There are many names and hats in the hacker community. Names are generally referred to as handles. Where hats refer to a behavior. For insistence, “that seems a little black hat to me.” There are three basic or well-known types of hackers. White, Grey and Black. A lot of hackers use common security and forensic based OSes that are filled with pen testing tools. Some even use Mac books because of the UNIX-like environment it has.
White Hat hackers or Ethical hackers are the good guys. Companies will employ them to harden their networks and fix security flaws. Ethical hackers will search for vulnerabilities and once found, they will submit the vulnerability for what is knowing as a bug bounty. Basically, they get a reward for finding unknown bugs. This is how security flaws get fixed and how companies stay on top of threats. In some ways, white hat hackers are the immune system of the technology world.
Grey Hat hackers comprise most of the hacking world. They are harmful and helpful. They are not after an individual’s money or identity. But, they are not limited to violating the law to get what they want. They will help people for good, but only if they want to.
Black Hat hackers or Crackers are the ones we hear about in the media. They use common practices that they learned early on. Black hats are mostly after money and information but leave a wake of destruction. They can cause irrefutable damage to companies and organizations. Make no mistake, even though the leave a wake of destruction, they do their best to cover their tracks. Normally, they start with spoofing their IP addresses or using proxy chains to hide their location.
Red Hat hackers are the vigilantes. These people are insanely scary. They stop black hats from doing malicious things but instead of reporting the malicious hacker they shut them down… and we mean really shut them down. Red Hats will shut down their target by DoSing them or upload a virus to destroy their workstation from the inside out. Needless to say, don’t mess with these guys. They will level their targets computer. These guys can also be referred to as the aggressive white has. They are often employed by government agencies for hacking enemy mainframes, databases and such.
Script Kiddies, the annoying fake hackers of the internet. They often use programs and tools developed by experienced hackers. They generally watch a YouTube video, download come code and then end up DDoSing a website or company. Denial of Service attacks flood networks with unwanted/unneeded network traffic. Which can cause networks to shutdown or slowdown to a crawl! Normally, they don’t care about learning. If they do, they will actually be considered a Green Hat.
Green Hat hackers are the noobs, often consider annoying by many experienced hackers/crackers. Take note that these noobs strive to become better in the hacking world. Their end goal is to become a full blown hacker.
Blue Hats, first and foremost shouldn’t be considered hackers. More like a script kiddie. These people take revenge on those who have upset them or wronged them. They have no intent to learn or improve their skills.
To many of us, the hacking world may seem black and white, but I assure you it’s anything but that.