Although we do not see clearly, hackers are part of our day to day. At present, we all use new technologies constantly, which is why we are linked to these computer experts, characterized by their function to carry out modifications to a software, either with benign or malignant objectives.
In fact, one of the controversies in this regard is the great typology of hackers that exist, because according to their ethical conduct on the network they can be classified in one way or another. If you are interested in the world of computer science and want to know the types of hackers according to their behavior as well as the difference between a hacker and a cracker and some characteristics and curiosities of each one of them, keep reading this article
Hackers: definition and explanation of what a hack is
Although the word hacker may sound pejorative (as it is often associated with illegal behaviors on the network), it is actually used to define anyone who is an expert in the field of programming. Thus, it is considered that a hacker is a person who is dedicated to improving software of any kind; Performs similar tasks to any programmer, with the difference that the activity of the hacker is not necessarily linked to a formal job.
In fact, one of the most characteristic aspects of hackers is that they are people who look for failures in different softwares (with the intention of improving them) especially during their free time. In this way, we would be talking about people who, in an altruistic way, supervise a specific software to locate gaps in the program and communicate it to the developers in question so that they can implement the necessary measures to solve it.
Now what is a hack? While it is true that hack refers to a large number of computer modifications, today the term hack is often used to talk about a form of piracy that has illicit objectives.
What types of hackers exist
Although there are different possible classifications, the most common typology with which hackers are divided and defined is the one that refers to “hats.” This form of classification comes from the classic western cinema, where the characters wore the envelope of one color or another depending on whether they were heroes or villains. According to this classification, the white-hat cowboys were good, while those wearing the black hat were the bad ones.
This form of classification has been adapted to the computer world, where different types of hackers are defined depending on the color of the hat that gives them.
White hat hacker
White hat hackers are considered the best. This type of hacker usually works the computer companies and its main objective is to look for failures in security systems with the aim of solving these gaps.
Black hat hacker
At the opposite extreme we find black hat hackers, considered the most evil type of hacker there is. Its activities are mainly based on violating the security of the servers to damage them or to extract private information. In this sense, black hat hackers are capable of attacking web pages or entire servers, as well as introducing viruses into certain softwares.
Gray Hat Hacker
Gray hat hackers are considered a mixture between the two previous types and usually act illegally but with more or less good intentions. The gray hat hacker is mainly dedicated to looking for failures in the security systems of the softwares to, subsequently, request financial compensation in exchange for solving it.
Golden Hat Hacker
These are hackers that penetrate the security of companies or software in order to report their vulnerability or as a personal challenge; that is, to get what nobody has done to date. They can also use hacking in order to send a message that is generally associated with a social or ethical cause that they consider defensible and morally justifiable.
What is a cracker: differences between hacker and cracker
To know well the difference between a hacker and a cracker, we must bear in mind that although a hacker is that person capable of modifying a certain software, he can do this for good or bad reasons, as we have seen.
However, within this group of computer experts, we find the figure of the cracker, which would be defined as a type of hacker that is dedicated to damaging or exploiting the security breaches of systems to damage them. In this way, we understand that the cracker is a hacker, that is, a computer expert who uses his knowledge to illegally access certain spaces and computer systems.
In general, it is understood that crackers are the ones who carry out computer attacks with the objective of damaging a certain software or server, so crackers could be identified as black hat hackers. However, and as we have said at the beginning, a definition does not always fit adequately to a type of hacker or cracker, as there are very varied motivations behind the acts of each of them.