Last Updated on February 2, 2023 by SWHA

A hacker is an individual who uses computer, networking or other skills to gain unauthorized access to data or systems. Hackers may be motivated by a wide variety of reasons, such as profit, protest, information gathering, challenge or amusement.
There are generally three types of hackers:

1. White Hat Hackers
White hat hackers are also known as ethical hackers. They use their hacking skills for good, often working with organizations to test their security systems and identify weaknesses.

2. Black Hat Hackers
Black hat hackers are the type of hackers that most people are familiar with. They use their skills for malicious purposes, such as stealing sensitive data or causing system disruptions.

3. Gray Hat Hackers
Gray hat hackers are somewhere in between white hat and black hat hackers. They may sometimes act without permission, but their motives are not necessarily malicious. For example, they may hack into a system to identify its weaknesses, but not to steal data or cause damage.


Other Hacker Types

Green Hat Hacker

A green hat hacker is an individual who is relatively new to the field of hacking and is still learning the ropes. The term is derived from the fact that inexperienced hackers are often referred to as “greenhorns.” Green hat hackers may be inexperienced, but they are not to be underestimated. Many of them are highly skilled and knowledgeable individuals who are simply new to the field.

Green hat hackers are often associated with black hat hackers and white hat hackers. Black hat hackers are individuals who engage in illegal or unethical hacking activities. White hat hackers, on the other hand, are ethical hackers who use their skills for good. Green hat hackers fall somewhere in between these two extremes. They may engage in some illegal or unethical activities, but they are not fully committed to a life of crime.

One of the most famous green hat hackers is Jeff Moss, also known as “The Dark Tangent.” Moss is a well-known security expert and the founder of the DefCon hacking conference. He has also served on the boards of directors for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Open Source Development Labs.

Despite their relatively innocuous name, green hat hackers can be a force to be reckoned with. Many of them are highly skilled and knowledgeable individuals who are simply new to the field. As they gain more experience, they will likely become more sophisticated and dangerous. For now, however, they are mostly a nuisance.

Blue Hat Hacker

A blue hat hacker is a type of hacker who is employed by an organization to carry out penetration testing on their systems, in order to identify security vulnerabilities. Blue hat hackers are usually not affiliated with any particular organization, but may be contracted to work for one.

The term ‘blue hat’ was first coined by Microsoft in 2002, in reference to the company’s then-new practice of hiring independent security researchers to help them find and fix security holes in their software. Blue hat hackers are often used in conjunction with white hat hackers, who are hired by an organization to test its security from the inside.

While blue hat hackers may be used to carry out legitimate security research, the term is also used to describe malicious hackers who exploit security vulnerabilities for personal gain.

Organizations that hire blue hat hackers to test their security typically have a formal agreement in place that stipulates what activities are permitted and what constitutes acceptable behaviour. For example, an organization may allow a blue hat hacker to attempt to break into its systems, but would not permit them to actually compromise any data or cause any damage.

Blue hat hackers who act without such an agreement may be considered to be engaging in illegal activity, and may be prosecuted accordingly.

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Red Hat Hacker

A red hat hacker is someone who breaks into computer systems in order to find security vulnerabilities and help fix them. Red hat hackers are also known as white hat hackers, ethical hackers, or security researchers.

Breaking into computer systems is not always illegal. In fact, many companies hire red hat hackers to test the security of their systems. This is known as penetration testing or ethical hacking.

Red hat hackers use their skills to find and exploit weaknesses in computer systems. They may do this for fun, to show off their skills, or to cause damage.

However, most red hat hackers are motivated by a desire to improve the security of the systems they hack. They may share their findings with the system’s owner or with the general public.

Red hat hacking is not always easy. It requires a great deal of technical knowledge and skill. Red hat hackers often spend hours or days trying to find a way into a system.

However, the satisfaction of successfully hacking into a system can be great. Red hat hackers often feel that they are making a positive contribution to the security of the internet.

Purple Hat Hacker

A purple hat hacker is someone who breaks into computer systems for fun and profit. They are also known as black hat hackers, white hat hackers, or ethical hackers. Purple hat hackers may be able to find vulnerabilities in systems that others have missed. They may also be able to exploit these vulnerabilities to gain access to sensitive data or cause damage to the system.


Suicide Hacker

A suicide hacker is a person who is willing to sacrifice their own life in order to carry out a cyberattack. This type of attacker is usually highly skilled and experienced, and their goal is to cause as much damage as possible before they are killed. Suicide hackers are often motivated by political or religious beliefs, and they may be part of a larger organization or group. In some cases, suicide hackers may be recruited by others who share their beliefs.


Malicious Insider or Whistleblower

A malicious insider is an employee or contractor who, through authorized access to an organization’s network, systems, or data, intentionally causes harm to the organization.

A whistleblower is an individual who reports illegal or unethical behaviour within an organization. Whistleblowers may report their concerns internally to a supervisor or manager, or they may report their concerns externally to a government agency, media outlet, or other third party.


