15 Types of Hackers You Should Know About

Haseeb Awan
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April 5, 2023

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In the previous two decades, technology has advanced quickly, giving rise to discoveries and tools that will aid us in navigating our technologically advanced society. While considerable technological advancement has given rise to technologies that make working, living, and navigating modern life easier, it has also created a larger spectrum of security weaknesses that hackers love to take advantage of.

Hackers and the software they utilize in their activities have undergone significant development, and their attack strategies have advanced significantly. Today's hackers are highly qualified experts, and depending on their objectives and how they carry out their attacks, they can be divided into many groups.

Today, anything is vulnerable to hacking, including your phone, cryptocurrency wallet, and smart home appliances. However, are all hackers harmful? No, never. Not all hackers are cybercriminals; some are employed to detect and stop criminals.

There are many types of hackers, from researchers who help identify network weaknesses to thieves who take private information.

So which hackers need to worry about the most? And how do you protect both your data and your accounts? This guide will discuss all the different types of hackers and tips to stay secure online.

Types of Hackers You Should Know About

The cyber-world is acquainted with three well-known types of hackers: White hats (ethical hackers), black hats (criminals), and gray hats. To set themselves apart from one another and distinguish the ethical hackers from the bad, programmers created these colored hat descriptors. The black and white hat designations originated in films, where the good guys always wore white hats, and the bad guys always wore black hats.

The rainbow of hacker hats is getting wider today. Other hacker characteristics are described by newer hat colors, albeit the words are less generally recognized or utilized. Time will tell if any of these nicknames—green, red, blue—stick. Let's examine each one of them.

Black Hat Hackers

Most individuals only think of black hat hackers when they see the word "hacker". In fact, black hat hackers are actual cyber criminals.

Black hat hackers are risky, expert, and driven by monetary and personal benefits. They use their understanding of computer languages, network design, and network functions to hack with malevolent intent.

Black hats hack into systems illegally to damage or shut down the entire enterprise. They break into accounts to steal, alter, or delete private information. Additionally, they plan phishing assaults of all sizes and other cyberattacks. Black hat hackers are the number one enemy, according to cybersecurity experts.

White Hat Hackers

"Ethical hackers" are those who use white hat techniques. Despite having all the skills of black hat hackers, companies give them legal permission to "hack" their networks. Their tagline? Defend and avoid.

White hats examine for security holes and weaknesses in IT systems before unscrupulous black hats get a chance to exploit them. Then, white hats close all the gaps they've found. Therefore, their proactive hacking deters black hats or lowers the potential harm they might cause.

White hats are used by government organizations, information security teams, and businesses like Facebook, Google, and Uber to use positive force. When they discover significant vulnerabilities in the system, they even give them "bug bounties."

Gray Hat Hackers

Gray hat hackers are a hybrid between the evil side of black hat and the ethical side of white hat hackers. Although they usually have noble intentions, they hack technically against the law, just like black hats do.

Some people find gray hat hacking fun as it challenges them to test their skills for a treasure.

Let's take the scenario when a gray hat notices that their organization recently upgraded the website or an app. They might deliberately (though illegally) break into systems to look for weaknesses. Instead of wreaking havoc, gray hat hackers alert system admins to identify flaws so that they can be fixed and strengthened before a black hat exploits them.

Blue Hat Hackers

Black hat hackers are opposed to blue hat hackers. They frequently work for IT companies as consultors and cybersecurity experts. They are employed by corporations to thoroughly try out a new network system or software application before it is made public. Their task is to identify security gaps or weaknesses in the new program. Penetration testing evaluations help firms identify security flaws to safely repair and deploy new releases.

Red Hat Hackers

Red hat hackers are either freelancers or employed by governmental organizations to identify security flaws with an emphasis on locating and neutralizing black hat hackers. They have a reputation for being exceptionally relentless in their pursuit of black hat criminals, and they frequently employ all available measures to bring them to justice. 

Utilizing the same viruses, malware, and other techniques to hack their computers from within, frequently appears to be utilizing the same procedures as black hat hackers and leveraging them against them.

