Hello and welcome back to our “Mystery Jet Ski.” Much better than those programs about supernatural stuff and alien suppositions. Today we will continue with our exhaustive investigation on the hacker world, and we will delve a little more into the concept of “ethical hacker.” Is it true that there are good hackers? Who are the so-called “White hats”? Who will win this year’s Super Bowl?
Do you already know who the so-called “White Hats” are?
In this blog we never stop saying it: “No one is free from EVIL, because EVIL never rests”, and if in previous articles we saw that a bad hacker, broadly speaking, is a person who knows a lot about computers and uses their knowledge to detect security flaws in company or organization systems and take control of them, today we will see who is the archenemy of the bad hacker or cracker, the superhero of security, networks and programming… “The White Hat Hacker.”
White Hats are “evangelized” hackers who believe in good practice and good ethics, and who use their hacking superpowers to find security vulnerabilities and help correct or shield them, whether in networks, software, or hardware. “Black Hats” would be the rogue hackers we all know for their evilness, and the “White Hats” would be their honest and do-gooder counterpart. Both hack systems, but White Hat hackers do it with the goal of favoring/helping the organization they are working for.
White Hats, ethical hackers
If you thought that piracy and honesty were antonyms, you should know that, within IT, they are not necessarily so. As we pointed out, White Hats do their thing but in an ethical and supervised way, all with the aim of improving cybersecurity, not damaging it. And, dear friend, there is lots of demand for this. White Hats are not short of work, they are in high demand as security researchers and freelancers. They are the candy of organizations to strengthen their cybersecurity. Companies, in fact, take white hat hackers and make them try to hack their systems over and over again. They find and expose vulnerabilities so that the company is prepared for future attacks. They show the ease with which a Black Hat could infiltrate, and even get to the kitchen, in a system, or look for “back doors” within the encryption determined to safeguard the network. We could almost consider the White Hats as another IT security engineer or an insightful network security analyst within the company.
Some known white hat hackers:
- Greg Hoglund, “The Machine.” Mostly known for his achievements in detecting malware, rootkits, and hacking online games. He has worked for the United States government and its intelligence service.
- Jeff Moss, “Obama’s Right Hand (on the Mouse)”. He came to work on the US National Security Advisory Council during the Obama term. Today he serves as a commissioner in the World Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace.
- Dan Kaminsky, “The Competent.” Known for his great feat of finding a major bug in the DNS protocol. This could have led to a complex cache spoofing attack.
- Charlie Miller, “The Messi of hackers.” He became famous for highlighting vulnerabilities in the products of famous companies like Apple. He won the Pwn2Own edition in 2008, the most important hacking contest in the world.
- Richard M. Stallman, “The Hacktivist.” Founder of the GNU project, an essential free software initiative to understand computing without restrictions. Champion of the free software movement since 1980.
Are there more “Hats”?
We have already talked about the exploits of these White Hats, but what about the previously mentioned “Black Hats”? Are there more “Hats”? Let’s have a look:
- Black hats: Well, these are the bad guys, the computer criminals, the ones we know and take for granted. The villains of this story. They start out, perhaps, as inexperienced Script Kiddies and end up as crackers. Pure jargon to designate how bad they are. Some do it alone, selling malicious tools, others work for criminal organizations as sophisticated as the ones in movies.
- Gray hats: Right in the middle of computer morality, we find these hats, combining the qualities of black and white. They are usually devoted, for example, to looking for vulnerabilities without the consent of the owners of the system, but when they find them they let them know.
- Blue hats: These are characterized by focusing all their malicious efforts on a specific subject or group. Motivated perhaps by revenge, they dominate it just enough to execute it. They may also be hired to test specific software for bugs before it is released. They say that their name comes from the blue emblem of the Microsoft employees.
- Red Hats: The Red Hats do not like the Black Hats at all and act ruthlessly against them. Their life goal? Destroy all evil plans that bad hackers have in their hands. A good Red Hat will always be aware of the initiatives of the Black Hat, their mission is to intercept it and hack the pirate.
- Green hats: These are the “newbies” of the hacking world. They want to go further, for their hat to mature into an authentic and genuine Black Hat. They will put effort, curiosity and boldness in said company. They are often seen grazing in packs within hidden hacker communities asking their elders for everything.
Sorry for the Manichaeism, but we have the White Hat that is good, the Black Hat that is bad, and a few other colorful types of hats that fall between these two poles. I know that now you will imagine hackers classified by colors like Pokemon or Power Rangers. If only achieved that with this article, everything was worth it.
About Version 2
Version 2 is one of the most dynamic IT companies in Asia. The company develops and distributes IT products for Internet and IP-based networks, including communication systems, Internet software, security, network, and media products. Through an extensive network of channels, point of sales, resellers, and partnership companies, Version 2 offers quality products and services which are highly acclaimed in the market. Its customers cover a wide spectrum which include Global 1000 enterprises, regional listed companies, public utilities, Government, a vast number of successful SMEs, and consumers in various Asian cities.
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