The world has become a smaller place because of advancements in technology and the internet. This massive network of the web that the internet is has made it possible for us to do anything that we like just by clicking a button.
You can order food from a restaurant that is several kilometers away from your location. Also, you can book the tickets for a flight to a faraway land. You can video call your friends and family while staying away from them. There is literally nothing that we cannot do.
But did you know that there are people who can track your activities on the internet and track your details from there? These people are known as hackers. However, contrary to popular belief, there are good hackers as well.
They do not mean to harm us. These are the white hat hackers. Let us learn more about them…
What Is A White Hat Hacker?
A white-hat hacker is an ethical hacker. They are the hackers who use their hacking skills in order to identify the vulnerabilities in the security of hardware, software, or any other network.
They are the good hackers who respect the ethics, the rule, and the regulations of law that apply to the process of hacking. Also, they hack the system when they are asked to by the legal bodies for certain operations that require the use of hacking. In other words, they are the good guys in the world of hacking.
Many companies hire these white hat hackers in order to test their systems of information. They test the systems by running deep scans and detecting the presence of malware or other viruses.
These white hat hackers are one of the most important and valid reasons why many large companies and organizations have very few downtimes. The white hat guys make sure that there are much fewer issues with the websites of the organizations that they are working for.
White, Black, And Gray Hat Hackers: Difference
Did you know that there are other types of hackers apart from the white hat hackers as well? For example, the black hat hackers and the gray hat hackers.
The black hat hackers are the bad guys in the world of hacking. They are the complete opposite of white hat hackers, and they use unethical ways of hacking. But they do that not in order to help other organizations but just to violate the rules and regulations of the law of hacking.
They are often called malicious hackers and are also known as crackers. They break into the computer system in order to extract data that are confidential in nature. In this way, they violate the integrity and the availability of the organization and its system that they managed to hack.
They use the same methods that the white hat hackers use. However, their intention and motive are never right or ethical. These crackers may break into your system for some motive or maybe just for the thrill of it.
They can hack the system for causing harm to your system of information or even use your system as a lever or pivot in order to harm someone else’s system.
What happens when you mix both black and white together? It becomes gray. That is exactly what happens in the case of the gray hat hackers.
These hackers fall between the black hat and the white hat hackers on the spectrum of morals and ethics. They generally consider themselves as the good guys, the white-hat ones. However, unlike the white hat hackers, who are very strict and maintain their sense of ethics, the gray hat hackers are a bit more flexible.
However, they do not intend to cause harm or any damage to the computer system of the organization that they are hacking, unlike the black hat bad guys. But at the same time, they would not ask for the authorization or permission of the owners before hacking their data.
Most of the time, the real intention of the gray hat hacker is to boast about their skills and to get under the spotlight. They want to be the white hat hackers but are not yet recognized as ones. That is the reason why they want that little bit of fame and attention.
If you were looking for a tabular display of the differences between the three types of hackers, we have got you covered.
Here they are:
|WHITE HAT||GRAY HAT||BLACK HAT|
|Asks for permission||Do not ask for permission||Do not ask for permission|
|Does not cause any harm||Does not cause any harm||Causes harm|
|Always have good intentions||May have good intentions||Does not have good intention|
Do you Want Names?
If you were looking for the names of the famous white hat hackers, you have reached your destination. In the world of hacking, there are several well-known ethical hackers.
Some of them are:
1. Marc Maiffret
He is known for searching for and exposing the vulnerabilities in the system of Microsoft. Microsoft products like Code Red worm (for example) are looked after by Maiffret.
He even went on to become the CTO or Chief Technology Officer of the company BeyondTrust. He is also the co-founder of a famous software security company.
2. R Snake
If you want to be a white-hat hacker, you have probably heard the name R Snake. His real name is Robert Hansen. He is the very famous white-hat hacker who co-coined the word clickjacking.
He is also the founder and chairman of OutsideIntel. This is a company that looks after business intelligence and corporate discovery.
Frequently Asked Question
A white-hat hacker is often called an ethical hacker. They are a person who uses hacking skills to figure out the problems and vulnerabilities in software, hardware, or the network.
All the malicious hackers that you see on the news are called black hat hackers. They do not care about ethics and use their skills to hack computer systems unethically with the motive of violating the confidentiality of the data.
If you are thinking about becoming a white hat hacker, you will be surprised to know that they make more than 70,000 dollars annually on average.
There are many famous white hackers in the world. The most famous of them are R Snake and Marc Maiffret.
And That’s A Wrap
A white-hat hacker is a hacker that follows the ethics and the guidelines of the world of hacking. They hack the system of information of an organization or a business in order to test the security of the system. They are legally appointed by big companies and corporations to make sure that they have fewer downtimes.
Though their skills are similar to the black hat hackers, they are different from theirs. That is because, unlike the crackers, the white hat guys are not malicious. They do not mean to cause harm to the data or violate the confidentiality of the information. They only hack the system when they are asked to do so. And the best part? They also get paid for it.