Red hat hackers seek to eliminate black hat ones, while white hat hackers work to counteract them. They relentlessly hunt down black hat hackers and wage brutal assaults against them using similarly aggressive tools and unlawful methods.

Red hats may introduce viruses or malware into a black hat system. DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) assaults are also launched by them. Some may even manage to get a remote connection to the black hat's system to systematically damage their networks, devices, and more.

Green Hat Hackers

Green hat hackers are a group of committed newcomers eager to learn new skills. Since they are the newbies who are only learning the skills, they make up for it with their passion and dedication to learning. Their objective is to get complete black hat status.

Green hats complete legitimate certification programs and study online guides. To develop their talents, they read the most recent cybersecurity news and absorb the tips shared on hacker forums. Their initial hacking attempts could appear amateurish since they are eager to test their expertise. However, each effective hacking attempt gives them greater confidence to take on more challenging assignments.

Elite Hackers

Elite hackers are thought to be the most talented in their profession and are at the top of the line in the hacker world. They are frequently infamous innovators or influential people. They pioneer new attacks and hacking tactics to get around increasingly advanced security measures. Additionally, they frequently perpetrate sophisticated cyberattacks and the most recent viruses.

However, the worst part is that they offer their malware packages on the Dark Web for others to execute their destructive creations efficiently. Elite hackers offer their malware packages on the Dark Web.

Amateur Hackers

The script kiddies who have no interest in learning how to become real hackers are called amateur hackers. They cannot hack the networks themselves and therefore purchase the virus kits available on the dark web or preconfigured scripts generated by hackers. Their preferred technique to hack is Dos and DDoS attacks. They generate a lot of buzz in the media and internet forums, garnering these script kids' attention and recognition.

Gaming Hackers

Professional gamers build up online credits, which function like cash and spend hundreds of dollars on gear and accessories. To take the credits, gaming hackers breach into these accounts.

DDoS attacks are another tactic gaming hackers use to close down other players' profiles when they lose against them, thereby removing them from the game. This hacking has become a significant issue as the cash prize for eSports winners has surpassed $1 million.

Nation or State-Sponsored Hackers

Hackers employed by nations and states work for government organizations. They hack into the systems of other countries to look out for online threats or to collect private data. Governments support their actions even when they are illegal.


The "ethical hacking" used by hacktivists is seen as a method of protest.

They acquire unauthorized access and reveal intelligence agencies or governments that keep their activities secret. Or they cause devastation to those who reject their intellectual, social, political, religious, and environmental principles.

Malicious Insiders and Whistleblowers

Insiders who are dishonest and whistleblowers both operate from within companies. But they have quite different reasons for hacking.

Whistleblowers aim to inform an organization's unlawful, unethical, or immoral behaviour. Insiders with bad intentions employ hacking to carry out personal agendas.

A malicious insider may launch an assault on their own company to "prove" that they were correct about security flaws. They might also hack their managers and leak classified data if they aren't given a raise. Malicious insiders can also install malware to spy on other employees and divert funds.


Cyberterrorism is any attack with a personal or political motivation that jeopardizes or damages a nation's infrastructure. These cybercriminals aim to spread fear, obstruct business operations, or demand large amounts of money in exchange for bitcoin. Malware, particularly ransomware, is preferred by cyber terrorists, but they also utilize worms, viruses, and phishing scams.

Bot Herder or Bot Master

Hackers that use botnets build armies of malware-carrying bots and then unleash massive assaults. They try to exploit IoT devices with inadequate security, such as routers, webcams, and more like your smart home appliances. If the factory-set passwords are never changed, these are ideal points of entry for bots.


Cryptocurrency mining is a profitable but time and process-intensive activity. Cryptojackers avoid the difficulty and expense of mining by infecting computers with spyware that mines cryptocurrency on their behalf.

The sophisticated mining operations are carried out by scripts, which relay the findings to the hacker's network. In this approach, the hacker can get cryptocurrency without paying for mining.

