Understanding Ethical Hacking
Hacking, But Ethically…
An Ethical Hacker is the good guy. He acts into powerful Internet Security Systems of Governments and large organizations, not to harm them but to find faults with their security cover, and provide the cures. The Ethical hacker, who is also, referred to as the ‘White Hat’, acts by locating weaknesses and vulnerabilities of very large information systems, much as Malicious Hackers would. But he does this to improve the strength of the shield of security cover. And in general, it is done with knowledge or awareness of his employers and paymasters, who are the owners of the security wall that he is investigating. In this review, we study this shadowy world of murky goings on, and dark deeds in the language of Cryptology. This is Ethical hacking Explained in our own layman’s language.
Types of Hacking
Just like Black and White, there are Malicious and Ethical Hackers. But there is so much more to this fine art than the media describes. By the latest classification, there are said to be 7 different types of Hackers. Of these 7, only the last hacker has a full name to himself (‘Script Kiddie’). The remaining 6 are referred to as ‘Hats’ of different colors. Here is the full list:
- White Hat: These are the Good Guys, The Unsung Heroes of the hacker world. They are known as Ethical Hackers. Their in-depth knowledge and brilliance mark them out from the rest. They have the specialized skill-set to remove a Virus or Pen Test a company. White Hats are educated, experienced and at the forefront of Cryptology. Many of them hold college degrees in Computer Science or IT Security. They even have certification these days. It is called CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) and it is given out, though rarely, from the EC Council.
- Black Hat: These are the actual predators we know about. They are the crooked masterminds behind Cyber Crimes. They ply their trade by hunting for banks, companies, individuals and governments with weak security, and proceed to crack their security systems. Then they proceed to steal money directly by transfer of accounts or Databases, to remove information about account holders, such as Credit Cards. Often their methods, while complex to the guardians of security, are not actually impenetrable, and are often the result of their activities as Wiz-kids when young.
- Grey Hat: In this world of hacking, also, nothing is ever Black and White, just as in the real world. These malicious Hackers do not have money or information on their minds when hacking. Their aims are far more devious. Sometimes they deface websites, but there are many more things they do which are harmful for people, and sometimes these are done with malicious intent. Though Black Hackers attract most of the attention of the media, it is often the Grey Hat Hackers who cause the greatest damage silently. In-fact Law enforcement of all countries consider Grey Hat Hacking to constitute the majority of World Cyber Crime.
- Green Hat: These Hackers are sincere about Hacking as an art form, and as a technology, and spend quality time perfecting their skills in hacking. Their extreme curiosity and urge for hacking knowledge is sometimes felt by the hacking community to put Malicious Hackers into real danger. These are the real experts in the hacking world, but often on the wrong side.
- Red Hat: If Black Hats are the Killers of the hacking world, Red Hats are the hunters and vigilantes. They do not go crying to the Law Enforcement to report a Cyber Crime, but employ their destructive firepower to demolish the operations of the Malicious Black Hat, and try to destroy him permanently. They employ some of the Black Hat tools and turn them against Black Hats themselves, such as DoS (Denial of Service), upload viruses to the Black Hat’s computer, and even destroy the computer inside-out.
- Blue Hat: Blue Hackers are vengeful hackers, who use often rusty techniques or overused Software to create virus situation. Their knowledge level is low, but their desire to harm people is high enough to cause real damage.
- Script Kiddie: Script Kiddies are low-brow hackers who copy code and use it for a virus or a SQLi. DoS or DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) are their two typical tactics, where an IP is loaded with so much information that it collapses.
Ethical Hacker Number One
An Ethical Hacker is on the side of the angels now, but he was perhaps a super Black Hat once. The world’s most famous hacker Kevin Mitnick served five years for hacking into 40 major corporations. He is now a super White Hat Hacker, a trusted Security Consultant to governments and Fortune 500 Companies worldwide, and a Bestselling Author. This completes our article on Ethical hacking Explained.