Script Kiddie

A script kiddie, also known as a skid or a skiddie, is an unskilled individual who uses pre-existing scripts or programs to attack computer systems and networks and is generally considered to be part of the low-end of the hacking spectrum. Script kiddies are usually motivated by a desire to cause damage or to gain notoriety rather than for financial gain or to further a political agenda.

The term script kiddie originated in the 1990s and is derived from the concept of a ‘wannabe’ hacker who lacks the necessary skills to write their own hacking tools and instead relies on easily available, pre-written hacking scripts. These individuals are often viewed as a nuisance by the wider hacking community as they are generally responsible for a large number of low-level attacks.

While script kiddies can be a nuisance, they can also pose a serious security threat as they can easily launch attacks without being detected. In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile attacks that have been carried out by script kiddies, including the denial-of-service attack on the website of the Central Intelligence Agency in 2013 and the 2014 attack on Sony’s PlayStation Network.

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Cyber Terrorist

A cyber terrorist is an individual who uses the internet to commit terrorist acts. Cyber terrorism is defined as the use of electronic communications to cause fear or violence in order to advance a political, ideological, or religious agenda. It can take many forms, including the use of viruses, denial-of-service attacks, and hacking. Cyber terrorists may be individuals, groups, or nation-states. They may be motivated by politics, religion, or ideology.

State Sponsored Hacker

In recent years, the term “state-sponsored hacking” has become synonymous with nation-state cyber espionage and cyber warfare. But what exactly is a state-sponsored hacker?

A state-sponsored hacker is an individual or group of individuals who are financially and/or politically supported by a nation state to conduct cyber attacks. These hackers can be part of a nation state’s military or intelligence apparatus, or they can be contracted by the government to conduct cyber espionage or cyber warfare on its behalf.

State-sponsored hackers are often highly skilled and have access to sophisticated hacking tools and techniques that allow them to conduct sophisticated cyber attacks. They have also been known to target critical infrastructure, such as power grids and financial systems, in order to disrupt or cripple a nation.
In recent years, state-sponsored hacking has become a major concern for businesses and governments around the world. This is due to the fact that these hackers often have the resources and skills to conduct sophisticated cyber attacks that can result in massive data breaches, financial losses, and even physical damage.

As state-sponsored hacking continues to be a major concern, businesses and governments are taking steps to protect themselves. One of the most important steps is to increase awareness of the threat and to educate employees on how to protect themselves and their organizations from these attacks.



A hacktivist is a person who uses computer skills to promote a political or social agenda. Hacktivists may be motivated by a desire to expose information that they believe is being hidden from the public, or to disrupt the operations of organizations they disagree with.

While the term hacktivism is sometimes used to describe illegal activity, not all hacktivists break the law. Many engage in what is known as “ethical hacking,” using their skills to test the security of systems and identify vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
Hacktivists often work together in groups, using online platforms to coordinate their efforts. The best-known hacktivist group is Anonymous, which has been involved in a wide range of activities, from protesting the Church of Scientology to attacking government websites.

While hacktivism can be a powerful tool for promoting change, it also raises ethical concerns. The line between ethical hacking and illegal hacking is often blurry, and hacktivists have been known to cross it. Additionally, the tactics used by hacktivists, such as denial-of-service attacks, can have a negative impact on innocent bystanders.


Social Media Hacker

A social media hacker is someone who accesses a person’s or organization’s social media account without permission. A social media hacker may do this for malicious reasons, such as to spread spam or viruses, or to steal personal information. They may also do it for less malicious reasons, such as to post embarrassing photos or messages.

There are a few different ways that social media hackers can get access to an account. They may guess or brute force their way into an account by trying different combinations of username and password. They may also exploit vulnerabilities in the social media platform itself, or in the way that the user has set up their account. For example, they may find that a user has reused the same password on multiple sites, and use that password to access the social media account.

Once a social media hacker has access to an account, they can do a lot of damage. They may delete important posts or photos, or post spam or offensive content. They may also change the account’s password, preventing the rightful owner from regaining access.

If you think that your social media account has been hacked, you should change your password immediately and contact the social media platform to report the incident. You should also be careful about what information you share on social media, as this can make it easier for hackers to gain access to your account.


Last Word About Hackers

There’s a lot of talk about hackers these days. Some people think they’re heroes, while others see them as criminals. But who are hackers, really?

Simply put, hackers are people who use computers to solve problems. They’re often creative and resourceful, and they have a deep understanding of how computer systems work. Hackers are often able to find vulnerabilities in systems and exploit them for their own purposes.
While some hackers use their skills for good, others use them for less noble purposes. Hackers who engage in criminal activity are often motivated by money, power, or simply the challenge of breaking into a system. They may steal data or wreak havoc on a system for their own amusement.
Whatever their motivations, hackers can pose a serious threat to both individuals and organizations. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect yourself.

If you suspect that you or your organization has been hacked, it’s important to act quickly. Contact us to help you assess the situation and determine the best course of action for website or email security.