Most people in digital world agree there are three main types of hackers:

  1. Black hat hacker;
  2. White hat hacker;
  3. Grey hat hacker.

Let’s start with braking a stereotype of what a hacker is.

This is the most popular picture of a hacker:

A young man, sitting in a dark room in the basement of his mom’s house, wearing a hoodie, way after midnight, glued to his screen and slicing through Facebook accounts and social security databases.

Truly apologetic for bursting your bubble, but this is nowhere close to the truth. You would only see these types of hackers in movies or cartoons.

Hacking has now developed to be a strong domain in the field of computer science. Not only it has progressed from a random habit to a career path, but the amount of research and development elevated it to the status of an entire industry. This has enabled the growth of just one hacker type, into numerous; all in different directions and types of hacking.

In this piece, we’re discussing some of the most widely known types of hackers, and how they play a part in disintegrating as well as strengthening the internet.

1. White Hat Hacker

First up, we have the perfect type of hacker to break the stereotype. The white hat hacker is a good guy, as ironic as it may sound. White Hackers, white hat hackers or ethical hackers are the people who test existing internet infrastructures to research loopholes in the system. They create algorithms and perform multiple methodologies to break into systems, only to strengthen them.

Think of this as a lockpick, who would work his way around locks, only to inform the owners of how to make the locks work better.

Famous white hat hackers have historically been pivotal in ensuring that large corporations maintain a strong network framework so that it is unbreakable against all other types of hacking. From being employees of the Government to being private consultants, white hackers help internet be a better and safer place.

2. Black Hat Hacker

Simply put, these are the bad guys. Black hat hackers are responsible for all that is wrong with hacking. These guys break into systems purely with negative intentions. From stealing credit card information, to altering public databases, a black hat hacker looks to gain fame or monetary benefits from exploiting the loopholes in internet frameworks. Famous black hat hackers have notoriously robbed banks and financial institutions of millions of dollars, and invaluable private data.

3. Grey Hat Hacker

A grey hat hacker usually has mixed intentions. As the color code implies, this hacker type does not have the good intentions of a white hat hacker, nor does he have the ill intentions of a black hacker. A grey hat would break into systems but never for his own benefit. Famous grey hat hackers have exploited systems only to make the information public, and to bring to limelight vast datasets of information that contains wrongdoings.

This hacker type is the most commonly found type on the internet. The most common break-ins usually are of the back and grey hat type, but since there are no major personal gains with grey hats, black hats take the crown for being the real bad guys.

4. Script Kiddie

In the many types of computer hackers, Script Kiddies are the newbies. The kids of the hacking realm, this hacker type isn’t responsible for a lot of damage, particularly because of the little skill or effort they put into their hacking. Downloading hacking software, or pre-written scripts, these hackers would just run a website against a software and disrupt its working. From routing overloading traffic, or repeatedly running transactions, this hacker type’s impact is significant, but not really.

5. Suicide Hacker

This hacker type gets its name from the notorious Suicide Bombers, people who cause a lot of damage before killing their own selves. Similarly, a suicide hacker would know that his identity would be revealed, or he would be caught but proceeds to carry out a hacking attempt nonetheless. This could either be for money, or for fame or even forceful, just like a suicide bomber.

6. A Hacktivist

Hacktivists are the protesters of the internet. Just like a group of protesters in the real world stir up attention by marching on the streets, the hacktivist type of hacker would break into systems and infrastructures to ask for attention towards social causes.

Hacktivism includes defacing websites and uploading promotional material, so that the viewers would receive info based on hackers intention, not the developer of the website.

7. Red Hat Hacker

Another good hacker type to break the stereotype, the red hat hacker acts ruthlessly towards black hat hackers. Their sole objective is to destroy the effort of every bad hacker type and to bring their entire infrastructure down. A red hat hacker would be on the lookout for a black hat hack, intercept it and hack into the black hat hacker’s system. Not only would this halt the attack, but also push the black hat hacker out of business!

8. Blue Hat Hacker

Of the many hacker types, the blue hat hacker is the amateur. Like script kiddies, the blue hat deploys readily available techniques but specifically targets an entity out of a bad intention. Usually, these are revenge attacks made using amateur techniques like affecting a website with too much traffic using a script.

9. Green Hat Hacker

This type of hacker is the one who learns in the world of hacking. A green hat hacker is usually responsible for no real activity but is easily recognizable for his intent to learn and understand how it all works. Green Hat Hackers are often part of large learning communities online, where they watch videos and tutorials on how to make it big.

10. Social Media Hacker

The last type of hacker in our list – social media hacker. As its name implies they focus on hacking social media accounts by using various techniques. This hacker type is similar to black hat hacker for their criminal intentions, data theft.

You might often come across misused terms of hackers on the internet such as the purple hat hacker or the yellow hat hacker, but the above-mentioned types are the most commonly used and accepted categories in the world of hacking.

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