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What are White-Hat, Gray-Hat and Black-Hat Hackers?

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  • Difficulty Level : Expert
  • Last Updated : 23 Feb, 2022

A Hacker is a person who is familiar with Computer Networks, Linux, Cryptography, and other skills. Most people are not aware of Ethical Hackers. They peruse criminals when they hear the word hacking. But not all hackers are bad. Some of them used their skills in legal activities. Let’s discuss the 3 major types of hackers.

  • White-Hat Hackers:  White-Hat Hackers are also known as Ethical Hackers. They are certified hackers who learn hacking from courses. These are good hackers who try to secure our data, websites. With the rise of cyberattacks, organizations and governments have come to understand that they need ethical hackers. They protect databases, software from Malware, Phishing, and SQL injection attacks. The government hires white hat hackers to protect their websites and databases. These hackers also work for space organizations. Some ethical hackers work with organizations that find weaknesses in their software. They take permission from the system owners and use hacking techniques identical to black hat hackers, but they do so legally. They make people aware of cyber threats and ways to prevent them.
  • Black-Hat Hackers: Black-Hat Hackers are those hackers who enter the system without taking owners’ permission. These hackers use vulnerabilities as entry points.  They hack systems illegally. They use their skills to deceive and harm people.  They conduct various attacks, write malware, and damage system security. They steal users’ passwords, data, and credit card information by damaging system security. Black-hat hackers make money by selling data and credit card information on the dark web. They are also ruining anyone’s reputation to take revenge. Sometimes they steal the personal data of users and blackmail them. They also hack social media profiles by sending links or attachments. Some countries (China, Russia, and the USA) hires black hat hacker to steal data related to militaries from other countries.
  • Gray-Hat Hackers: Gray-Hat Hackers are a mix of both black and white hat hackers. These types of hackers find vulnerabilities in systems without the permission of owners. They don’t have any malicious intent. However, this type of hacking is still considered illegal. But they never share information with black hat hackers. They find issues and report the owner, sometimes requesting a small amount of money to fix it. But some organizations disregard gray hat hackers because the hacker is not bound by ethical hacking policies.  These type of hackers does not put someone at risk.

Difference between White-Hat, Gray-Hat and Black-Hat hacking

Difference between White-Hat,  Black-Hat, and Gray-Hat Hackers:

S No.    White-Hat Hackers Black-Hat Hackers Gray-Hat Hackers
1.  White-Hat Hacking is done by White Hat Hackers.   Black-Hat Hacking is done by Black Hat Hackers.  Gray-Hat Hacking is done by Gray Hat Hackers.  
2.  White-Hat Hackers are individual who finds vulnerabilities in computer networks. Black-Hat Hackers are highly skilled individuals who hack a system illegally. Gray-Hat Hackers work both Defensively and aggressively.
3. White-Hat Hackers works for the organizations and government. Black -Hat Hackers are criminals who violate computer security for their owner’s personal gain. Gray-Hat Hackers find issues in a system without the owner’s permission.
4. In some cases, white-hat hackers are paid, employees. Black-Hat hackers make money by carding and selling information to other criminals. Gray-Hat hackers find issues and report the owner, sometimes requesting a small amount of money to fix that issue. 
5. White-Hat Hacking is legal. Black-Hat Hacking is illegal. Sometimes Gray-Hat Hackers violate Laws.


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