What is a Hacker? and Types

We know the word hacker and somehow we manage to understand the hackers, we heard about hackers in movies. But what exactly is a hacker mean? And its is a person or a computer itself.

The answer is: A hacker is a computer user who, for either positive or negative motivations, may manipulate and break into computer systems software.

what does the hacker mean and its types
A Hacker

I came to know about the "hacker" term spelled creatively in different ways, such as "haxor", "Hax0r", and "H4X0R", all of which the same person or thing.

Historically, a hacker of the 1990's was only evil and dishonest, you can say a criminal who would illegally and unethically take control of computers and networks. And indeed, that criminal definition still applies today in the 21st century. However, the term hacker has also broadened to include non-criminal computer users. Today, "hacker" encompasses black hat, white hat, and grey hat computer users:

And now there are 3 modern types of hackers:

  • Black Hats: Criminal Hackers.
  • White Hats: Ethical Hackers.
  • Grey Hats: Deals in both of the above

1. Old Black Hat Hackers = Criminals/Lawbreakers:

This is a very old and classic definition of a hacker: a computer user who willingly seeks to vandalize or commit theft on other people's networks. This classic hacker is also known as a black hat hacker because of his malicious motivations. Black hats are gifted but unethical computer users who are motivated by feelings of power and petty revenge. They are electronic thugs, in every sense of the word, like today we heard about hacking of the online bank accounts password and its information related to it, sometimes people involve for money but surprisingly in most of the times they do hacking for fun or satisfaction.

Black hat hackers are famous for the following common cyber crimes:
  • Defacing websites by hijacking control and replacing the main page photos with rude slogans.
  • Performing identity theft by stealing private information of individuals. 
  • DOS/DDOS attacks that overload Internet servers. 
  • Botnetting: taking remote control of dozens of personal computers, and programming them to zombie as spam broadcasters.
 Also see >> Protect Wireless Network from Trespassers

2. White Hat Ethical Hackers = Network Security Specialists:

They are just opposite from the old black hat hackers, white hat hackers have honorable, or at least kind, motivations. A white hat ethical hacker is a talented computer security user employed to help protect computer networks. These white hats are not unlike former convicts who take on work as store security guards. While they themselves may not be completely ethical, their vocation is considered white hat. Ethical hackers are usually motivated by a steady paycheck. It is not surprising to see ethical hackers spending those paychecks on very expensive personal computers in their personal lives, so they can play online games after work. As long as they have a good-paying job to support their personal habits, an ethical hacker is usually not motivated to destroy nor steal from their employer.

Sometimes white hat hackers known for not only protecting the system files but also for creating clever programs and beautiful interfaces. If you are an academic hacker, for example, you will take existing programmatic code, and improve upon it through clever alterations and additions. "Academic hacking" is about obsessively innovating computer code so that it becomes more beautiful or more efficient as a program. Academic hackers, in general, are harmless and do not seek to hurt other people's networks. Academic white hats are often graduate students in computer programming. 

3. Grey Hat Hackers = Uncertain which side of the law to stand for:

And the last Grey hats hacker are often hobby hackers: users with basic or intermediate tech skills who like to disassemble and modify their own computers for hobby pleasure, and who also dabble in minor white collar crimes, like file-sharing movies or cracking software. Yes, millions of p2p downloaders are hobby hackers. And indeed, if you have ever modified your router and firewall to allow faster p2p downloads, you could describe yourself as a "grey hat" hobby hacker. Ultimately, a small percentage of hobby hackers have intention to become a serious black hat hackers. 

As we have very little information about hacker, now if you are a thinker with your computer hardware and software, so are can call yourself a white hat hobby hacker. And you like to dabble in breaking software locks and music copyright, then you are a grey hat hobby hacker. In This 2012-2013, this connotation is not a negative thing.

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