Did you know that computer hackers wear different colored hats? You might find it interesting to learn that hackers are not one-size-fits-all.
There are six different types of people trying to access your online information without your permission. Sometimes, these people aren’t trying to get anything from you, but we often associate the term with the most nefarious and negative of this group.
What is a Hacker?
There might be several different ways to describe the person who accesses online information without permission, but for the most part, these people are computer experts. The best of them can access high-level secured systems while others might only be able to cause problems for a few users. The main factor that makes a computer expert a hacker is the breach of information without permission.
White Hat –The Ethical Kind
The only hackers that are out to help make systems better and create an environment with better security are the white hat variety. These experts will test their systems for flaws, are hired to access systems without permission to identify weak spots, and are often considered to be in-demand. Sometimes, these experts are hired after being successful as criminals in this industry, which makes for a strange but necessary relationship with some computer security organizations.
Another aspect of what white hat hackers do is to disarm the malicious computer experts that might be trying to take over a system or gain access without permission. This group can identify the black hats and turn them over to the authorities to ensure they face the punishment they deserve after they have broken in and stolen information from abusiness.
Black Hat –The True Criminals
As you might expect, those experts who are out to cause harm and grab information that doesn’t belong to them are called back hat. Sometimes these people have been wronged by a company, but unlike the movies, they often aren’t on the right side of things and the company is on the wrong side. These malicious computer experts may use viruses, spyware, ransomware, or Trojan horses to reach their goals.
Grey Hat –Skirting the Lines
This might be one of the most interesting groups of hackers in the online world. Grey hat experts skirt the boundaries between the ethical and unethical by breaking laws or using unapproved techniques to reach an ethical outcome for the people that have hired them. This group is more aggressive than the white hat variety, which can make them valuable at finding security flaws and weaknesses.
Green Hat –Getting Their Feet Wet
Those who work in an industry where the idea is to breach security are skilled and talented. They didn’t gain these skills overnight. When starting out and beginning the process of learning the skills it takes to be a hacker makes a person a green hat. While eager to learn the tricks and skills needed, these people are often unsuccessful until they gain the necessary experience to break through the various walls in front of them.
Blue Hat –A Pair of Definitions
Hackers that are employed by a company to find a vulnerability in unreleased products are called blue hat, but that is currently a Microsoft version of the type of expert that does this work. In other areas of the computer industry, these people are defined as those seeking revenge but don’t have the skills nor the desire to hone them, to become successful at entering a computer system without permission.
Red Hat –Disarming the Criminals
If you’re looking for a vigilante to find a person or organization gaining access to your system, you’ll be looking for a red hat computer expert. This group seeks to disarm the black hats but they often launch aggressive attacks against them to destroy the tools and resources being used by the black hats. The question would be whether or not this is worth the criminal activity.
The Hackers You Worry About
As you can easily tell from the descriptions of the various computer experts that are employed to simply get through the security barriers and then those that do this for their own pleasure and position, you want to avoid those with a black hat. The rest tend to either not have enough training to be worth your time, or they are on your side and want to help you avoid the hackers that are trying to do you harm. Make sure you have the necessary protections installed in your computer system to keep these criminals out of your system.