Hacking itself is not an illegal activity unless the hacker is compromising a system without the owner’s permission. Many companies and government agencies actually employ hackers to help them secure their systems. Not all hackers are inherently bad. When used in mainstream media, the word, “hacker,” is usually used in relation to cyber criminals, but a hacker can actually be anyone, regardless of their intentions, who utilize their knowledge of computer software and hardware to break down and bypass security measures on a computer, device or network.
Hackers are generally categorized by type of metaphorical “hat”, white hat, grey hat, and black hat. The terms come from old westerns, where the bad guy wears a black cowboy hat, and the good guy wears a white hat. There are two main factors that determine the type of hacker you’re dealing with their motivations, and whether or not they are breaking the law.
Black hat hacker
A black hat hacker is an individual with extensive computer software and hardware knowledge whose purpose is to breach or bypass internet security. they are also known as crackers or dark-side hackers. The general view is that, while hackers build things, crackers break things. They are computer security hackers that break into computers and networks or also create computer viruses. The term “black hat” comes from old westerns where the bad guys usually wore black hats.
Their primary motivation is usually for personal or financial gain, but they can also be involved in cyber espionage, protest or perhaps are just addicted to the thrill of cybercrime. Black hat hackers can range from amateurs getting their feet wet by spreading malware, to experienced hackers that aim to steal data, specifically financial information, personal information and login credentials. Not only do black hat hackers seek to steal data, they also seek to modify or destroy data as well.
White hat hacker
White hat hackers choose to use their powers for good rather than evil. Also known as “ethical hackers,” white hat hackers can sometimes be paid employees or contractors working for companies as security specialists that attempt to find security holes via hacking. White hat hackers employ the same methods of hacking as black hats, with one exception- they do it with permission from the owner of the system first, which makes the process completely legal. They perform penetration testing, test in-place security systems and perform vulnerability assessments for companies. There are even courses, training, conferences and certifications for ethical hacking e.g. CEH
Grey Hat Hackers
As in life, there are grey areas that are neither black nor white. They are a blend of both black hat and white hat activities. Often, grey hat hackers will look for vulnerabilities in a system without the owner’s permission or knowledge. If issues are found, they will report them to the owner, sometimes requesting a small fee to fix the issue. If the owner does not respond or comply, then sometimes the hackers will post the newly found exploit online for the world to see. these types of hackers are not inherently malicious with their intentions; they’re just looking to get something out of their discoveries for themselves. Usually, grey hat hackers will not exploit the found vulnerabilities. However, this type of hacking is still considered illegal because the hacker did not receive permission from the owner prior to attempting to attack the system. We think that these Grey Hackers are the most dangerous of all.
When you hear the word, hacker don’t always think that they are there to harm your system, not all of them are bad, they can turn out to be bad once they think of using their knowledge for the wrong reasons or without the permission of the system, network’s owner. The cyber wars between white and black hackers are always on, “Black hat,” “white hat,” and “gray hat” can also refer to behavior. For example, if someone says “that seems a bit black hat,” that means that the action in question seems unethical.
Some reports of Hacks in Zimbabwe.
- May 20, 2014, Bulawayo Hacker Arrested For Creating Own Mobile Network, Econet Defrauded.
- Early this year in Zimbabwe A Chitungwiza man who hacked OK Zimbabwe’s Money Wave System.
- 08/2017 18:15 Zanu Pf site was taken down.