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Types of Ethical Hacking

  • Amruta Bhaskar
  • Feb 11, 2021
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The Internet is as yet developing and online business is on its progress. The immense development of Internet has brought numerous great things like electronic commerce, email, simple access to tremendous stores of reference material and so forth. An ever-increasing number of computers get associated with the Internet, wireless devices and networks are blasting. Because of the propelled innovation of the Internet, the administration, private industry and the regular computer client have fears of their information or private data being contained by a criminal hacker These kinds of hackers are called black hat hackers who will covertly take the association's data and transmit it to the open internet. In this way, to overcome these real issues, another class of hackers appeared and these hackers are named as ethical hackers or white hat hackers.

The term “hacker” is popularly associated with cybercriminals harbouring malicious intentions when in reality, it’s a lot more. A hacker can be anyone who utilizes their computer software and hardware knowledge to break down and bypass a computer, device, or network’s security measures. It’s popularly believed hacking is illegal on principle, which isn’t the case if a system owner willingly and knowingly grants access. Many private entities and government agencies hire hackers to help maintain their system’s security.

There are two main factors that determine what type of hacker an individual is: their motives and legality of their actions. Hackers are divided into three types—white, black, and grey hat, a naming system that was derived from old western films, where the protagonists would always wear white hats and vice versa for villain characters.

White, black, and grey refer to the relationship between the hacker and the systems they are attacking.

‘Black Hat’ Hackers

The term “black hat” originated from Western movies, where the bad guys wore black hats and the good guys wore white hats.

A black-hat hacker is an individual who attempts to gain unauthorized entry into a system or network to exploit them for malicious reasons. The black-hat hacker does not have any permission or authority to compromise their targets. They try to inflict damage by compromising security systems, altering functions of websites and networks, or shutting down systems. They often do so to steal or gain access to passwords, financial information, and other personal data.

‘White Hat’ Hackers

White-hat hackers, on the other hand, are deemed to be the good guys, working with organizations to strengthen the security of a system. A white hat has permission to engage the targets and to compromise them within the prescribed rules of engagement.

White-hat hackers are often referred to as ethical hackers. This individual specializes in ethical hacking tools, techniques, and methodologies to secure an organization’s information systems.

Unlike black-hat hackers, ethical hackers exploit security networks and look for backdoors when they are legally permitted to do so. White-hat hackers always disclose every vulnerability they find in the company’s security system so that it can be fixed before they are being exploited by malicious actors.

Some Fortune 50 companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google also use white-hat hackers.

‘Grey Hat’ Hackers

Grey hats exploit networks and computer systems in the way that black hats do, but do so without any malicious intent, disclosing all loopholes and vulnerabilities to law enforcement agencies or intelligence agencies.

Usually, grey-hat hackers surf the net and hack into computer systems to notify the administrator or the owner that their system/network contains one or more vulnerabilities that must be fixed immediately. Grey hats may also extort the hacked, offering to correct the defect for a nominal fee.

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