What Color is Your Cyber Hat?

Ethical hacking is not for everyone.  In fact, most people tend to key in on the word “hacking” and immediately think of computer crime or criminal activity just as people associate the term “hacker” with an individual who has malicious and/or criminal intent.  Sometimes, they might be right.  Sometimes, they couldn’t be farther from the truth.  It really just depends on what color hat that individual wears.

As an example, a black hat hacker is generally considered a person who hacks computers, programs, and networks out of malicious intent and/or for personal gain.  These hackers are generally considered cyber criminals.  The media and the general public typically identify black hat hackers as dangerous individuals that make use of very sophisticated technology or good old fashion social engineering to hack into corporate networks.  Their goal might be to steal data or disrupt network communications.  As technology and security protocols improve, the black hat hacker’s toolset improves and evolves with it.  Just consider how yesterday’s ping of death has evolved into today’s fast-flux botnet.

Another type of hat is the white hat hacker.  A white hat hacker is a person who attacks, breaks, and/or investigates computer systems without malicious intent and only with the written permission of the network owner.  The goal is to look at the network the same way an attacker would and to answer the following questions: What can the attacker see? What can they do with the information found?  Would anyone notice the attack?  White hat hackers or ethical hackers are the “good guys” trying to find the potential bugs, weaknesses, and gaps in cyber security defenses.  These ethical hackers can train to be cyber security experts and can also obtain professional certifications such as CASP or CEH in the areas of network security and cyber defense.

One place that you might see many different colored hats is at security conferences. Security conferences offer individuals who are interested in security to meet and discuss IT security issues.  One such conference is DEF CON.

The DEF CON convention is scheduled this year between July 26 and July 29 in sunny Las Vegas.  Every year, between 8,000 and 12,000 people attend this conference. The conference is open to everyone and anyone, especially to those interested in the field of cyber security, hacking, and/or security technologies.  Each year, this conference attracts hackers, members of government agencies and law enforcement, and cyber security professionals.  Are you planning on attending?

Since 1999, Superior Solutions has been at the forefront of “ethical hacking” and white hat cyber defense practices.  Our experienced IT security consultants can help you protect your business in the on-going battle for online safety and cyber security.

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