Module 01 Learn About Hackers

Three Types of Hackers

  • Black Hats

  • White Hats

  • Gray Hats

Black Hats the bad guys

They’re criminals that use their skills to break into computers or networks...

and steal data.

They may sell malicious code or the stolen data to other criminals.

White Hats ethical hackers

White hats are security researchers
or hackers who work for organizations or software vendors.

They find vulnerabilities in order to develop patches that mitigate the risk.

Gray Hats sell or disclose

Gray hats look for vulnerabilities within a system without permission. Unlike black hats, they don’t use the vulnerabilities they find for illegal purposes.

They sell or disclose the information to governments, law enforcement, intelligence agencies, or military organizations.

They may also report the findings to the owner and offer to fix it for a small fee.

Today’s Hackers, who they are, what they do, why they do it.


Nation-states include foreign government military and intelligence units. Nation-states and state-sponsored hackers are usually well-resourced.

Those working on behalf of a foreign government, but aren’t employed by them, are considered state-sponsored.

They may manipulate, degrade, or destroy data and/or infrastructure within a targeted network in order to gain state secrets, weaken national security, or improve their country’s economic edge.

Organized Crime

Criminals operate within the cyber realm for monetary benefit.
They employ many different schemes to generate profit.

Technology enables a greater reach with less risk and danger than traditional criminal pursuits.


In the cyber realm, terrorists may attempt to
disrupt large-scale computer networks, potentially interrupting critical infrastructure or financial systems.

Terrorists systematically
use, or threaten to use, violence to create a general climate of fear in a population

with the intent of furthering their political or ideological goals.


Hactivists blend activism with hacking and seek to disrupt services and bring attention to a political or social cause.


Insiders are individuals who already have access to an organization’s network who decide to obtain and exploit information for personal gain.