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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Black Hat Hackers


Thanks to Hollywood, black hat hackers have become the iconic image of all hackers around the world. For the majority of computer users, the word hacker has become a synonym for social misfits and criminals.
Of course, that is an injustice created by our own interpretation of the mass media, so it is important for us to learn what a hacker is and what a black hacker (or cracker) does. So, let's learn about black hat techniques and how they make our lives a little more difficult.

What Is Black Hat Hacking?

A black hat hacker, also known as a cracker or a dark side hacker (this last definition is a direct reference to the Star Wars movies and the dark side of the force), is someone who uses his skills with a criminal intent. Some examples are: cracking bank accounts in order to make transferences to their own accounts, stealing information to be sold in the black market, or attacking the computer network of an organization for money.

Some famous cases of black hat hacking include Kevin Mitnick, who used his black hat hackers skills to enter the computers of organizations such as Nokia, Fujitsu, Motorola and Sun Microsystems (it must be mentioned that he is now a white hat hacker); Kevin Poulsen, who took control of all the phone lines in Los Angeles in order to win a radio contest (the prize was a Porsche 944 S2); and Vladimir Levin, which is the handle of the mastermind behind the stealing of $10'000,000 to Citigroup.

Differences Between White Hat And A Black Hat Hacker

The difference between black hat and white hat hackers is that white hat hacker uses their skills and knowledge as a way to defend someone from attackers. That means that white hat hackers offer their services to corporations, public organizations and educational institutions.

These services include a complete revision of their computer network security, implementation of new security systems (they may be hardware or software), user training and future recommendations. All these measures will be able to combat unauthorized hacking; black hat hackers, however, will continue trying.

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