What Are Hackers and How Can You Become One?

July 8, 2016 | Views: 23469

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Introduction:

Hey everybody – This article is all about Hackers: who they are and to become one. Let’s start from the beginning. Hacker is a term that began to be used in 1960. Hackers were people who hacked computer code. Later, hackers came to be known as individuals who had advanced knowledge on computers, networks etc.

According to Wikipedia, “a hacker is someone who seeks and exploits weaknesses in a computer system or computer network. Hackers may be motivated by a multitude of reasons, such as profit, protest, challenge, enjoyment, or to evaluate those weaknesses to assist in removing them.”

In gaming, hackers are the ones who cheat.

Fundamentally, there are three types of Hacker “Hats,” which we’ll discuss later:

1. Black Hat

2. White Hat

3. Grey Hat

 

Everyone Has Their Own Opinion and Here’s Mine:

When I first got interested in the great world of computers and networks, I too, thought that Hackers took advantage of a weakness and steal sensitive information. But, as I began to learn and grew and my knowledge increased, I realized Hackers are problem solvers and are completely different from the average person. They’re super curious, they don’t really care about their social life or money or anything, they have a different perspective of the world and seem more positive than the average person. They think out of the box. They really have the ability to change the world  – it’s just that they don’t care what’s happening if they have their computer with internet, they’re happy. Unless someone challenges them to do something, like Anonymous, they’re harmless. If they take on the challenge, wait and watch what happens.

You might be thinking: “What do you mean by problem solving?” I mean if they have a 5-hour task, they’d likely automate their task, sit back and enjoy their cup of coffee. That’s real hacking in my opinion.

Not everyone likes to “get into a computer” Does this mean they can’t be Hackers?

I’m sure you have asked yourself this question, “How can I call myself a Hacker if I never hacked anything?” You can hack your work by creating some scripts or anything. In my early days, when I was sending resume for a job, I searched the website for the email address and sent my resume to that email. It was very time consuming, so I wrote a script that scrapped the email from the website and and sent my resume to that email. That is hacking, in my opinion.

 

How Can One Become A Hacker:

Well, you must have problem solving skills. Learn about computers and how they operate. Learn about networks and learn a programming language. But, the main point is that you use the right solution at the right time.

It’s Time for the hats 🙂

1. Black Hat:

Black Hat Hackers or Crackers are simply terrorists who steal sensitive information from a server, or the Hacker shares the information publicly, or sells the data. They discover or create loopholes or vulnerabilities in software, etc. They’re considered the bad guys

2. White Hat:

Where there are bad guys, there are also good guys to help the people hide their precious information. A White Hat Hacker is as skilled as a Black Hat, but they use their skills for good. They find vulnerabilities or loopholes and immediately report them to the admin.

3. Grey Hat:

Grey Hat Hackers are the combination of both Black Hat Hackers and White Hat Hackers. They sell the information of loopholes or vulnerabilities – not to the terrorists, but to the government. The governments then use those loopholes or vulns to hack into the systems of adversaries or criminal suspects.

 

Conclusion:

Everything in this article is my opinion. You should have your own opinion. I just wanted to let people know that a Hacker is not just exploiting computers, but they are also problems solvers.

I hope you all enjoyed this article 🙂

-Nayani

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84 Comments
  1. So you are actually saying that white-grey hat “hackers” are the good guys,while they are the ones reenforcing the security of huge conglomerates and protecting them,from people who try to expose their devious ways of working -because lets not fool each other the way multinational corporations are making money is from information gathering,exploiting workers in 3rd world countries(other countries also),and from being good with advertising.I am not going to go on with analyzing but,personally,when “hackers” are adopting the morality of multimillionares,politicians and generally the ruling class,while they are clearly the ones intruding personal information consinstantly and even creating people with the monopoly of distributing and molding information,that’s when people stop being “hackers”.To conclude,for me the “bad guys” are the protectors of the ruling class and the enemies of the unveilers.

