FREDERICK, MD. (WDVM) — Did you know the word “hacker” has more than one meaning? Hackers are broken up into specific groups and cyber officials say not all hackers are bad.
“Black hat hackers are the ones you typically think of when you think of a cyber criminal,” Darren Clark said, owner of Clark Computer Services.
Black hat hackers are the malicious type that try and compromise a system. White hat hackers however, choose to use their powers for good. “Ethical hackers, and what they do is they’re looking for vulnerability in systems as well, but they’re doing it more for good,” Clark said. The white hat hackers are what big companies like Google and Microsoft hire to find flaws in their systems.
“Once they find that flaw, they fix it, send out an update to people so that your system is not vulnerable to that attack,” said Clark. The types of hackers don’t stop there. There are also hackers who float in the middle called “gray hat hackers.”
“They’re skating the edge, they’re the hacker that is hacking into a system uninvited, they do it because they feel its necessary for them to find the vulnerabilities and maybe they are going to publish it out to the free world forcing the manufacturer or owner of the system to patch the vulnerability,” Clark said.
Hacking is a big business and cyber officials say there is a need for more ethical or “white hat hackers.”
Hacking is only illegal if it’s being done without the system owners permission.