Home Hacking What is the difference between a black hat hacker and a white hat hacker?

What is the difference between a black hat hacker and a white hat hacker?


uring the pandemic, when people were spending more time at home and therefore online, hacking both increased and evolved.

In a study from Deloitte, cyberattacks using unseen malware, or methods, increased by 15 percentage points, from 20% of all attacks to 35%.

With hackers becoming smarter about how to gain access to both individual and organisational data, companies have a responsibility to be better at defending themselves in the digital world, especially when handling sensitive or consumer data.

In 2020 there was a fivefold increase in cyberattacks against the World Health Organisation, which holds a lot of data on people and nations all over the world.

One way that organisations can protect themselves is by inviting hackers to attack them. Here’s how it works.

What is a black hat hacker?

The type of hacker that most people associate with the term black hat hacker is a criminal hacker.

Black hat hackers attempt to infiltrate or control websites, devices, or other systems without permission, usually for financial reasons.

Some tactics they might use are employing malware, ransomware, or spyware to hold systems hostage and demand payment, or take advantage of users’ poor security to commit fraud or theft with their information.

Some will also steal confidential data to sell on the dark web or for other cybercrime activities.

What is a white hat hacker?

White hat hackers will have the same type of skillset as black hat hackers but use them for legal purposes.

Some companies, organisations, or governments will hire these hackers to find holes in their cybersecurity with permission. They will carry out non-harmful cyberattacks to find weaknesses and then usually offer suggestions for security software, tools, and techniques to better protect themselves in the future.

They may also take steps to educate people about cybersecurity threats and risks, as well as how to defend against them. While both trade on the value of information, white hat hackers work within the parameters of the law to help people and organisations protect themselves against cybercrime.

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