What is a White Hat Hacker?
White hat hacking, also known as ethical hacking, refers to penetrating the system of an organization with its permission to test its vulnerabilities and risks. The firm hires white hat hackers or computer security experts to break the security system. This is to identify and fix the potential vulnerabilities that a cybercriminal might exploit. Therefore, a white hat hacker is usually a highly skilled professional. Most importantly, they have the same skills as a potential cybercriminal.
This term is often used in contrast to ‘black hat hacker’, which operates without the consent of the victim and exploits a network for malicious or criminal objectives. White hat hackers, on the other hand, are invited by corporations to identify, assess, and fix security flaws before black hat hackers can exploit and attack them.
Importance of White Hat Hacking
Usually, larger corporations hire white hat hackers to test their data security systems. Therefore, the professionals run thorough scans of the whole system and try to hack it using the same methods and techniques as a typical cybercriminal would use. They will even send unsolicited emails and junk attachments to the employees that can infect the computer systems. The employees’ awareness and resilience will also affect the outcome of the white hat hacker’s penetration testing.
White hat hackers are the reason why big corporations have so little downtime and face minimum issues in their online networks. Their systems are tested and tried to ward off even the most sophisticated cyberattacks.
Small-and medium-sized businesses don’t have enough resources to test every possible weak link that can be compromised by a coordinated cyberattack. Because of this, many cyber criminals prefer to target such companies to amplify the chances of a successful breach of data. So, businesses need to ensure impenetrable security measures via installing reliable anti-malware software, firewall software, and spy removal tools to protect their data.
Tactics of White Hat Hacking
A typical white hat hacking includes:
- Emailing employees asking for confidential information.
- Rummaging through executive or high up’s dustbins.
- Scanning the whole system and exploiting the weak links without the prior consent of the victims (only the CEO or managers know about it).
- Denial-of-service attacks.
- Phishing tactics.
- Social engineering and reverse engineering attacks.
That is, they use almost every known technique of potential, highly coordinated, and sophisticated cyberattack to test the system’s defense.
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