the different types of hackers?
Here’re the different types of hackers:
White hat hackers
White hat hackers are often the good guys who use their extensive cyber knowledge to help companies and organizations improve their cybersecurity systems. For example, if a software company develops an encryption software tool, these white hate hackers will use different techniques to hack into the software and check if the tool is error-proof. Some white hat hackers also help companies or agencies to catch bad guys (black hat hackers) who try to steal private or sensitive information.
Blue hat hacker:
They are no different than white hat hackers, except for the fact that they are hired as external sources. Software companies hire them to test their security products. These hackers use hacking techniques and knowledge to test the product by hacking into it and identify the loopholes in the software tools. Once they identify what’s wrong with the product, they inform the company and the developers fix the errors.
Black hat hackers:
They are the real hackers whom you need to protect yourself against. These hackers use their advanced knowledge to:
- Steal sensitive information
- Misuse personal accounts by hacking them
- Spread malware for revenge causes or just for entertainment
- Sell information after stealing it
- Spy on people
All in all, they are the real bad guys you need to stay away from. They often lure you into clicking some malicious link and then spy or steal your stuff.
These are the type of “hackers” that use pre-developed scripts or hacking tools to hack or damage a cyber network or just an individual’s cyber property. These hackers normally don’t cause much damage (intentionally) but they are still able to inflict much pain.
Grey hat hacker
These hackers are a hybrid of white hat and black hat hackers. They use their advanced knowledge for their own sake. They do not involve in illegal activities like black hat hackers do, but they are also not very helpful with their knowledge similar to white hat hackers. Hacktivists identify problems, inform the company and agree to provide a solution against some sun. they are more like freelancers.
Red hat hacker (hacktivists)
Yes, you got that right. Hacktivist is a portmanteau for the words “hacker” and “activist” These hackers usually hack some system to extract classified information (mostly political) and spread it among the public. Some examples are Wikileaks and Edward Snowden.