What is Hacking?

Hacking is a term used to refer to a wide range of attacks on the internet - from crashing a server, to sophisticated infiltration - leading to stealing passwords, personal information, privy business data or intellectual property.

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Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity

by Joaquin Jay Gonzalez III

Types of Hackers

There are many types and this keeps evolving. The notable ones are:

  • Crackers
  • Script Kiddies
  • Black Hat Hackers
  • White Hat Hackers
  • Grey Hat Hackers
  • Cyber Troops
  • Spammers
  • Phishers

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Crackers And Skiddies

Crackers are the ones that are typically engaged in trading and publishing 'cracks' for games, patches, serial numbers and activation keys for commercial software. They may embed malware in their cracks and patches called as Trojans. If these cracks are used, there is risk of getting infected with worms or viruses.

Script Kiddies, or 'Skiddies' are amateur hackers who adapt other people's exploits to attack institutions and may take part in online anonymous protest groups.

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Black Hats, White Hats And Grey Hat Hackers

Black Hat Hackers develop malware, intrusion techniques and tools for evil purposes and have an ulterior motive of profiting from it. Spy agencies, criminal groups and enemies of establishments tend to pay them for such exploits.

White Hat Hackers, or Ethical Hackers maybe good guys or security researchers who undertake penetration testing and security audits, while operating within the law. They report vulnerabilities to help fix the loopholes.

Grey Hat Hackers may expose vulnerabilities to fraudulent actors and may report vulnerabilities anonymously.

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Cyber Troops Or Cyber Soldiers

These are state-sponsored military personnel trained in hacking techniques.

They may use malware and hacking to spy or steal intellectual property to gather enemy intelligence.

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Spammers And Phishers

Spammers use spambot programs to send automated emails, messages, tweets etc. to entice the potential buyers of their products.

Phishers may use similar techniques disguised as click baits, to entice their victims to download and install malware.

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