Forewarned is Forearmed – A hacker who’s who

Forewarned is Forearmed – A hacker who’s who

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In the dangerous landscape we navigate on the digital frontier, the more we know about our enemies, the better. Let’s go behind the lines (of code) to learn more!

‘Hacker’ – this word conjures up images of mean looking characters lurking over keyboards, leering at multiple code-laden screens and wreaking havoc on the internet. But that is not always the case. How so?

What is a Hacker?

Hackers are individuals or groups who exploit security weaknesses in computer systems and networks to gain unauthorised access, steal data or cause damage. However, not all hackers are equal. Here are some different types of hackers, the good, the bad and those in between.

Black Hat Hackers

These are the bad ones. The equivalent of old-fashioned, gun-toting armed robbers, they are malicious hackers who break into computer systems and networks with the intent to cause damage, steal data and commit cybercrimes. They often use advanced hacking techniques and tools to carry out their attacks. Black hat hackers can cause serious harm to individuals, businesses and governments and their actions are illegal and punishable by law.

White Hat Hackers

These are the good ones. Also known as ethical hackers (think, the friendly neighbour who points out you have left your front door unlocked) these individuals use their hacking skills for good. They work for companies or governments to find vulnerabilities in their systems and networks BEFORE malicious hackers can exploit them. White hat hackers use the same techniques and tools as black hat hackers but with the goal of improving cybersecurity and preventing cyberattacks.

Grey Hat Hackers

These are the opportunists. They don’t have a specific agenda and they often operate in a grey area between black and white hat hacking. They may use their skills to identify vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks and then alert the owners of those systems. However, they may also demand payment or other benefits in exchange for their services, which may be illegal.

Script Kiddies

These are the juvenile delinquents. These hackers are often young and inexperienced, they use pre-written scripts or tools to carry out their attacks. They may not have a specific agenda and their attacks are often random and aimless. However, they can still cause damage to computer systems and networks and their actions are illegal.

Hacktivists

These are the tree huggers. They are political or social activists who use hacking to promote their causes. They may target government websites, corporate websites or other high-profile targets to raise awareness about their issues. Hacktivists can sometimes use illegal methods to achieve their goals and their actions can have serious consequences.

State-Sponsored Hackers

A veritable cyber army. These hackers are sponsored by governments to carry out cyber espionage or cyber warfare. Their attacks can be highly sophisticated and can target critical infrastructure, businesses or other countries. State-sponsored hackers can cause significant damage and their actions can lead to diplomatic tensions and even military conflicts.

Understanding who these people are is one step closer to protecting our sensitive information against them.

Chat to us about any concerns you have with regards to securing you company’s data.