"If you wish to learn about the various types of hackers in the online world and burst the Hollywood image of a hacker in your mind, keep reading on..."
Whenever I used to imagine hackers, I always pictured this notorious guy wearing a ski-mask glued to his laptop with green lines of text filling up the screen space. However dramatic that may look, it holds no truth. People think hackers are negative people in the online world, but we all know there's more to the story.
Just like there are good and bad guys in the real world with different shades of their personality, the types of hackers vary by their agenda, methodologies and skill practice. In this post, I'll introduce the well-known and lesser-known kinds of hackers you should know.
This will help you understand what kind of protection you require for your system and who are the faceless criminals targeting your personal or business information. Before you become proactive for your safety, it is essential to understand what you are facing or fighting.
So now, let's begin
1. White Hat Hackers
Meet the right guys on the dark web. White hat hackers, also known as ethical hackers are the cybersecurity experts who help the Govt and organizations by performing penetration testing and identifying loopholes in their cybersecurity. They even do other methodologies and ensure protection from black hat hackers and other malicious cyber crimes.
Simply stated, these are the right people who are on your side. They will hack into your system with the good intention of finding vulnerabilities and help you remove virus and malware from your system.
2. Black Hat Hackers
Taking credit for the negative persona around "hacking," these guys are your culprits. A black hat hacker is the type of hacker you should be worried. Heard a news about a new cybercrime today? One of the black hat hackers may be behind it.
While their agenda may be monetary most of the time, it's not always just that. These hackers look for vulnerabilities in individual PCs, organizations and bank systems. Using any loopholes they may find, they can hack into your network and get access to your personal, business and financial information.
3. Gray Hat Hackers
Gray hat hackers fall somewhere in between white hat and black hat hackers. While they may not use their skills for personal gain, they can, however, have both good and bad intentions. For instance, a hacker who hacks into an organization and finds some vulnerability may leak it over the Internet or inform the organization about it.
It all depends upon the hacker. Nevertheless, as soon as hackers use their hacking skills for personal gain they become black hat hackers. There is a fine line between these two. So, let me make it simple for you.
Because a gray hat hacker doesn't use his skills for personal gain, he is not a black hat hacker. Also, because he is not legally authorized to hack the organization's cybersecurity, he can't be considered a white hat either.
So, these were the most commonly known and referred hackers. But there's more. Let's learn a little more about the other types of hackers as well today.
4. Script Kiddies
A derogatory term often used by amateur hackers who don't care much about the coding skills. These hackers usually download tools or use available hacking codes written by other developers and hackers. Their primary purpose is often to impress their friends or gain attention.
However, they don't care about learning. By using off-the-shelf codes and tools, these hackers may launch some attacks without bothering for the quality of the attack. Most common cyber attacks by script kiddies might include DoS and DDoS attacks.
5. Green Hat Hackers
These hackers are the amateurs in the online world of hacking. Consider them script kiddies but with a difference. These newbies have a desire to become full-blown hackers and are very curious to learn. You may find them engrossed in the hacking communities bombarding their fellow hackers with questions.
You can identify them by their spark to grow and learn more about the hacking trade. Once you answer a single question, the hackers will listen with undivided attention and ask another question until you answer all their queries.
6. Blue Hat Hackers
These are another form of novice hackers much like script kiddies whose main agenda is to take revenge on anyone who makes them angry. They have no desire for learning and may use simple cyber attacks like flooding your IP with overloaded packets which will result in DoS attacks.
A script kiddie with a vengeful agenda can be considered a blue hat hacker.
7. Red Hat Hackers
Red Hat Hackers have an agenda similar to white hat hackers which in simple words is halting the acts of Blackhat hackers. However, there is a major difference in the way they operate. They are ruthless when it comes to dealing with black hat hackers.
Instead of reporting a malicious attack, they believe in taking down the black hat hacker completely. Red hat hacker will launch a series of aggressive cyber attacks and malware on the hacker that the hacker may as well have to replace the whole system.
8. State/Nation Sponsored Hackers
State or Nation sponsored hackers are those who have been employed by their state or nation's government to snoop in and penetrate through full security to gain confidential information from other governments to stay at the top online.
They have an endless budget and extremely advanced tools at their disposal to target individuals, companies or rival nations.
If you've ever come across social activists propagandizing a social, political or religious agenda, then you might as well meet hacktivist, the online version of an activist. Hacktivist is a hacker or a group of anonymous hackers who think they can bring about social changes and often hack government and organizations to gain attention or share their displeasure over opposing their line of thought.
10. Malicious Insider or Whistleblower
A malicious insider or a whistleblower may be an employee with a grudge or a strategic employee compromised or hired by rivals to garner trade secrets of their opponents to stay on top of their game.
These hackers may take privilege from their easy access to information and their role within the company to hack the system.
Types of Hackers : Wrap Up
I hope this post cleared up your thoughts on the kinds of hackers out there and helped you get a new insight into the hacking world.
It is essential to stay aware and vigilant to protect yourself from the cyber threats and different types of hackers who may use even the smallest vulnerability in your system against you.
I hope you'll stay safe and aware. Have a secure web experience and remain protected.