A hacker is often mistaken for a cybercriminal, but this is a wrong and outdated concept. Hacker is a term used to characterize someone self-taught who seeks and explores unconventional and /or alternative ways to achieve specific goals.
Not all hackers are computer hackers. There are, for example, people who take a certain object that had a specific purpose and transform or adapt it to do something else completely out of purpose but adapted to their needs. This is Hacking!
A computer hacker is a specialist in systems, programming and /or networks, who is distinguished by its high curiosity. Self-taught by nature, the true hacker goes beyond traditional knowledge and paves the way, innovates, and goes beyond to obtain access or information within a computer perimeter.
Computer hackers can be divided into 2 major Categories distinguishing their “Hat”:
White Hat Hacker [WHH] – WHH, also known as Ethical Hackers, are experts in cyber security that help organizations identify flaws in their IT defenses. They have no malicious intent, nor do they use their knowledge to their advantage. WHH can be divided into 2 subcategories:
- Blue Team – WHH team that defends perimeters / computer systems and ensures that all vulnerabilities and possible failures are mitigated to prevent attacks.
- Red Team – WHH team that performs Penetration Tests on perimeters / computer systems to find flaws or vulnerabilities so that they can be corrected before a possible attack.
Black Hat Hacker [BHH] – This is the type of hacker known as the criminal hacker. He is a cyber security expert who uses his skills to his advantage. He makes unauthorized attacks and uses that information to his advantage.
There is a third category of hackers – the Gray Hat Hacker [GHH], also known as Vigilantes. These are cyber security experts who make unauthorized interventions, but use their knowledge and attacks to, for example, alert organizations of flaws or vulnerabilities they have, making sensitive information public that may be damaging to large masses, or even knocking down some Black Hat’s! These are still criminals because all unauthorized access is always a crime.
All these categories brought to life a great diversity of hats with all the colors of the rainbow that further segregate the types of hackers that exist. But that is subject for another conversation!
That said, not all hackers are criminals, the concept of hacking should not be taken with a narrow mind because, even without any computer knowledge, we might all have a little bit of a hacker inside of us every time we face challenges with curiosity and look for the best possible solutions outside of the conventional!
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João is truly passionate about CyberSecurity! With a degree in computing and cloud computing, João loves evolution and innovation, learning and helping others. He considers himself a life-hacker for facing everything with curiosity, trying to evolve in a self-taught way, opening paths and going beyond traditional knowledge!