What are the types of hackers?

Hackers aren’t inherently bad — the word “hacker” doesn’t mean “criminal” or “bad guy.” A hacker is a person who breaks into computer systems to gain unauthorized access to data. It could be for malicious purpose or with good intentions.Let us understand the types of hackers.

Black Hat

A black hat hacker is one who breaks into computer system for illegal purposes, often for personal gain. When a black hat hacker gets access to a system he may misuse the information and take advantage of the break-in by destroying files or stealing data.

White Hat

A white hat hacker is an ethical hacker who breaks into computer system with no malicious intent. He is an ethical hacker who has the the required permission to hack into computer system to discover vulnerabilities so that they can be patched before the system is compromised.

For example, a black hat hacker would compromise a computer system without permission, stealing information for their own personal gain or vandalizing the system.( E.g. breaking into bank’s vault)

A white hat hacker would ask for permission before testing the system’s security and alert the organization after compromising it.

Gray Hat

A gray-hat hacker falls in between a black hat and white hat hacker. A gray hat hacker can illegally hack into a system but not for personal gains. The gray hat hacker will hack to show his personal skills or to prove that a particular system has vulnerabilities.

A gray hat hacker might attempt to compromise a computer system without permission, but informs the organization later allowing them to fix the problem. While the gray-hat hackers don’t use their access for bad purposes, they compromised a security system without permission, which is illegal. A gray hat hacker could also publish the vulnerability publically allowing criminals to take advantage.

Script Kiddies

A script kiddie is an unskilled hacker who breaks into computer systems by using automated tools written by others. Though they are immature, they can be as dangerous as the black hat hackers. Script kiddies might also hack for recognition amongst other hackers.

Although the word hacker tends to evoke negative connotations when referred to, it is important to remember that all hackers are not created equal. If we didn’t have white hat hackers diligently seeking out threats and vulnerabilities before the black hats can find them, then there would probably be a lot more activity involving cybercriminals exploiting vulnerabilities and collecting sensitive data than there is now.

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