There used to be time where the only thing people were afraid of guns and bomb-blasts. After the invention of computers, the biggest threat to a country or an organization are cyber-attacks. Hacking is the new way to make or break anything in today’s digital world. The individuals who illegally hack into systems to perform activities to manipulate computing systems are called hackers. China ranks top among the countries to contain the largest number of hacker communities. The country possesses around 41% of hackers from around the world. Some of the top hackers around the globe right now are:
- Julian Assange: Julian started hacking when he was 16. He
hacked into various networks llike NASA, pentagon and Stanford. In 2006 he created WikiLeaks, where classified documents can be published from anonymous sources.
- Kevin Mitnick: Mitnick was once known as the ‘most wanted criminal in US history’. The famous hacker was imprisoned for a year, for hacking into the Digital Equipment Corporation’s network.
- Albert Gonzalez: The former leader of hacker group ShadowCrew, was known his malicious activities. Him and his whole crew stole and sold credit cards, created fraud passports, health insurance cards and birth certificates.
- Kevin Poulsen: Poulsen also known as ‘Dark Dante’, became a mini celeb when he hacked into a radio station’s phone lines and claimed to be the winner of brand-new Porsche that he won in the contest.
- Robert Tappan Morris: Studying in Cornell University, Morris created a Worm to gauge the size of internet. The hacker is currently a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the founder of Y- combinator.
So, far from seeing the above list you can imagine, there are chances to get hacked pretty much everywhere. From NASA to Yahoo, all sizes of organizations have faced some type of cyber attack in their history. It’s not just all the names and the activities of these hackers. Hackers are distinguished into categories for distinguishing one from other, by cyber-security community. Basically there are 7 types of hackers:
- Script Kiddie:
Script Kiddies are the type of hackers who really don’t care about hacking. The hackers who usually copy code and use it for a virus fall under this category. A script kiddie in actual is a non-expert who breaks into computer systems using pre automated-tools such as LIC or Metasloit. A common attack by Script Kiddie is DoSing (Denial of Service) or DDOSing (Distributed Denial of Service). Such attacks consists of flooding an IP with so much of information that it collapses under strain. The attack are frequently used by the hacker group ‘Anonymous’.
- White Hat Hackers:
White Hat Hackers are also known as ‘Ethical-hackers’. They are known as the good guys of the hacker community. They never intent to harm a system, rather they ‘d try to help remove a virus or PenTest a company. A White Hat Hacker job for most of the part is to find out weaknesses in a computer or a network system to run penetration tests and vulnerability assessments. Most of them hold a college degree in information Technology or Computer Science and are certified ethical hackers. The most popular certification to showcase a verified ethical hacker is CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) from the EC-Council.
- Black Hat Hackers:
Also known as crackers, the Black Hat hackers are among those that you hear about in the news. Black Hat hackers often hack in order to gain unauthorized access to a system and harm it by stealing or corrupting sensitive information. Some of the common activities include stealing money or credit card information from banks or other companies. Such type of hacking is illegal because of its bad intent which includes stealing corporate data, violating privacy, damaging systems, blocking network communication, etc. The methods of attack that they use are common hacking practices which are learned earlier.
- Grey Hat Hackers:
Grey Hat hackers are a blend of partial black and white hat hackers. They don’t steal money or information or get involve in malicious practices. Instead these are the type of hackers who exploit a security weakness in a system without the owner’s permission or knowledge. Most of the times their intent is to bring the weakness of the system to the owners’ attention. They seek to get appreciation or a bounty from the owners. Grey hat hackers comprise most of the hacking world, even if they don’t get as much media’s attention as much as Black Hat hackers do.
- Green Hat Hackers:
The Green Hat hackers are considered as beginners in the hacker industry. Unlike Script Kiddies, they tend to care about hacking and strive to become full-blown hackers. The Green hat hackers are often flamed by the hacker community for asking basic questions regarding hacking. Although, they might be considered as beginners, most of the green hat hackers acquire skills more than a normal student who’s learning hacking.
- Red Hat Hackers:
Red Hat hacker are called the vigilantes of the hacker world. They’re like Black Hats which operate under White Hat. They usually work on the level of hacking government agencies, top-secret information hubs, to anything that falls under the category of sensitive information. Instead of reporting about malicious activity, they’d rather shut down the hacker by uploading viruses, DoSing and destroy the computer from the inside out. They can hamper computers at such a level that the victim can be forced equip a new computer.
- Blue Hat Hackers:
It can be said that if a Script Kiddie took revenge, then he/she is considered to become a Blue Hat hacker. Blue Hat hackers are known to seek vengeance on ones whom they are angry on. Just like Script Kiddies most of the Blue hat hackers have no desire to learn.
- Elite Hackers:
The name itself ‘Elite hacker’ is used as a social status among hackers. The name is used to describe the most skilled hacker among the hackers’ community.
A hactivist is considered to be a hacker who utilizes technology without any authorization to announce social, ideological, religious or political message. In most of the cases, hactivism involves website defacement.
Have a look at one of our other blogs on cyber attacks here on: