An Introduction To Hackers, Crackers, Phreaks, and Script Kiddies
This article is dedicated for beginners who want to take a look at what hacking is, who the hackers are and acknowledge their intentions, get familiar with different types of hackers and their communities (Hackers, Crackers, Phreaks, and Script Kiddies.)
Hackers – The Bright Computer Masters
Their intention is to gain detailed insight of any computer system, what is happening at the back-end of any particular program behind the screen of the computer system? Their intention is to find potential security risk and vulnerabilities in a computer system or network. They build security understanding among the people by sharing their knowledge about the appropriate security prevention that the users should take.
Types of Hackers:
The types of hackers can be separated into three main categories:
- White Hat Hackers – “White hats” is the name used for security professionals. While they frequently use the same software and methods as the black hats, they do so to foil the bad guys. That is, they use that software for ethical hacking and computer forensics.
- Ethical hacking is the practice of using security software to test and increase security (rather than to break it!)
- Computer forensics is the practice of gather information needed to recognize and convict computer criminals.
- Black Hat Hackers – They use their know-how and skills for illegal activities and harmful intents. Clearly, the “black hats” are the bad guys. These are the people who build and send malware and viruses, hack into computer systems, steal personal data, turn off networks, and fundamentally perform electronic crimes.
Black Hat Hackers Strategy: Information gathering and scanning, getting access and maintaining the access on a website, and clearing the tracks.
- Grey Hat Hackers – They use their knowledge for both legal and illegal purposes. They are white hats in public, but privately they do some black hat work. Gray hats are in the middle zone because sometimes they break that ethical code (or they define it differently). For example, gray hats will hack into a company’s computer system just for the wander and see what’s there. They do not harm any data, and that means they’re not committing any crime. They often apply for jobs as security experts for big corporations. They explain their earlier break-in as a computer security practice. Many really think that they’re maintaining a public help by allowing companies know that their computers are at risk.
Crackers – The Intelligent Computer Experts with Malicious Intentions
They break into applications with malicious intents, either for their individual advantage or their eager goals.
Their intent is to get illegitimate access into a computer system, cause harm, and destroy or confess classified information.To compromise the system to reject services to authentic users for bothering, harassing them or for taking revenge. They can cause financial losses and reputation damages, defamation in the society.
Phreaks – Tricky Minds who Break into Phone Networks
They use computer devices and software, and their delicate and sharp mind to hack into the phone networks.
Their intention is to find security loopholes in phone networks and to make phone calls and internet access free of cost. Be careful of spoofed call and a big amount of bill. You can also get a call from your own number.
Script Kiddies – Wannabe Hackers
These are computer beginners who take advantage of the hacker software, vulnerability scanners, and tutorials available free on the Internet, but they do not have knowledge of what’s really going on behind the scenes. They are capable to cause you a headache, but are very clumsy in their actions, leaving many digital fingerprints behind. In spite of these individuals are the stereotypical hackers that you hear about in the media, they usually need minimum skills to make their attacks.
They use the accessible knowledge about well-known vulnerabilities to hack into the computer and network systems. It’s an activity done for a fun or out of curiosity.
I hope this article helped you to clear up your doubts and questions about hackers. Keep in mind that ethical hackers need the ability to think like crackers so they can effectively defend systems and be prepared for future attacks. Ethical hackers (white hat hackers) identify and fix vulnerabilities so they will not be breached in the future. If you are exploiting those vulnerabilities for pure fun or any other reason rather than the security of that system or website, then you are a cracker or black hat hacker. Black hat hackers are often intelligent people, but they are still criminals.