What are black hat hackers?

A black hat hacker is a person who attempts to breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent. Black hat hackers are also known as crackers or dark- side hackers. The general view is that, while hackers tries to secure site by finding the loopholes, crackers break things.

Unlike a white hat hacker, the black hat hacker takes advantage of the break-in, perhaps destroying files or stealing data for some future purpose. The black hat hacker may also make the exploit known to other hackers or even disclose it publicly without notifying the victim. This gives others the opportunity to exploit the vulnerability before the organization is able to secure it.

The term “black hat” comes from old westerns where the bad guys usually wore black hats and the good guys wore white ones.

Black hat hackers can inflict major damage on both individual computer users and large organizations by stealing personal financial information, compromising the security of major systems, or shutting down or altering the function of websites and networks.

Black hat hackers can range from teenage amateurs who spread computer viruses to networks of criminals who steal credit card numbers and other financial information. Black hat hacker activities include planting keystroke-monitoring programs to steal data and launching attacks to disable access to websites.

Black hat hackers have their own conventions, of which two of the more prominent are DEFCON and Black Hat. Black hat conventions are often attended by security professionals and academics who want to learn from black hat hackers.

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