Hackers’ motivation is very varied – it can be anything from idealists to industrial espionage and organized crime. Thus, the term hacker does not mean a criminal or irresponsible person. Some have good intentions and tell companies if they come through systems, while others hack for their own financial gain. By understanding the different types of hackers you find out, you can also understand what protection you need to lock them out.
This term is often used by amateur hackers who do not care much about coding skills. These hackers usually download simple tools or codes written by other developers and hackers. Their primary goal is often the excitement, to impress friends or get attention.
The hacktivists have somewhat stronger and more defined motives for their actions – this is the online version of an activist. A hacktivist is a hacker or a group of anonymous hackers who think they can bring about social change. These often hack the government and organizations to gain attention or dissatisfaction with their thinking. The purpose of their attacks is often to gain publicity as a result of the attack.
Malicious Insider or whistleblower
This could be a nagging employee or a rival-hired employee to gather opponents’ trade secrets to stay on top of the game. These hackers can benefit from their easy access to information and their role in the company to hack the system.
State sponsored hackers
These are employed by their state or nation authorities to ‘sniff’ around and penetrate security to obtain confidential information from other governments to stay on top online. These have infinitely large budgets and extremely advanced tools available.
Furthermore, hackers are often divided by assigning them different hats. We will now go through three of these hats that describe the purpose of the different groups: white, gray and black.
The white-hat hackers are considered friendly and ethical hackers. They hack into your systems with a good intent to find vulnerabilities and help you remove viruses and malware from your systems. They provide protection against black-hat hackers and other malicious cyber criminals. White hat hackers have good insight into programming and security systems, and good knowledge of how networks and operating systems work.
Gray-hat hackers have mixed intentions. They do not want to hurt anyone when they are looking for faults and deficiencies, but they may not notify the bugs they find to the owners of the systems. An example of this is that they can hack into a system with the intention of notifying the owner, but only correct it if they are paid.
Gray hat hackers do not use their skills for their own gain, nor do they become a black-hat hacker. Also, since a gray hat hacker is not authorized to hack the organization’s system, he or she cannot be called a white-hat hacker.
This type of hacker is one to worry about because they have malicious intent. The cyberattacks you hear about on the news are made by this type of hacker.
A black-hat hacker looks for weaknesses in individuals’ computers, organizations and banking systems. They use all the loopholes they find so they can hack into your network to destroy, change or steal data. This type of hacker wants to keep the most hidden, as opposed to white-hat or gray-hat hackers who say away.
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