Hacker types (White | Grey | Black hat)

hacker types hat

There are 3 types of hackers separated by the intentions. In hackers’ world there are bad guys and good guys, so let’s check out who is who.

There is a IT slang that defines the intentions of hacker with the color of hat – white, grey and black. Probably, this came from the Western movies symbolism, where good cowboys wore white hats and villains had the black ones.

“White hat” hackers

This category is also called Ethical hackers and it represents the good guys. White hats are usually computer security experts who search for systems vulnerabilities in scope of penetration testing process.

We can say that ethical hackers make internet a more safe place.

White hats activity:

  • searching systems for weak spots in security
  • penetration testing
  • creating security reports
  • providing security audits, etc.

Black hat hackers

And now let’s talk about the “bad cowboys”. The Black Hats are people who violates computer security. They are breaking things for their own benefits: money, politics or just for fun.

The impact of “black hat” hackers:

  • stealing money from financial systems
  • stealing secured data and personal information
  • causing the denial of systems
  • creating malicious software
  • and similar stuff…

Grey hat hackers

Finally, there can be hackers that don’t really belong to any of those clans from above. They are called Grey Hats.

This people usually don’t have bad intentions but they still can illegally break through computer security. Grey hat hackers don’t have a goal to spoil something or to steal data or money, but they are not obliged to notify the admin when they find a vulnerability.


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