Contact Us Today! 1-844-237-4300

Central Technology Solutions Blog

Tech Term: Hacker

Tech Term: Hacker

The term “hacker” is possibly one of the best-known technology-related terms there is, thanks to popular culture. Properties like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Die Hard franchise have given the layman a distinct impression of what a hacker is. Unfortunately, this impression isn’t always accurate. Here, we’ll discuss what real-life hackers are like, and the different varieties there are.

Defining Hackers
In broad terms, a hacker is an individual that uses their computing and programming skills, sometimes cooperatively with others like them, to identify and exploit gaps in the protocols that protect computer systems. Their actions after that point can be used to classify them further.

There are three main classifications, with subtypes to specify different types of hackers more specifically.

The Types of Hackers
Black Hat
Black hat hackers are the first kind that you probably think about, as they are the bad guys of the hacking spectrum. They are the ones who use their computer skills to entrap their victims and steal information for their own benefit, largely contributing to the public perception of hackers as a whole. If someone is a black hat hacker, their work is motivated by personal gains, tends to take effect at the expense of others, and is illegal.

White Hat
White hat hackers fall on the opposite side of the hacking spectrum, electing to use their skills to help businesses and other organizations keep their IT systems secure by seeking out weak points and vulnerabilities so that steps can be taken to fix these problems. White hat hackers also only operate by request - they will not hack your systems unless you ask them to try. In a way, if Central Technology Solutions were to run a penetration test on your business, we would be operating as white hat hackers.

Gray Hat
As their name would suggest, gray hat hackers are a combination of black hat and white hat. While they avoid being classified as black hat by not personally profiting from a hack, they also aren’t white hat, as their hacks aren’t done with the permission (or knowledge) of their target. The vulnerabilities they find will sometimes be reported to the hacked organization or distributed online for others to take advantage of.

Hacker Subtypes
Script Kiddies
These are the amateurs, the hackers that rely on pre-written code to launch basic attacks on their targets. Their motivation is often to attract attention or to impress others, with no appreciation for why the codes they leverage work and no desire to learn.

Blue Hat
Similar to a script kiddie, a blue hat hacker is an amateur who uses the code written by others to lash out against those who have wronged them in their eyes. Again, like a script kiddie, a blue hat hacker has no desire to learn how hacking works, they just want to use it as a means to a vengeful end.

Red Hat
A red hat hacker is a hacker that targets other hackers. Rather than reporting a discovered attack, as a white hat hacker would, a red hat hacker will instead attack back. With the goal of preventing black hat hackers from being able to hack, red hats will use cyberattacks and malware to take them out of commission.

Green Hat
The greenhorns of the hacking world, green hats are script kiddies who actually want to learn and improve. Always ready to ask questions of more experienced hackers and to learn all they can, green hat hackers are the ones who grow to be more skilled in the future.

State-Sponsored
These hackers are employed by a governing body to serve the state, stealing valuable information and targeting the enemies of a nation. These hackers have been known to strike out against key individuals and companies, as well as the opposing nation as a whole. Their status as a government agent provides them with considerable support and resources.

Hacktivist
Again, acting either as an individual or as a part of a group, hacktivists leverage their abilities to act upon a deeply-held conviction. By putting their skills to use, hacktivists are able to damage entities who hold beliefs counter to their own, whether that entity is a business or a governing body. As one might image, their driving motivation is to encourage (or “encourage”) social change.

Whistleblower/Malicious Insider
Instead of relying on hacking skills or borrowed codes, these hackers are those that use their status as an employee to gain access to a company’s confidential, invaluable data. Some act to appease a grudge they have fostered against their employer, while others are moles for one of the company’s rivals. Either way, these hackers are some of the most dangerous to the company, as their threats are the ones that usually aren’t seen coming.

Hackers Switching Hats
Complicating matters somewhat, a hacker’s hat isn’t forever. Many hackers have moved from the realm of black hat to gray. Samy Kamkar gained enough notoriety to earn a lifetime ban from the Internet after crashing MySpace with a worm at the tender age of 19 in 2005. However, his sentence was lifted after three years of good behavior. Today, Kamkar wears a gray hat, identifying vulnerabilities independently and reporting them to those who need to know.

However, the opposite case is equally possible, and shows that these considerations can be complicated. For example, In May 2017, Marcus Hutchins (AKA “MalwareTech”) was responsible for putting a stop to WannaCry but was arrested in August 2017 for allegedly writing and distributing the Kronos banking Trojan, potentially trading a white hat for a gray hat.

There are others, too. MIT professor Robert Morris created the first ever computer worm during his graduate studies at Cornell University, and was the first to be convicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as a result. A one-time member of the LulzSec Group that hacked the CIA and Sony, Mustafa Al-Bassam now works as a security adviser.

At the end of the day, hackers are more than just a black and white topic, and the lines get more and more blurred every day. What do you think? Is “hacker” a pejorative term, or is it more complicated than just that? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Smaller Practices are Choosing Cloud-Based EHR
Here Are Some VoIP Features That May Surprise You
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Monday, January 21 2019

Captcha Image

Join our mailing list!

  • Company Name *
  • First Name *
  • Last Name *

      Mobile? Grab this Article!

