computer hacker

Who are Hackers?

Image Credit: Flickr User Robert Gaal, via CC

Why are some attackers called hackers? While you must be familiar with burglars – those are the people who enter your house without your permission and steal you belongings. Hackers are also kind of burglars, but they are special kind of attackers. They use computer programming to enter other people’s computer and steal information stored on their computers.

But why would they steal information? What do they gain by that? They steal personal information, such as credit cards and social security numbers, email addresses or phone numbers which they can sell. Sometimes they hack to spread a computer virus to harass people. And sometimes they want to just become famous – as ones that were able to break into an otherwise safe computer system belonging to a famous person or an organization.

computer data error
Image Credit: Flickr User JoshuaDavisPhotography, via CC

Generally there are three types of  hackers, and by their names you can guess if their intentions are good or bad-

  • White hat – White hat hackers are generally computer programmers who inform the organisation if they find a hole with the organization’s system-security.
  • Black hat – Black hat hackers will certainly misuse the site for their own beneficial gain i.e. stealing information or infecting other computers with “viruses” to gain access to more sites.
  • Gray hat – Gray hat hackers are ones who can behave like either white hat or black hat, depending on their mood. They are unpredictable at times.
website defaced

There is one more kind of hackers who have become very popular these days and they are called hacktivists. They generally attack the websites by defacing it, e-mail bombing or overloading it with traffic to convey a  political, social, ideological or religious message.


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