I’m here to tell you about Hacking: Hacktivism, Black Hat Hackers, Crackers, and more. Sounds Pretty awesome right? But wait, let me say that many of you would say that it’s dangerous too. Really, do you think hacking is dangerous? To those of you who may think that hacking is illegal or dangerous, I would first like to tell them the real and authentic meaning of hacking.
Hacking is, in its simplest form, the action of looking for security holes and weaknesses or vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, and web applications. It requires skills and knowledge of operating systems, databases, and programming languages as well as a participation of continuous learning to implement in the field.
The word hacking has quite a buzz to it in the online world, and for good reason. Hacking has been around for a long time tracing all the way back to 1878 just 2 years after the phone line was invented, but it wasn’t until the early 1980’s that hacking began to be frowned upon as computers progressed and grew in popularity. In 1983 the first convictions for a computer crime took place, Gerald Wondra and 2 other members of the hacking collective 414 plead guilty to “harassing telephone calls” and were sentenced to 2 years probation. At the time, no laws against computer crimes existed, prosecutors struggled to find a criminal charge that fit the crime and harassing telephone calls was the closest thing that could be applied.
As technology moves forward and becomes more complex so does hacking. Hacking can be described as a form of art and a way of expression. You have undoubtedly heard of phones, tablets and computers being hacked, but it doesn’t stop there. Here is a short list of things that can be hacked apart from the more traditional devices like Cars, Webcams, ATM’s and any other technology. Likewise, “Hacker” was a computer person who was intellectually curious and wanted to learn as much as possible about computer systems. A person who was hacking was developing and improving software to increase the performance of computer systems. But many hackers used their skills for illegal purposes like theft. They coined the term, Crackers.
But over time, due to the media’s negative connotations, both Hackers and Crackers took on the definition of an individual who used his/her capabilities for harmful purposes against computer systems. So, now you would be aware of what is illegal and what is legal. Hacking is not illegal but for what purpose you perform it can be categorized into legal and illegal categories. Hackers who counduct their actvities for a cause are said to be practicing Hacktivism. Hackers can be categorized into many types.
A Whacker is a Novice hacker who attacks Wide Area Networks & Wireless Networks.
A Phreaker is an attacker who targets communication systems to steal calling card numbers to acquire access illegally to communication devices.
A Scriptie or Kiddie, or Script Kiddie is usually a young individual without programming skills who uses attack software freely available on the Internet and from other sources.
Every Hacker was once a Kiddie.
Now, let me tell you about the most-common classification of hackers. There are mainly 3 types of hackers in the whole world. These are Black hat hackers, White hat hackers, and Grey-hat hackers.
A Black Hat Hacker has necessary computing expertise to carry out harmful attacks on computer systems.
A White Hat Hacker is an individual who usually has exceptional computing skills and uses his/her abilities to increase the security posture of information systems and defend them from malicious attacks.
A Grey Hat Hacker is a split personality hacker. At times, this individual will not break the law and might help in developing the network security but at sometimes he may revert to black hat activities. And I’m one of it.
Till Now, you would be aware of Legality of Hacking and Classification of Hackers.
Now Let me tell you about Ethical Hacking & Ethical Hackers.
Ethical Hacking is a defensive tool that can be applied before an attack occurs to uncover vulnerabilities in information systems and network security and provide the basis for remediations of these weaknesses.
An Ethical Hacker is a security professional who uses his or her capabilities for defensive purposes & to increase the security posture of information systems.
Are you still not convinced? Why do militaries all over the world study their enemies’ tactics, tools, strategies, technologies, and so forth? Because the more you know what your enemy is up to, the better idea you have as to what protection mechanisms you need to put into place to defend yourself. Most countries’ militaries carry out scenario-based fighting exercises in many different formats. For example, pilot units will split their team up into the “good guys” and the “bad guys.” The bad guys use the tactics, techniques, and fighting methods of a specific type of enemy—Libya, Russia, United States, Germany, North Korea, and so on. The goal of these exercises is to allow the pilots to understand enemy attack patterns and to identify and be prepared for certain offensive actions so they can properly react in the correct defensive manner. Ok then, now I can conclude that Hacking is legal but cracking is illegal, White Hat Hackers are Ethical Hackers and Black Hat Hackers can be sometimes termed as Cyber Terrorists.