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Cybcersecurity And Different Kinds Of Hackers | Touchstone Words

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Cybcersecurity and Different Kinds of Hackers

By Shane Staret on 2018-04-14

As I’ve written about before, the term “hacking” has become quite the buzzword in the media throughout the last decade. It is made out to be this extremely difficult magic trick that a only a few malicious guys with hoodies can accomplish. This not only makes people more fearful that they will be a victim of hacking, but it can also lead them to not truly understand what it is.


Hacking is the act of gaining unauthorized access to a computer system or network. It doesn’t necessarily have to have ill-intent behind it and it doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult. In fact, the different kinds of hacking are completely based on whether the hacker is ethical or unethical and how hard it is to successfully hack.

So first, let’s start with the lowest of the low: script kiddies. What do script kiddies do? Well, not much really. In fact, being a script kiddie is so easy, that all you have to do is download or copy some code off the internet, watch a four minute YouTube tutorial about how to run the code...and then run the code. There are plenty of scripts that allow a script kiddie to DDOS someone or deface a website. Script kiddies are looked at as peasants within and outside of the hacking community, as all they do is cause harm and annoyance through no skill of their own.

The tier above script kiddies would probably be junior black hat hackers. Unlike script kiddies, these guys are actively trying to learn how to hack. But not for good reasons. I will get into it a bit later, but black hat hackers are typically skilled hackers who do it for all the wrong reasons. Junior black hat hackers look up to black hat hackers like they are gods and are trying to learn as much as possible with the hope that one day they will graduate into a black hat hacker.

I suppose the next tier above junior black hat hackers are junior white hat hackers. Now you might think that a junior white hat hacker is the exact opposite of a junior black hat hacker, but it is not that simple. You see, while white hat hackers hack for more “moral” reasons than black hat hackers, they are also given permission to try and penetrate the system. White hat hackers are usually hired by the company to test how secure the company’s network is. Junior white hat hackers may be entry level starters at a company looking to learn how to recognize security failures and how to fix them.

Above the junior white hat hackers are just the usual ol’ white hat hackers. They reason why they aren’t at the tippity-top of the list is because they are typically seen as the least skilled of the professional hackers. This is probably due to the fact that white hat hackers might not have all of the skills necessary to be a black hat hacker, as white hat hackers already know the kind of security that they might be dealing with. I mean just think about it. A white hat hacker is already given information by the company they work for about the kind of network or system they might be trying to get into. Black hat hackers on the other hand, have to worry about potentially being caught and have to get all of that information on their own.

Then comes the black hat hackers. These are the malicious guys that laugh maniacally as they hack. They are the ones that illegally hack into a system with ill-intent. Maybe they want to steal money, shutdown the entire network, or possibly just gain confidential information. No matter what the reason, these guys are the “bad” hackers. Typically, black hat hackers are seen as more skilled since they are sometimes able to breach systems that they previously had no real information about.

Above the black hat hackers are the grey hat hackers. The simple way to explain grey hat hackers is that they are a combination of the qualities of a black hat and a white hat hacker. Like black hat hackers, grey hat hackers are not legally permitted to breach a system. However, like white hat hackers, they do it for “morally” good reasons and typically alert the owners of the system or network that they were able to effectively breach their systems. They also probably notify them on exactly how they did it. The only reason I placed these guys above the black hat hackers is that they actually hack for good. In my opinion, that puts them above black hat hackers as they might be just as skilled, but they are also doing it for the right reasons.

And that my friends, is pretty much it. You have the annoying kids that think they are cool because they can copy something off the internet, then you have the “good”, the “well-intentioned”,  and the “bad” hackers. Now before you plan on becoming a master hacker yourself, always remember that staying anonymous while doing illegal things is really hard. The leader of a black hat hacker group is like the leader of a drug cartel. Sure, the cartel may bring in a lot of money, but they also will bring a lot of heartbreak, and when the cartel falls, you will fill right with it. So no, it is probably best that you don’t become a black hat hacker.

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