One of the biggest misunderstandings usually in media when they are talking about computers, ciber attacks, hacktivism or any other sort of activities related with computers is how they call the people involved in the different activities. In general, the use the term hacker to define all the individuals related with any legal or ilegal activity. Fortunately, it looks like that each day we (the society) are making some progress labeling things.
We should know that not every person involved with computers is just a hacker. For me the definition of hacker match with:
They are people with a huge curiosity that expend their time studying and investigating about their passions, learning, understanding, discovering and creating knowledge and/or applications in one or more areas of knowledge. People that like to understand how the world works and push the limits of every device, tool or discovery.
As you can see, from my point of view, a hacker can exist in any discipline, not just in Computer Science but, today, we are going to focus our list in this concrete area.
There are different types of hacker. The list of types of hackers can be very large and depending on which environment you are it can be more or less types but, in all the list, you can find similar categories. One of these classifications is:
- Black hats: Individuals with extraordinary computing skills, resorting to malicious or destructive activities where they don’t have permissions or authorization to be on the network or to do what they are doing. Typically, they are known as crackers.
- White hats: Individuals professing hacker skills and using them for defensive purposes, they have permission to do things that they are supposed to be doing and they are also known as security analysts.
- Gray hats: Individuals who work both offensively and defensively at various times, usually they are driven by their own believes and thought. Some times they can be acting as black hackers, sometimes as a white hackers.
- Suicide hackers: Individuals who aim to bring down critical infrastructure for a “cause” and are not worried about facing jail terms or any other kind of punishment.
- Script kiddies: An unskilled hacker who compromises systems by running scripts, tools and software developed by real hackers without the knowledge to understand what are they doing and why.
- Cyber terrorists: Individuals with wide range of skills, motivated by religious or political beliefs to create fear by large-scale disruption of computer networks.
- State sponsored hackers: Individuals employed by the government to penetrate and gain top-secret information and to damage information systems of other governments.
- Hacktivist: Individuals who promote a political agenda by hacking, especially by defacing or disabling websites.