All hackers are not necessarily evil. The term “hacker” is commonly used in the news media about cybercriminals. Still, a hacker may be someone who uses their knowledge of computer software and hardware to crack down and circumvent security controls on a computer, system, or network, regardless of their intentions. If the hacker exploits a device without the user’s consent, hacking itself is not an unlawful operation. Many businesses and government agencies hire hackers to help them protect their networks. Become a Certified White Hat Hacker, enroll in a white hat hacker certification now!
Let’s dive in to understand the distinction between Black Hat, White Hat & Grey Hat Hackers.
Types of Hackers
In general, hackers are classified by the type of metaphorical “gear” they donate: “white hat”, “grey hat,” and “black hat. The words come from the classic westerns of spaghetti, where the bad man is wearing a black cowboy hat, and the good guy is wearing a white hat. The sort of hacker you are working with is determined by two major factors: their motives and whether they violate the law.
Black Hat Hackers
Black hat hackers typically have advanced hacking experience into computer networks and bypass authentication protocols, much like all hackers. They are also responsible for malware publishing, a tool used to obtain access to these applications.
Typically, their main motive is personal or financial gain, but they may also be engaging in cyber espionage, protest, or maybe simply addicted to cybercrime thrills. By distributing ransomware, black hat hackers may range from amateurs having their feet wet to seasoned hackers trying to steal data, primarily financial information, personal information, and login credentials. Not only do black hat hackers attempt to intercept information, but they also try to alter or ruin information as well.
White Hat Hackers
Hackers of the white hat prefer to use their powers rather than evil for good. White hat hackers, also known as “ethical hackers,” may also be paying staff or consultants working for corporations as technology professionals who aim to identify security vulnerabilities by hacking. White-hat hackers are also referred to as ethical hackers. This individual specializes in tools, strategies, and methodologies for ethical hacking to protect an enterprise’s information systems. Enroll for a white hat hacker training.
Ethical hackers exploit security networks and search for backdoors while they are legitimately allowed to do so, unlike black-hat hackers. White-hat hackers often report any flaw they discover in the organization’s safety mechanism so that it can be patched before bad attackers exploit them.
White hat hackers use the same hacking tactics as black hats, with one exception: they do so first with the device owner’s approval, which makes the operation fully legitimate. White hat hackers conduct intrusion testing, monitor security applications in-place, and run risk tests for enterprises. For ethical hacking, there are also classes, training, conferences, and certifications.
Grey Hat Hackers
There are grey zones, as in reality, that is neither black nor white. Grey hat hackers are a mix of both black hat and white hat operations. Sometimes without the owner’s consent or understanding, grey hat hackers can search for flaws throughout a scheme. They will report them to the owner if bugs are detected, often demanding a small fee to repair the problem. If the owner does not react or cooperate, then the hackers will often publish the newly uncovered vulnerability online for the world to see.
These kinds of hackers are not necessarily evil in their intentions; they just try to get something for themselves out of their findings. Usually, hackers with grey hats can not manipulate the bugs identified. However, this kind of hacking is also considered illegal since before trying to attack the device, the hacker did not request authorization from the creator.
Common Hacking Tools
Ethical hacking certification training is gaining popularity. Let’s see some common hacking tools.
Rootkits: A rootkit is a program or series of software tools that allow dangerous actors to access a computer device that communicates or interfaces with the internet remotely to monitor it. It secretly helps the hacker enter and manipulates the device until rootkits are installed in the system, allowing them to bring down the system or steal valuable data.
Keyloggers: This is a specially built tool that logs any key pressed on a device or documents it. When typed through the computer keyboard, keyloggers document any keystroke by clinging to the API. The registered file is then stored, containing information such as usernames, records of website visits, snapshots, apps accessed, etc.
Common Hacking Techniques Used
SQL Injection Attack: SQL is designed for the database to exploit the data. SQL Injection is a cyber-attack that targets databases to trick systems through SQL statements. A website GUI that tries to issue SQL commands via a database to hack usernames, passwords and other database information is used to perform this sort of attack. Poorly written web apps and websites are susceptible to SQL injection attacks because these web-based applications contain insecure user-input fields and are quickly hacked by code manipulation.
Distributed Denial-of-Service (DOS): DDoS is a type of malicious attack that distorts regular server entry traffic, flooding network traffic (resulting in a denial of service). It behaves as a traffic jam that obstructs the road and stops normal traffic from reaching its destination. Devices (such as computers, IoT devices, cell phones, etc. that link easily to the network are vulnerable to DDoS attacks.
The Bottom Line
Although the term hacker, when alluded to, appears to invoke derogatory connotations, it is important to note that all hackers are not created equal. If we didn’t have white hat hackers diligently searching for risks and vulnerabilities until the black hats could discover them, so there will be a lot of violence than there is now concerning cybercriminals leveraging vulnerabilities and gathering confidential data.