Hacking is an art form that requires knowledge of computer science, mathematics, engineering, and physics. However, not everybody can do this activity, and not all hackers have malicious intentions. White-hat hackers make a difference for their intent and legality in the processes despite being hackers. Then, if still, you don’t know about the difference between white-hat, grey-hat, and black hackers, this article will teach you. Also, you will learn about ethical hacking, some advice to become a white hat hacker, and how they can help protect a website.
Table of Contents
What is a white hat hacker?
A white-hat hacker is a hired expert for an organization to help the owner through ethical hacking find and fix weaknesses in the system’s security before black hat hackers exploit them.
Is a white hat hacker illegal? Differences between a white, grey, and black hacker.
WHITE HAT HACKER
- Legally hired to test the security system.
- Uses ethical hacking to penetrate the computer systems, network, and web.
- Identifies vulnerabilities to help organizations.
- Provides advice to protect the clients’ data.
GREY HAT HACKER
- Infringes the privacy law and security protocols.
- Finds security breaches but fixes bugs or vulnerabilities.
- Strengthens the organization’s security defenses.
- Provides recommendations, solutions, or tools to patch vulnerabilities.
- Usually requests a small fee to fix the issue.
- Breaks the law and security protocols.
- Deploys cyber-attacks and cyber threats.
- Writes, distributes, and sells malware.
- Finds and exploits security breaches.
- Encrypts, lock, steal, modify, and delete data.
- Demands extortion money to give back access to the files, system, and databases.
- Sells financial and personally identifiable information on the Dark Web.
- Earns money for doing political and corporate espionage.
What is ethical hacking?
The term “ethical” means that the hacker has permission from a system or network owner to access it. According to the recent meaned, ethical hacking is not about breaking into systems and stealing data. Therefore, it’s about improving the security of systems through vulnerability detection to educate managers and help maintain a secure digital environment. Generally, an ethical hacker uses hacking skills to identify vulnerabilities before other hackers can easily exploit them. Also, they use their abilities as white-hat hackers for good purposes.
However, there are many different types of ethical hacking, including network penetration testing, social engineering, website scanning, and vulnerability assessment. Ethical hackers do not use any exploits or destructive software to break into systems. They use tools such as scanners, crawlers, and other methods to find vulnerabilities in target systems. Hence, for an organization to be considered ethical hacking compliant, it must have a written policy. Moreover, they should have a system for assigning ethical hacker tasks to those qualified for them.
How to become a white hat hacker?
Becoming a white hat hacker is a time-consuming and challenging process. You must understand how the hacking world works and the intricacies of the systems you will be accessing. Also, it would help if you studied the most common computer languages such as C++, Python, Java, and HTML. Once acquired this knowledge, you will be able to use them with hacking techniques to find vulnerabilities in systems or networks.
Usually, each organization has different education criteria to hire a white-hat hacker. However, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in information security, computer science, or mathematics provides a strong foundation. Instead, those with only a military background, especially intelligence, can also opt for being a white-hat hacker. Military service is also a plus for employers who require or prefer to hire employees that already have a security clearance.
There are many white hat hacking and security-related IT certifications that can help you increase your curriculum. If you have little or no work experience, EC-Council can help you achieve the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). The intermediate-level CEH credential focuses on system hacking, enumeration, social engineering, SQL injection, Trojans, worms, viruses, and other forms of attack, including denial of service (DoS).
However, it’s favorable to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of cryptography, penetration testing, firewalls, honeypots, and more. If you don’t have prior work experience, skills like Windows and Linux systems administration, TCP/IP, and working knowledge of virtualization platforms can help you in the course.
How can a white hat hacker protect a website?
According to the constant increase in black hacking, websites are increasingly exposed to threats. However, it is the function of owners must find solutions that ensure their sites’ stability, reliability, and security. IT experts like white hackers are highly qualified to identify how secure a website is. Therefore, determining the system’s risks and discovering ways to exploit them are crucial tests that you must implement.
Through the website security audit, white-hat hackers can scan through the code and identify any security breach. Even they can detect any weaknesses in the website protection. Then, if the hacker finds a way to exploit a risk, there is a vulnerability in the system’s security.
Generally, SIEM solution providers like UTMStack have a SOC team that includes white-hat, blue-hat, and red-hat hackers. They are the team encharged with monitoring and testing the network and systems security. That’s why when companies need to protect their websites, they can hire services like dark web monitoring,
vulnerability assessment, and penetration testing. Once hired, the white-hat hacker will identify and fix vulnerabilities before they become issues.
Ethical hacking is a perfect ability to help companies to keep their assets safe. Hackers white hat use it to detect vulnerabilities in websites and take measures before black hackers exploit them. However, becoming a white hacker requires effort and dedication. Learning about system hacking, social engineering, cyber-attack, methods, tools, and exploiting vulnerabilities is not a matter of a day. Therefore, gets a bachelor’s, master’s degree in the field or an approved CEH credential. In this way, you will become a professional white-hat hacker able to help any company protect its website ethically.