A Brief Distinction between White, Black and Grey Hat Hackers

Not all hackers have bad intentions. Everyone perceives a hacker as a cyber criminal, but anyone can be a hacker, no matter what their intentions are, who uses their knowledge of the computer world to bypass security, device or network. Hacking is not deemed an illegal activity unless they are compromising a system with no consent from the user. Many companies hire hackers to secure their systems. This article differentiates between white, black, and grey hat hackers.

Black hat hackers

They contain extensive knowledge about compromising a system. They are also responsible for producing malware that gains access to the systems. Their gist is for personal or monetary gain, but they can also be responsible for cyber espionage, protest or are just addicted to committing cybercrime. These hackers can be amateurs to experienced who can spread malware to steal data like financial info, personal info and login credentials. Not only they steal data, but they aim to destroy it as well.

White hat hackers

They choose their authority for good instead of evil. They are referred to as ethical hackers. They are usually paid employees or contractors hired by companies as security specialists that try to seek security holes by the means of hacking. These hackers use the same methods of hacking like black hat counterparts, but with one exception that they have the consent of the owner of the system that renders the process totally legal. White hat hackers conduct penetration testing, security systems testing and hacking vulnerability assessments for companies. There are many courses, training, conferences, and certifications available for ethical hacking.

Grey hat hackers

Grey hackers perform both white and black hat activities. They usually seek vulnerabilities in a system with no consent from the owner. If there are any issues, they will report the same to the owner and requesting them a little fee to fix the issue. If the owner doesn’t respond, then they will post the newfound vulnerability online for the world to look at. These hackers aren’t bad with their intentions, but they are just finding out something for themselves. They don’t exploit the newfound vulnerabilities. But, this kind of hacking is deemed legal nonetheless as they didn’t have the user’s consent before they could hack the system.

Although, hackers have gained a bad image in the society, but know that not all hackers are equal. If there were no white hat hackers, before the black hats find them, then the world could have been much messier than it is now.