When we use the term „Hacker” the first thing that comes to mind is the image that Hollywood and the media painted in our heads. The media has already demonized hackers, as it portrayed them as the perpetrators of all the things that are flawed about Internet security. But in truth, a more accurate description of hackers would look much different. Today, we are here to give you a much better presentation of hackers and the impact they can do in our world.
When people say or hear the term „hacker” they think of someone who intentionally breaks into computer systems or networks to abuse the information contained within them and infuse chaos in order to show the power and control they have. They aren’t really associated with doing something good, in fact, the term „hacker” and „criminal” often mean the same to the general public.
It is a fact that hackers can do a lot of harm and a lot of good deeds and they are feared for obvious reasons. In reality, hackers play a vital role in our society. They have a huge power at their disposal which they either use to do good or bad things. Each hacker has his or her own moral code as any sane person does, and they also have various casts to take into consideration.
So, What is a Hacker?
A hacker is a problem solver first and foremost. It is someone who is adept to computer programming and networking. Also, a hacker is a tech-savvy person, who bypasses and manipulates computer systems in order to make them do unintended things. Their goals can be both noble and beneficial or harsh, as they have a wicked goal in mind.
But they can love to share their knowledge and help to improve systems or use their expertise to have unauthorized access to networks, systems, corporations and governments.
Hackers have an exceptional force that they can use to bring about change in our society. They represent a critical role in the 21 century, because their eminent access to information, which is one of the critical currencies of power.
Hacking is all about exploring. They discover hidden concerns and find solutions to various problems that many wouldn’t even notice.
They have uncovered corruption and abuse, hacked politicians and popes and think of their impact as something larger than just leaking sensitive documents and taking down websites.
Nevertheless, they have the skills necessary to do well and have a positive influence.
The following qualities can also describe what kind of person a hacker is.
- An individual who enjoys putting actual programming into practice, instead of theorizing about it.
- An individual who learns programming easily.
- An individual who enjoys learning the details of a system or programming language.
- Someone who is able to appreciate other peoples hacking.
- An individual who is an expert at a specific programming language.
The Types of Hackers
In the hacker community, there are some key differentiators and casts among hackers that people aren’t aware of. While it is true that they can be split up as „good hackers” and „bad hackers”, there is a lot more to it than that.
There are the hackers who break into systems without the intention of destroying them or cause any harm. They do it with the purpose of uncovering various vulnerabilities and finding solutions to them. They are the „good hackers” who are called white hat hackers. Since they have the most positive influence and change the way that we think about hacking, we are going to start with them.
They are also known as the ethical hackers. These individuals work inside a company, having their knowledge and permission to hack their networks in order to uncover flaws and give reports about them.
Most white-hat hackers are employees of computer security agencies where they test the vulnerability of networks and help clients to deal with active security threats.
Computer Sciences Corporation is one such company who has more than a thousand security experts and about 40 ethical hackers who support them. The company provides services such as consulting, evaluation and assessment, training, deployment and operations, architecture and integration. The cyber security experts explore flaws in a system and repair them before they could be exploited.
Working as a Professional Hacker
White-hat hackers aren’t getting as much recognition as they should, but an increasing amount of companies are looking for individuals who can stay ahead of the people who aim to take their systems down.
With hiring some white-hat hackers, companies have a chance to fight these individuals and stay ahead of them at all times. Although, these hackers might have been considered as outcasts and even criminals, they now have high paying and respected positions in governments, corporations and various organizations.
It is a constant battle between white hat hackers and black hat hackers as the black hats won’t stop what they are doing and companies have to be ready to tackle them at all times.
Black hats find it too much fun to take down well protected, complex systems and nothing can compare to the intellectual stimulation and rush that they get from it. Each of these hackers is an incredibly smart person who doesn’t have any moral boundaries to stop them from taking down large computer infrastructures. For this very reason, companies think ahead and hire the white hats to protect their systems from any harm.
A Distinction Between Hackers
Today, hackers can be divided into three mayor groups, based on their intentions:
- Black Hat Hackers: the criminals, culprits and perpetrators.
- White Hat Hackers: the ethical hackers to work to protect people and their systems.
- Grey Hat Hackers: who are in on the line between black and white hat hackers, babbling between both sides.
The Black Hat Hackers
They are the computer users who are vandalizing other people’s networks and stealing from them. They are electronic criminals in every sense.
The name Black hat is a stylish name to describe their malicious intentions. Black hats are talented but unethical hackers who have a lot of knowledge and skill yet have harmful motivations. They are driven by the lust for power and the desire to control and exact petty revenge. They have just about the same personality traits than the teens that kick up trashcans and smash up bus stops late at night.
Their most common cybercrimes:
- Producing viruses
- Doing identity theft
- Vandalizing systems
- Creating worms and various destructive programs
- DDOS attacks that impair networks by flooding them with users
The White Hat Hackers
They are network security specialists. These hackers have positive intentions and they are fighting the war on the good side. They can also be called “ethical hackers” who are employed to help in the protection computer networks.
White hats might have some honorable motivations to start off with. But a steady paycheck with a lot of zeros always makes sure that they never flunk to the dark side and that they continue providing their expertise to their company.
They themselves were unethical hackers sometime in the past, but they have earned the title of White hat as they are not motivated to steal or break their employer’s computer systems. Instead they are provided with a good paycheck to keep doing what they love doing.
The Grey Hat Hackers
They are the conflicted ones who are uncertain about which side of the law they are standing on.
Grey hackers are mostly hobbyists who have intermediate technical skills. 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. But Grey hats rarely advance to the point of becoming a Black hat hacker.
There are many intellectually driven individuals out there who love to play games and crack systems open. Some of these people are talented computer users as well and have some great coding skills. They can be categorized as the following:
They are soldiers on the cyber battlefield and they are prepared to fight. They do various acts such as mirroring websites or shutting down services. These acts can range from naughty to straight forward cyber terrorism.
These people use various tools and hacking tactics to benefit their political agenda. They use hacking to promote freedom of speech and freedom of information. Their goals can be specific political motivations and non-specific.
Some hacktivists work to bring awareness to issues and rally people together to bring about positive change. Some of them are motivated by agendas and things that actually matter and are important.
The tools they use are well known and you can protect yourself from them. We will provide you with a more detailed article where we’ll give info on how you can do that.
These individuals usually don’t have too much knowledge about hacking and are pretty much unskilled novice hackers. 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. They don’t always have agendas or motives behind their actions.
Read: What is The Deep Web?
Sometimes we have to show some threat in order to spark a solution to that threat. For this very reason many hackers have chosen to show their research and provide their exceptional skill and knowledge for the good of us all. One of them even found a way to make an ATM machine literally throw money at them. And today he has become one of the “good guys” too.
Being a hacker comes with limitless power at your fingertip. That is the rush that hackers feel. With that great power comes great responsibility and that is always important to keep in mind. But even those hackers who do it for the joy of breaking things contribute a great amount, because they exploit things that can be broken in our world and offer a chance to fix or rebuild it, making it much better.
Today we have shared most of the colors and shades of hacking. We will also publish an article about powerful male and female individuals who have done some serious hacks in the past. We’ll also tell you about the most famous and most large scale hacks.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading through this article and that we have given you a much better picture about what hackers actually are!