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Is Computer Hacking a Criminal Activity?

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August 9, 2016

Is Computer Hacking a Criminal Activity? - CybraryFirst of all, I would say “No,” because computer hacking is an act of manipulating a computer to do what you want it to do and it’s a very valuable skill in the Tech world. Actually, that’s not a criminal activity. You can sit in your home and hack your own computer legally.The only situation when it becomes a crime is based on the intent or motive of the person sitting behind the computer.Whenever most people hear someone is a Hacker, the first thing that comes to mind is the person is a criminal. He/She must be responsible for some of those malicious emails in their inbox. But, that's a very wrong ideology in generalizing a Computer Hacker.Asking if Computer hacking is a criminal activity is like asking: "Is it a crime for a Policeman to hold a gun?"It only becomes a crime when the Policeman starts  killing innocent  people with that gun on street like his Playing Call Of Duty. And, that policeman will face justice for sure, right? But, if the police uses that same gun to kill an armed robber who’s a threat on the street, it's not a crime because the police has the authority to do so.The same analogy can be applied to Computer Hacking. If prior rights and authority have been given by the owner of a computer infrastructure to hack and find security Vulnerabilities/Weakness, there's no crime because you've been giving prior authority to do so.

So, who are the Criminals?

The cyber criminals are those hackers who have not been given any rights and authority to hack a computer infrastructure. There aim is to find security Vulnerabilities/Weakness in computer infrastructure and human behavior, then exploit/hack them for different aims, objectives and goals.

And, that’s what brings about different classifications of computer hackers based on their skills and intent.

  • White Hat Hacker: White Hat Hackers are professional hackers who have been given prior authority and they use their Professional skills to try to Penetrate or Hack a computer infrastructure so as to patch any Vulnerabilities/Weakness before other hacker with different motive try to exploit them.
  • Black Hat Hacker:  Black Hat Hackers are professional hackers(The Bad Guys) who have not given prior authority to hack a Computer infrastructure. They find security Vulnerabilities/Weakness in computer infrastructure, exploit them for Personal gain, motive and intent.  They perform random mass attacks, like sending spam emails. They also perform targeted attacks, like attacking corporate bodies/organizations for financial gain.
  • Gray Hat Hacker: Gray Hat Hackers are professional hackers, too, but they use their computer skills for both white hat hacking and black hat hacking.
  • Script Kiddies: Script Kiddies are hackers that do a lot of harm to computer infrastructures, including DDOS attacks, Defacing Websites, etc.. They use borrowed tools from Professional hackers they found on the internet. They have no prior knowledge of Cyber Security or even Computer programming. Once they see a script and knows what it does, they just take it and run it against the network without knowing what the script is doing. Maybe it's even a script that will destroy their own computer but they don’t know.
  • Hacktivists: These are hackers who are motivated by Political and Religious causes, like the famous “Anonymous Hacktivist group.”
I may have changed some of your ideologies about computer Hackers after reading this post to the end. So, now you know all hackers are not Cyber criminals. 
Hope you have enjoyed this post. If you have recommendations or questions, you can drop them in the comment section below. You can also see this article on my blog: Is computer hacking actually crime?
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