Before experiencing decreased processing speeds, delays and lags, or rapid battery drain, you might not even be aware that your device has been compromised. Thankfully, these scripts rarely steal or corrupt your data. Is that terrible news? Most are hard to get rid of and absolutely undetectable.

How to Secure Yourself Against All Hackers Types

One common thing in all the hackers is that they exploit vulnerabilities in your digital security setup and your personal defense. They use code, malware, cyber-attacks, manipulation, and psychology to access accounts and collect personal data. 

This section will discuss the tips to protect yourself against all hackers types:

Install Antivirus and Anti Malware Apps on Your Device: 

Antivirus and anti-malware apps secure your devices against the worms, viruses, trojans, and malware that cybercriminals use. Installing the antivirus and anti-malware software will improve your chances of keeping your data and accounts protected.

Use VPN:

Your data is encrypted using a VPN to prevent hacker interception. Without a VPN, hackers can access your Wi-Fi without your knowledge and take your credentials, bank details, and more.

Use Unique and Stronger Passwords:

Passwords are usually your first and only line of defense against cybercriminals. Using the same password for all of your accounts will make you easy attack. Similarly, using your name, DOB, parents' name, or sequence of letters or numbers as your password is also not a good idea. Use unique and stronger passwords with a minimum of eight characters and comprise a variety of numbers, letters, and special characters. 

Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): 

Another best strategy is to use 2FA for added protection. However, instead of SMS-based 2FA, use an authenticator app like Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, or Authy.

Update Your Software Regularly:

Hackers use outdated software as a means of infecting or accessing your machines. Maintain software updates, or even better, turn on automatic updates. Updating the software with every update is the only way to maintain its integrity.

Backup the Data:

Regular backups reduce the harm that attackers can cause. You will be secure knowing you have a data backup if malware is used to lock your device.

Beware of Phishing Attempts: 

Most hackers try to fool you into handing up your passwords by using phishing. Learning to identify fraudulent emails and SMS and avoid scam links and files is the best way to stay secure from phishing attempts. Most hackers try to fool you into handing up your passwords by using phishing. These are some of the most frequently used by hackers to attack your device with malware. Always run an antivirus scan on downloads, and look over links before clicking on them.

Check URL Security:

Check the URL security before adding or accessing critical data. You can see it by clicking on the padlock symbol near a website's URL to inspect if it has a valid SSL certificate and is secure.

Lock your SIM card: 

Hackers use a SIM swapping method to steal your phone number. Subscribe to Efani for guaranteed SIM swap protection so that the hackers won't be able to hack your number. 

Encrypt Data: 

Backing up data is suitable for recovery, but encrypting data is a must to secure it from hacking attempts. Encrypt all your essential data to keep it secure and away from hackers.

Get Insurance: 

All initial tips help you stay protected against hacking attempts. But the most important thing is to be prepared for an attack and its consequences. Get cybersecurity insurance to cover all the damage caused by a cyber attack.


On the internet, data is widely accessible. Individuals with a keen mind can pick things up quickly and adjust. The risk of hacking increases daily as more and more of our lives are lived online. It pays to defend oneself against attacks even though not all hackers are inherently "evil" or deliberately targeting you.

What distinguishes hackers is their motivation for hacking. Hackers are hazardous because they exploit their expertise to hurt people, governments, or for personal gain. Hacker attacks can take many different forms depending on the company. The degree and kind of attack depend on how successfully the hackers can exploit the security mechanism.

Organizations and governments must hire cybersecurity experts and introduce the best cybersecurity policies to stay protected. Learning how to identify and differentiate between the various types of hackers and their motives and understanding the strategies to protect against them is the only move forward.

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Haseeb Awan
CEO, Efani Secure Mobile

I founded Efani after being Sim Swapped 4 times. I am an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the crypto and cybersecurity industry. I provide Secure Mobile Service for influential people to protect them against SIM Swaps, eavesdropping, location tracking, and other mobile security threats. I've been covered in New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Hulu, Nasdaq, Netflix, Techcrunch, Coindesk, etc. Contact me at 855-55-EFANI or haseebawan@efani.com for a confidential assessment to see if we're the right fit!

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