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White hat hackers are mainly known as hackers whose main goal is to protect the IT community’s main interest from malicious attacks and various unethical hackers.

In this post, we will take a look at everything you need to know about white hat hackers.

Let’s dive right in.

The Meaning Of Ethical Hacking 

It’s very unfair to classify all hackers as greedy. Some of them genuinely use their power to make a positive impact in the digital world.

The media only show and paint the dark side of hacking which the majority assume as hoodie-wearing recluses that do everything they can to cause havoc to healthcare systems, businesses, and government institutions.

The reality is, hackers can be categorized for their skills, why they hack, and their intention of hacking, whether good or bad.

The only similarity that ethical and unethical hackers share is that they both look at the hardware, software, or a specific network and use their skills and knowledge to find ways of breaking its defenses. However, their intentions are always very different as one stands to protect while others destroy and harm.  

Ethical hackers are the ones who are generally referred to as then white hat hackers. The white hat hackers perform the same malicious techniques, but their intention is always based on ensuring computers’ safety and security.

They usually work with network operators to identify the vulnerabilities and fix the problem using their intelligence.

Both ethical and unethical have the same thrill to break into systems, but their motives are always different. For white hat hackers, the process is usually modified to harm bounty programs that commonly reward most hackers with money to report vulnerabilities. 

White Hat vs Gray Hat vs Black hat

Inside the cybersecurity community, hackers are divided into three major types: white hat hackers, gray hat hackers, and black hat hackers.

Black hat hackers are known to hack into systems for their gain, such as revenge, to spread havoc or financial gain.

White hat hackers are the complete opposite of the black hat hackers because their mission is to stop threats possessed to systems that destroy them.

Their aim is always to find security vulnerabilities, improve system security and alert the victims to fix and protect their systems against hackers like black hat hackers. 

The gray hat hackers always sit in between white hat hackers and black hat hackers because it’s tough to know their primary goal. They usually violate laws and ethical standards but with no malicious intent.

Gray hat hackers look for vulnerabilities in a system but with good intentions.

How Do Ethical Hackers Earn?

Black hat hackers consistently earn their living in a naughty way through fraud, theft, extortion, and other harmful means.

On the other hand, ethical hackers like the white hat hackers earn their living in a clean and certified way by getting employment by cyber securities organizations or within large companies’ security departments.

What attracts companies and organizations to employ them is that they can identify and prevent malicious attacks from unethical hackers.

Another way ethical hackers use to make money is through gathering bug bounties.

Large organizations and companies, especially tech firms like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, offer considerable rewards to hackers or researchers who identify security vulnerabilities within their services and networks.

This is usually an encouraging factor for white hat hackers to spot and report any malicious action happening and fix them before they become tragic.

What Motivates Ethical Hackers

Many hackers are motivated by curiosity, and ethical hackers are no different. They are usually motivated by their desire to know what can make things get destroyed.

They keenly focus on their computers for long hours, trying to test methods that can give them an idea or clue what deficiency the system might have.

They fulfill their desires by reporting the vulnerabilities once they have identified any. 

Others are also driven by the good purpose of making the world great, more private, and secure from any slanderous attacks on systems. They see their hacking skills as a tool that can stop fraud, theft, and other criminal activities. 

The majority of ethical hackers are driven by the money they can make out of their hacking knowledge and skill. They take it more as a career or a job. They sharpen their skills daily because they know the more complicated the vulnerabilities, the more money they’ll get.

How To Become An Ethical Hacker

Many who may want to be ethical hackers should know that they are almost there because it’s always about the mindset.

You can have the skills, but you’ll always use them for the wrong reasons if you have bad intentions. It’s better to use your talent and skill to make the world a better place, safe from cyber insecurities, than to be the problem and live your life depending on stolen money and information. 

But in case you don’t have the skill, you can always practice and learn from those who have been there and done it. There are also numerous hacking courses you can take that will help you develop your skills.

However, while all this might be useful, you can be an ethical hacker by immersing yourself in the cybersecurity world. 

You should also read many materials about technical elements of cyber defense and hacking to know the new developments in the cybersecurity world. It will also help you learn the programming language, which will be helpful throughout your career.

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