Based on the intentions of hackers as well as the legality of their attacks, there are three main types of hacking. They include the following:
White Hat Hacking
Commonly referred to as ethical hacking, white hat hacking is always used for good. Instead of being the stereotypical renegade whiz kids you see in movies, white hat hackers are often employed or contracted by major companies to help them improve their security by identifying vulnerabilities in their system. Ethical hackers use pretty much the same methods as all other hackers, but they always do it with permission from the owner of the system. There are many courses and conferences on ethical hacking.
Black Hat Hacking
Black hat hacking is the opposite of white hat hacking, which is why it is often referred to as unethical. The hackers behind black hat attacks are usually driven by personal or financial gain, although they can be motivated by many other factors, as well. Because they don’t have an explicit permission from the owner to hack their system, they use phishing emails and compromised websites to download and install malicious software on potential victims’ computers and use it to steal the victims’ personal information.
Gray Hat Hacking
Gray hat hacking falls somewhere between ethical and unethical. As a rule, gray hat hackers are never outright malicious, though some of their moves could be interpreted as such. For example, they may hack into a network without the owner’s permission to search for vulnerabilities. After that, they will usually contact the owner and ask for a small fee to fix the issue. However, if the owner declines, hackers might share their findings online, thus inviting their unethical peers to exploit these vulnerabilities.
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