  2. I agree that “hacking” goes beyond computers too. Good point about problem solving.

  3. that was really a positive approach to youngsters about hacking and it is in the simple way to understood to the people

  4. this article is insane i loved it very much it so useful thank for this

  5. Would u class Julian Assange a hacker & if so what hat (by your definitions) would he wear??
    What about Edward Snowden who never technically hacked anything I guess (just had almost unlimited access to the military’s files).
    I was of the understanding that a hacker doesn’t necessarily need to know much at all about code or ‘techy stuff’. I was once told by someone woring in the data security business (more specifically online security) that most hackers were just con-men. They might call an organisation & misrepresent themselves as someone with power or influence & seniority over the recipient to gain whatever sensitive information they desire similar to the one that sends out a bunch of emails misrepresenting themselves as some corporation you trust in order to get your credit card details or a log in to your bank.
    A hacker might be the opportunist that looks over your shoulder as u log in to some site giving them access to money or information. Please correct me if you believe I am confused as u are probably right.
    I suppose it is just comes back to semantics. A hacker sounds to me like someone that will ‘hack away’ at something endlessly until they get the desired result – brute force attack I guess but simplified with the use of hacking dictionaries.
    Anyway I hope I haven’t bored you with my probably misinformed opinions. I just believed Julian Assange to be one of our modern day heroes but had real trouble categorizing him under any of the hats you defined. I thought that his treatment by our highly influential ‘mainstream’ was astonishing (as I did with Edward Snowden) & in my eyes he is truly a hero & good guy.
    Personally, I think your hats are accurate from a corporation or government perspective but maybe not a humanitarian one. I found your article really interesting & as you can see it really made me think of hackers, hats & our perspectives of such. Cheers

    • “told by someone woring in the data security business” <- the ambiguity over which word you mean here makes me smile! (I say this as a guy "woring" in security right now!)

      "your hats are accurate from a corporation or government perspective" – imo the hat thing is defined according to the victim system owner's perspective – in the same way that most crime is defined. Robin Hood was clearly a thief – even if more people benefited from his actions than were harmed – simply because he didn't have the victim's permission to take stuff. Tax-bodies are not thieves, despite being widely despised – because they have the victim's (perhaps grudging) permission.

      Broadly a Black Hat aims to harm the owner of the system they hack (by stealing stuff, exposing customer info, destroying resources, damaging reputation). I would class government sponsored hackers here too – there is nothing grey about an APT.

      Grey Hat mostly describes people who poke around other people's systems and/or try to skirt the rules. If you've tried to SQLi a site just to see what happens, or messed about with the URL to see if you can get somewhere; if you've used premium password sharing sites to access something; if you've deliberately entered nonsense registration details into a web form; if you've monkeyed around with cookies, or hopped through proxy servers to reach something inaccessible – then you've camped out in grey hat territory. You not really out to bring the pain to anyone, but you're not playing by the rules either. If you keep this up, and and get better, you'll be grey hat. Also see below…

      A White Hat has permission from the system owner – almost always written in a contract. They hack the system, with permission, to benefit the system owner by finding and reporting weaknesses.
      Remember permission: you might *think* you're white hat when you realise the local supermarket's new app has more holes than swiss cheese and run a few simple "security tests" that end up handing you the entire customer database and leaving you able to get free stuff. You may be well-meaning when, instead of exploiting or selling this, you put it all in an email to them, with evidence and your phone number so you can walk them through the problem. The truth is unless you had permission first, you could end up in a world of pain. White hats have permission – your hat is grey. Be careful.

      Anonymous and Snowden used non-legal* means and act to harm the system owners – so they fit the Black Hat definition. But they did this to people they believed were doing wrong, and to effect political change. So a fitting term IMO is Hacktivist.

      Assange, imo, was none of these at the time of Wikileaks. While he is a skilled coder, at this point he was acting more as a Reporter – collecting and making controlled disclosures of information from anonymous whistleblowers.
      Though the US government were openly panicked at the time, they would've had trouble making anything much stick, long term. IMO if they'd got him, he'd have been immediately Chelsea Manning'ed in some military thing. But then the media would have stood behind him as a 'reporter' in increasingly powerful waves, and pointed out he is not subject to military law, until they forced a real trial. By now he'd probably be out, restored and making waves.
      But then he had to slip it to a sleeping groupie, who had not consented to unprotected (let alone unconscious) sex. And when she freaked out, he refused to get tested, until she felt she had to go to the police. And he's been holed up in an embassy ducking rape charges ever since. While Wikileaks have noble goals, Assange acted badly, and handed his enemies a very easy win.

      * Despite Snowden's level of legitimate access, he will have certainly signed NDAs, policies and Secrecy docs that legally forbid what he did. He knew that his collection and exfiltration of information was not allowed – so his access to data for this purpose was illegal – in this sense he was 'hacking'.

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