Hackers: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - Find Out at Black Hat Europe 2018

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Black Hat Europe

The stereotype for a hacker in the eighties was that of an evil, socially weird cyber criminal. Even though this might still be true, not all modern day hackers are criminals. On the contrary, there are many hackers who use their knowledge for a good cause.

This blog post will take a closer look at the definition of hackers and the several types. It will also go on to discuss the inception of hacking events such as the series of Black Hat Events around the globe which is quite timely with Black Hat Europe 2018 taking place in London as we speak!

As said above, not all hackers are bad. The media often uses this word in relation to cyber criminals, but a hacker can actually be any person that uses their computer knowledge to bypass and manipulate security measures on a computer. Hacking becomes illegal when the person compromising a system does that without the owner’s permission. In fact, many governments and companies around the globe hire hackers to help them secure their systems.

Now let’s take a closer look at the seven main types of hackers you should know of in more detail, some perhaps more well known than others.

Script Kiddie

A script kiddie is often the term used to describe the type of hacker who is of a non-serious nature and who may not necessarily hold the knowledge, respect for skills or principles of a professional hacker. Script kiddies try to skip most hacking methods in order to quickly gain their skills and may use hacking programs written by other hackers, as they often lack the skills to write their own.

Black Hat Hackers

These types of hackers are computer users who intentionally commit theft or manipulate other people’s computer systems for personal gain, also known as crackers. Their expertise can vary from simple malware spreading to stealing financial or personal data. The term “black hat” describes their malicious intentions, and originates from the western movies, where villains wore black hats.

White Hat Hackers

These types of hackers use their computer knowledge to do good. And while they use the same hacking methodology as their black hat opponents, there’s one crucial difference - they do this with permission from the owner of the system/data/network. White hat hackers, also known as ethical hackers, are usually employed by companies and governments to work as security analysts and find security holes by performing penetration testing or perform vulnerability assessments. Nowadays, ethical hacking is on the rise as a pre-emptive measure to stop malicious hackers in their attempt to access and violate systems.

Grey Hat Hackers

There’s a grey area in hacking too, nothing is just simply black or white. This category of hackers is a blend of both black and white hat hacking activities. Grey hat hackers are often the middle ground between black and white hat hackers. They may engage in malicious activities and violate ethical standards but without the malicious intent common for black hat hackers. They might also enter a system and explore vulnerabilities without the owner’s permission or knowledge and report some issues to the owner at the same time requesting some financial compensation to fix the problem. This type of hacking is still considered illegal, even though it differs from black hat hacking, because of the lack of consent from the owner.

Green Hat Hackers

Green Hats are junior and less experienced amateur hackers, similar to Script Kiddies, but are those who are trying to become fully-blown hackers. They are renowned for asking basic questions within hacker communities to gain knowledge quickly and are keen to learn and improve their skills.

Red Hat Hackers

This type of hacker is similar to the White Hats. Red Hat Hackers want to prevent the acts of the Black Hat hackers, but they have a different means of operation and are more ruthless in their methods. For example, instead of reporting a malicious attack like White Hat Hackers, they will take actions into their own hands and want to take down the Black Hacker directly by launching a series of their own attacks.

Blue Hat Hackers

Blue Hat Hackers are again similar to Script Kiddies in that they are novices but they also have an agenda for revenge. They are not keen to learn advanced hacking skills and techniques and usually use simple attack methods.

Black Hat Events Around the Globe

The Black Hat series of events are conferences held around the globe, which provide training, briefings and consulting to hackers (hopefully to those of the White Hat variety), organizations and government agencies. These events gather people from various industries interested in information security. Founded in 1997 by Jeff Moss, Black Hat has become a spectacle over the years both in the formal and informal aspects of the conferences. What started as a single annual conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, has spread around the globe to multiple locations, such as London, Las Vegas, Abu Dhabi and Barcelona.

Even though it has become largely commercialized over the years, this conference still gathers some of the greatest minds in the information security ecosystem. Events such as Black Hat, after all, are a great way to learn and feel the pace of the industry. Stakeholders attending these events have unique insights about emerging threats, vulnerabilities, new research and the overall current state of affairs in the industry.

The Black Hat conferences consist of two sections - Black Hat Briefings and Black Hat Trainings. Various security vendors and experts offer training and host a variety of different courses., such as the one by the National Security Agency. The briefings cover various topics, such as identity and privacy, hacking, reverse engineering, and more. Often they also include keynote speeches from leading information security experts.

DFLabs at Black Hat Europe 2018

Keen to keep up to speed with the latest trends in the cybersecurity community and of course to share our knowledge and expertise surrounding Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) technology, DFLabs is a proud sponsor of Black Hat Europe 2018. Meet with our experts at booth #1008 to learn how a SOAR solution, such as IncMan SOAR, can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your security operations and overall security program and see IncMan SOAR live in action. On December 6, join our speaking session in Business Hall Theater B from 11:35 to 12:00 where we will be discussing “The Truth About SOC Automation: Use Cases and Success Stories”.

Alternatively, if you can’t make the event live, contact us to schedule a date and time in your diary to organize a demo and to discuss your upcoming projects.

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