What is hacking ?

Hacking refers to the re-configuring or re-programming of a system to function in ways not facilitated by the owner, administrator, or designer. The term(s) have several related meanings in the technology and computer science fields, wherein a “hack” may refer to a clever or quick fix to a computer program problem, or to what may be perceived to be a clumsy or inelegant (but usually relatively quick) solution to a problem, such as a “kludge”.

The terms “hack” and “hacking” are also used to refer to a modification of a program or device to give the user access to features that were otherwise unavailable, such as by circuit bending. It is from this usage that the term “hacking” is often used to refer to more nefarious criminal uses such as identity theft, credit card fraud or other actions categorized as computer crime.

Three types of  Hacking

Black hat :

A black hat is the villain or bad guy, especially in a western movie in which such a character would wear a black hat in contrast to the hero’s white hat. The phrase is often used figuratively, especially in computing slang, where it refers to a hacker that breaks into networks or computers, or creates computer viruses.

White hat :

A white hat is the hero or good guy, especially in computing slang, where it refers to an ethical hacker or penetration tester who focuses on securing and protecting IT systems.

White hat hackers are computer security experts, who specialize in penetration testing, and other testing methodologies, to ensure that a company’s information systems are secure. White hat hackers are also called “sneakers”, red teams, or tiger teams. These security experts may utilize a variety of methods to carry out their tests, including social engineering tactics, use of hacking tools, such as Metasploit, which exploits known vulnerabilities, and attempts to evade security to gain entry into secured areas.

The National Security Agency offers certifications such as the CNSS 4011. Such a certification covers orderly, ethical hacking techniques and team management. Aggressor teams are called “red” teams. Defender teams are called “blue” teams.

Grey hat :

A grey hat, in the hacking community, refers to a skilled hacker who sometimes acts illegally, though in good will, and limits their disclosure of vulnerabilities on a need-to-know basis. They are a hybrid between white and black hat hackers. They usually do not hack for personal gain or have malicious intentions, but are prepared to commit crimes during the course of their technological exploits in order to achieve better security.

Who is a Hacker ?

a hacker is a person in one of several distinct (but not completely disjoint) communities and subcultures.

In common usage, a hacker is a person who breaks into computers and computer networks, either for profit or motivated by the challenge. The subculture that has evolved around hackers is often referred to as the computer underground but is now an open community.

Other uses of the word hacker exist that are not related to computer security (computer programmer and home computer hobbyists), but these are rarely used by the mainstream media because of the common stereotype that is in TV and movies. Before the media described the person who breaks into computers as a hacker there was a hacker community. This group was a community of people who had a large interest in computer programming, often sharing, without restrictions, the source code for the software they wrote. These people now refer to the cyber-criminal hackers as “crackers“, a term which has not been picked up by the media or general public.