Posted on 24 June 2022

Different types of hackers and their intentions

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Everyone has heard of the term ‘hacker’ but not everyone realises that there are actually several different types of hacker...

From the malicious, dangerous cyber criminals we’ve all been warned about to the good guys that are hired to fight them, this article will outline the different varieties and what to look out for online.

Six types of cyber criminal

Although the term hacker has negative connotations, not all hackers are trying to steal your data. There are six hats a hacker could wear – which one decides whether they’re on the good side or the bad side.

White hat hackers – Cyber security professionals with permission to find vulnerabilities in a system

Black hat hackers – The stereotypical cyber criminals who pose a real threat to your IT systems

Grey hat hackers – Law breaker and act unethically but typically lacking in malicious intent

Green hat hackers – Wannabe experienced hackers with intent but minimal knowledge (the noobs of the hacker world!)

Blue hat hackers – Hired by organisations to find weaknesses in systems before launch

Red hat hackers – Government-hired cyber security professionals that fight cyber criminals to reduce cyber-attacks and data loss

Real life examples

Kevin Mitnick – Black hat hacker

Kevin is notoriously known as the world’s most wanted hacker. His hacking landed him in serious trouble in 1995 when he was arrested by the FBI and imprisoned for five years for stealing proprietary software from some of America’s largest mobile phone and computer companies.

This infamous hacker eventually had a change of heart (and hat), becoming a successful cyber security expert who now works for multi-million-pound companies and governments to help protect their data.

Dr Charlie Miller – White hat hacker

Dr Miller is a former National Security Agency hacker, who is often referred to as the most technically proficient hacker on earth. He is employed by industry leading companies to find vulnerabilities in consumer products and cyber security. Dr Miller is highly respected in his field and has had an incredibly successful career in hacking to date.

How can I protect myself from hackers?

Cyber criminals may be capable of doing a lot of damage to your business, but there are a multitude of ways to minimise the chances of being hacked. Nobody wants to be a victim of a cyber-attack, so make sure you prioritise cyber security.

The following can all help to increase the security around your IT systems and protect your data:

  1. Vulnerability assessments
  2. Upgrading firewalls
  3. Managing patches
  4. Installing Endpoint Detection and Response
  5. Using encryption.
  6. Multi factor authentication
  7. Patch management

Ultimately, the most effective way to protect yourself and your business from cyber-crime is to seek specialist support from IT experts, such as ourselves!

If you would like further advice on how to protect your business from hackers or to arrange a cyber security audit with one of our team, get in touch with us today. We specialise in, so you don’t have to.