Get Started Today!  (813) 749-0895    SEARCH SITE

IT Professional Services and Business Continuity

Symmetric Engineering Group Blogs

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 Symmetric Engineering Group 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

Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Search

Mobile? Grab this Article!

Qr Code

Tag Cloud

Security Tip of the Week IT Services IT Support Best Practices Managed IT Services Cloud Technology Privacy IT Infrastructure Management Email Business Computing Malware IT Companies in Tampa Business Continuity Hackers Hosted Solutions Internet Business Mobility IT Support Services Business IT Solutions Microsoft Business I.T. Management IT Professional Services Productivity Software Managed Service Provider Custom Business Solutions Data Mobile Devices Computer Outsourced IT IT Management Tech Term Data Backup IT Business Solutions Business Applications Network Security Ransomware Technology Consultants Managed IT Service in Florida Android Managed IT Service Business IT Support Managed IT Data Recovery Windows 10 I.T. Support Managed Services in Florida Google User Tips Windows Cloud Computing Internet of Things I.T. Services Dynamic Solutions Communication IT Support Services in Tampa IT Risk Management Backup Workplace Tips Disaster Recovery Innovation Remote Monitoring Hardware IT Outsourcing in Tampa IT Services in Florida Smartphone Browser Data Management Encryption Small Business IT Service Gmail IT Support IT Support in Tampa Network Productivity Managed Services Artificial Intelligence Social Media Upgrade BYOD App Holiday IT Managed Services Cybersecurity Smartphones Server Microsoft Office Save Money Managed Services in Tampa Bay VoIP Applications Tech Companies in Tampa Passwords Phishing Unified Threat Management Website Business Management Mobile Device Management IT Services in Tampa Collaboration Mobile Device Office 365 Firewall Paperless Office Tampa IT Support Vendor Management Efficiency Computer Networking BDR IT Outsourcing in Florida Chrome Bring Your Own Device Content Filtering Data Computer Services Customer Relationship Management IT Service Management IT Company Business Plan Word Two-factor Authentication Apple Compliance IT Vendor Management IT Outsourcing Business IT Support Services Bandwidth Infrastructure Antivirus Operating System Small Business IT Solutions Facebook Tip of the week Risk Management Managed Service in Tampa Managed Service Automation Money SaaS Employer-Employee Relationship Computer Hardware Repair Wireless Technology Government Retail Wi-Fi Document Management WiFi Data loss Hosted Solution Project Management Vulnerability The Internet of Things Managed IT Services IT solutions Data storage Saving Money Remote Computing Storage Regulations Unified Communications Analytics Mobile Computing Miscellaneous Data Security Windows 10 IT Management Services Settings Telephone Systems Big Data Router IT Company Robot IBM Licensing Laptop Net Neutrality Information Administration End of Support Redundancy Google Drive Customer Service Patch Management IoT Computer Network Services Mouse How To HIPAA Computer Support Training I.T. Company Business Application Digital Payment Server Management Virtual Desktop Flexibility Alert Scam Internet Exlporer Computer Networking Services Network Management YouTube Office Office Tips File Sharing Computing Search communications Tablet Network Congestion Virtualization Mobile Security Virtual Private Network Assessment Monitors Budget User Error Smart Technology Files Spam Help Desk Maintenance Business Technology Apps Mobility IT Consulting Managed IT Outsourcing Blockchain Solid State Drive Recovery Healthcare IT Support Helpdesk LiFi Virtual Reality Information Technology Microsoft Virtual Server Hosting in Tampa and Florida Augmented Reality IT Companies in Florida Business Continuity Services Presentation VPN Uninterrupted Power Supply IT Management Service Wireless Outlook Quick Tips Consulting Services Shortcut Break Fix Managed Service in Florida Connectivity Hard Drive Features Health Care IT Services Knowledge Printer Wearable Technology IT Managed Service Provider