Hacking is an attempt to exploit a computer system or a private network inside a computer. Simply put, it is the process of gaining unauthorized access to a computer network or an electronic device. Individuals breach into a system either to cause harm or to highlight vulnerabilities in existing security measures.
There are seven main types of Hackers on the basis of their motives, skills and plans for business-
- White Hat Hacker
- Black Hat Hacker
- Grey Hat Hacker
- Red Hat Hacker
- Blue Hat Hacker
- Script Kiddie
White Hat Hacker
White hat hackers are the ones who are authorized or the certified hackers who work for the government and organizations by performing penetration testing and identifying loopholes in their cyber-security.
These individuals are in high demand from companies that routinely handle sensitive data, in addition to government agencies that are responsible for national security.
White hat hackers modus operandi is almost exactly like Black Hat hackers and will try to breach into computer systems using every possible way. However, they do not steal any information.
White hat hacking is legal.
Black Hat Hacker
Black hat hackers are individuals who try and break into systems & networks to steal confidential information. The difference between White hat hacker and black hat hackers is in their INTENT.
The black hat hacker tries to gain access to steal data with a malicious intent unlike white hat hackers. It is illegal.
Grey Hat Hacker
Grey hat hackers are those who may violate laws or typical ethical standards, but does not have the malicious intent typical of a black hat hacker.
Grey hat hackers are a blend of both black hat and white hat activities.
A grey hat hacker is someone who exploits a security vulnerability in order to spread public awareness that the vulnerability exists. In most cases, they tell the administrator of that system. But they are also illegal because they test the security of the system that they do not have permission to test.
Red Hat Hackers
They are also known as eagle- eyed hacker. Red hat hackers are vigilantes on the internet. They actively search for black hat hackers and shut them down. Whenever they find one, they don’t report the hacker to the authorities, but take matters into their own hands.
Should a red hat find a malicious hacker, they go full throttle. They upload viruses, and even attempt to access the hacker’s computer to completely annihilate it.
Blue Hat Hacker
Blue Hat Hacker is a novice with an agenda to take revenge on personal reasons. These malacious intent is usuallychanneled at one person or company.
Hacktivists are hackers who seek to garner publicity for a certain cause by hacking into the systems or websites of relevant organizations. A Hacktivist may deface the website of a particular company or government agency to protest against certain policies and bring it to the public’s attention and raise awareness.
Wikileaks is a famous example of Hacktivism.
A script kiddie is an amateur hacker who is only aware of basic hacking techniques. Such people mainly use open-source hacking software or borrow it from people they know.
Script kiddies don’t pose significant threat to anyone’s data and are potential hackers at best. Such individuals can deface a poorly protected website or slow it down by redirecting more traffic.
The most common cyber attacks by script kiddies would include DoS and DDoS attacks.
Famous Hackers of the World
Jonathan James was an American hacker. He is the first juvenile incarcerated for cyber crime in the United States. He committed suicide on 18 May 2008.
He is known for his intrusion into the computers of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), a division of the United States Department of Defense, the primary function of which is to analyze potential threats to the United States of America, both at home and abroad.
He is a computer security consultant, author, and hacker. He infiltrates his client’s companies to expose their security strengths, weaknesses, and potential loopholes. In the history of the United state, he was formerly the most wanted computer criminal.
From the 1970s up until his last arrest in 1995, he skillfully bypassed corporate security safeguards and found his way into some of the most well-guarded systems like Sun Microsystems, Nokia, Motorola, Netcom, Digital Equipment Corporation.
Robert Tappan Morris
Robert Tappan Morris was the creator of the Morris Worm. It was one of the first computer worms distributed via the Internet. It also resulted in the first felony conviction in the US under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
Gary McKinnon is a Scottish systems administrator and Hacker. In 2002, he was accused of the “biggest military computer hack of all time”. He was accused of hacking 97 United States military and NASA computers.
Kevin Poulsen is an American former Black-hat hacker. using the alias Dark Dante, hacked into ARPANET, the Pentagon’s computer network. Although he was quickly caught, the government decided not to prosecute Poulsen, who was a minor at the time. Instead, he was let off with a warning.
Adrian Lamo was an American threat analyst and hacker. Lamogained media attention for breaking into several high-profile computer networks, including those of The New York Times, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, culminating in his 2003 arrest.
Lamo was best known for reporting U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning to Army criminal investigators in 2010 for leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks.
Anonymous is a group of hackers falling into the category of Hacktivist, widely known for its various attacks on various governments agencies and the Church of Scientology.
The contents of a Yahoo account belonging to Sarah Palin were posted on WikiLeaks after being hacked into by members of Anonymous.