What are grey hat hackers?

Grey hat hackers are a blend of both black hat and white hat activities. Grey hat hackers are the individuals who finds vulnerabilities in a system without the owner’s permission or knowledge. If issues are found, they will report them to the owner, sometimes requesting a small fee to fix the issue. If the owner does not respond or comply, then sometimes the hackers will publicly disclose the newly found exploit for the world to see.

However, by publicizing a vulnerability, the gray hat may give other crackers the opportunity to exploit it. This differs from the white hat who alerts system owners and vendors of a vulnerability without actually exploiting it in public.

These types of hackers are not inherently malicious with their intentions they’re just looking to get something out of their discoveries for themselves. Usually, grey hat hackers will not exploit the found vulnerabilities. However, this type of hacking is still considered illegal because the hacker did not receive permission from the owner prior to attempting to attack the system.

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