Tech Support Buisness Modem Printing WannaCry Outsourced Computer Support Fun Disaster Resistance Computing Infrastructure G Suite IT Consulting Service Health Geography Servers Server Hosting in Tampa Identity Password Fleet Tracking Hard Disk Drive Superfish Fraud Help Desk Support Automobile Mobile Time Management IT Service in Tampa Jobs Typing Application Legislation Software Tips Service IT Hacker Downtime Dark Web Machine Learning Hacking Cache Electronic Health Records Computers Business IT Solutions Experience Deep Learning Access Control Point of Sale Trending Intranet Software as a Service Cookies Monitoring Proactive IT Alerts High-Speed Internet Comparison Social Asset Tracking Co-managed IT Google Docs Undo Company Culture Identity Theft Halloween MSP IT Solutions for Small Business Data Warehousing IT Support Companies in Tampa Save Time Recycling Computer Care Firefox Display Full Service IT USB SharePoint IT Technicians Samsung Healthcare IT Statistics CIO Technology Tips Chromebook Nanotechnology History User Star Wars Consulting VoIP Data Breach Cooperation Managed it Services in Tampa Travel Cryptocurrency Humor Domains Development Specifications Server Hosting Social Networking IT Tech Support Hacks Best Practice OneNote Networking IT Vendor Management in Tampa Sync Business Growth Competition Managing Stress Touchscreen Data Technology Scary Stories Proactive Cabling Microsoft Affiliate Program Users Microsoft Excel IT Support and Solutions Backups Digital Signature Hard Drives eWaste Read Only Identities Downloads Mirgation Google Maps Bluetooth Managed Services in Floirda Screen Reader Google Wallet Disaster Avoiding Downtime Utility Computing Managed Services Provider Digital Technology Laws Staff Managed Service Providers Bitcoin Public Speaking Cables Black Friday Motherboard Technology Consulting Firms Current Events Heating/Cooling Employee-Employer Relationship Server Hosting in Florida Hotspot Network Support in Florida Mobile Device Managment Business Continuity Service Providers Enterprise Content Management Writing Sports Computer Repair Remote Monitoring and Management Microsoft Business Solutions Mail Merge Safety Marketing IT Managed Service in Tampa Information Technology Consulting Legal Management Consultation Multi-Factor Security Migration Dark Data Distributed Denial of Service IT Company in Tampa Smart Tech Websites Drones Gadgets E-Commerce Spyware Cortana Unified Threat Management Operations Tech Company in Tampa Windows 8 Professional Service Programming Wires Cyber Monday Politics Going Green Remote Workers Corporate Profile Tampa IT Services Education Techology Language Vulnerabilities Social Engineering Top IT Outsourcing Company WPA3 Address Lenovo Permissions Help Desk Support in Tampa IT Consulting Services Cost Management Enterprise Resource Planning Careers Alt Codes Google Calendar Chatbots Upgrades Botnet CrashOverride Twitter Webcam Telephony IT Budget I.T. Managament Saving Time Running Cable Regulation 3D Printing Emoji Cleaning Processors Update Black Market Managed Servers Work/Life Balance 5G Business Appplications Administrator Electronic Medical Records IP Address Relocation Cyberattacks Lithium-ion Battery Web Server Cameras Law Enforcement Emergency Unsupported Software Mobile Office Private Cloud Staffing Notifications Thank You CCTV Physical Security Hiring/Firing Motion Sickness Gadget Mobile Data Error IT Consultant Refrigeration Printers GPS Personal Information How To Congratulations Taxes Meetings Virus Supercomputer Public Cloud Tracking Cybercrime Crowdsourcing

Latest Blog Entry

You open a lot of files and folders during your duties around the office, but some of them might seem a little different from others. These files are marked as “read-only.” What is the significance behind these files, and what does this marking mean? Find out in this week’s ...

Latest News

SEG Awarded Small Business of the Year Award!

Symmetric Engineering Group was awarded the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber Small Business of the Year Award for their understanding technical service and support throughout the Tampa Bay area

Read more ...

Account Login