      QR-Code dieser Seite

      Tag Cloud

      Security Tip of the Week Technology Best Practices Cloud Business Computing Malware Privacy Email Hosted Solutions Hackers IT Services Internet Network Security Productivity Outsourced IT Managed IT Services Software Data IT Support Data Backup Business Productivity Mobile Devices Tech Term Innovation Ransomware Computer Hardware Microsoft Backup Data Recovery Cloud Computing Google Internet of Things Small Business Managed Service Provider Business Continuity Smartphone Smartphones Android Remote Monitoring Efficiency Disaster Recovery Social Media Data Management Windows 10 Paperless Office Managed IT Browser User Tips Encryption Communication Artificial Intelligence VoIP Upgrade Facebook Save Money BYOD IT Support Business Management Windows Collaboration App Mobile Device Management Cybersecurity Mobile Device Risk Management Windows 10 Holiday Phishing Workplace Tips Employer-Employee Relationship communications Recovery Network Server Firewall BDR Applications Wi-Fi Saving Money Bandwidth Robot Bring Your Own Device Managed IT Services Government Passwords Gmail Unified Threat Management Wireless Antivirus Project Management Password Infrastructure Virtualization Big Data Vulnerability Chrome Healthcare Hosted Solution Website Office 365 Compliance Money Data storage Telephone Systems SaaS IT Management Apps Going Green Tip of the week Content Filtering Vendor Management Document Management Scam Microsoft Office Blockchain Information Politics Printing Computers Work/Life Balance Storage Automation Analytics Remote Computing Customer Relationship Management Unified Communications Data loss Data Security Training Help Desk Customer Service Apple Social File Sharing Virtual Reality Router Two-factor Authentication Miscellaneous Files Computing Regulations Office IT Service Quick Tips Managed Service Operating System Alert IoT Electronic Medical Records HIPAA Sports Access Control Outlook VPN Mouse Digital Payment Mobile Security Patch Management Websites Identity Theft Google Drive How To Licensing Samsung Employees Virtual Private Network Company Culture Settings Flexibility Users Business Growth Chromebook Network Management Avoiding Downtime Assessment Business Technology Spam Server Management YouTube Mobile Computing How To WiFi Downtime Hacker Machine Learning Mobility Upgrades The Internet of Things Uninterrupted Power Supply Twitter Administration Wireless Technology Legal Tablet Remote Monitoring and Management LiFi Maintenance Education Smart Technology Word Remote Workers End of Support Health Redundancy IT solutions Private Cloud Budget Internet Exlporer Tech Support Information Technology Monitors Cookies Google Calendar Firefox Geography Authorization Heating/Cooling IT Consulting Fleet Tracking Procurement Point of Sale Cooperation Mobile Marketing Favorites Social Engineering Managed IT Service USB San Diego Windows 8 Save Time Mobile Data WannaCry Cache Gadgets Electronic Health Records Specifications Time Management Networking Buisness Test Identities Sync Permissions Nanotechnology Hacking Star Wars Monitoring Security Cameras Telephony Legislation IT Technicians High-Speed Internet Servers Data Breach Asset Tracking Law Enforcement Dark Data SharePoint Personal Information Staff Conferencing Public Cloud Safety Break Fix Social Networking RMM Travel Unified Threat Management Hotspot Recycling Cyberattacks Botnet Google Wallet Black Friday Roanoke — Central Technology Solutions MSP Hard Drives Mobile Device Managment Google Docs Software Tips Fraud Notifications Screen Reader Disaster Trending Utility Computing Consulting Remote Worker Mirgation Development Zero-Day Threat Technology Laws OneNote Gadget Downloads Humor Augmented Reality Mail Merge Managing Stress Instant Messaging Automobile Computer Care Dark Web Black Market Motherboard Techology Proactive Tech Terms User Error Backups Language VoIP Sponsor eWaste Read Only Drones Writing Cyber Monday Emoji technology services provider Touchscreen Solid State Drive Smart Tech Managed Services Provider ROI Deep Learning Network Congestion GPS Software as a Service Migration Consultation Lenovo Cables Backup and Disaster Recovery Statistics Employee-Employer Relationship Current Events Computer Repair Operations Address Enterprise Content Management Finance Data Warehousing Disaster Resistance Theft Crowdsourcing Meetings Physical Security Computing Infrastructure Digital Obstacle Management Alt Codes Retail Supercomputer Cortana Technology Assurance Group ’s 18 Cryptocurrency G Suite 3D Printing History Net Neutrality Search Cost Management E-Commerce Virtual Desktop Display Tracking Technology Tips Chatbots Superfish Wires Human Error Google Maps Microsoft Excel Processors Modem Bluetooth Connectivity Taxes Multi-Factor Security Wearable Technology Vulnerabilities Authentication Proactive IT WPA3 Financial Hacks Office Tips Printer Alerts Spyware Course Enterprise Resource Planning Bookmarks Typing IT Budget Distributed Denial of Service Annual Convention Bitcoin Unsupported Software Cabling Virus Shortcut Hard Drive Features Best Practice Comparison Update Identity Permission IT Consultant Error Cybercrime Regulation Emergency Web Server CrashOverride Cameras Motion Sickness CCTV Administrator Printers Relocation Notes Webcam Hard Disk Drive