Top 14 Types of Hackers to Look Out For And Their Motives 2022 Update

Filed in Articles by on December 10, 2021

– Types Of Hackers –

Technology has evolved rapidly in the last two decades, bringing about new innovations and tools to help us navigate our tech-driven world. Today’s modern-day hackers are nothing short of skilled professionals, and they fall into a few different categories based on their motives and how they perform their attacks. Get more information as you continue reading. 

While much technological evolution has resulted in tools that help us work, live and navigate modern life with more ease, technology has also opened a widening window of security vulnerabilities that cybercriminals love to exploit.

Hackers and the malware they use in their crimes have seen much evolution as well, and the methods they use to carry out their attacks have become increasingly sophisticated.

Computers and the Internet have changed the work environment of the world beyond imagination.

Computers on taking over a major part of our lives, all our data has got transferred from records and ledgers to computers.

Though this kind of shift in working has reduced the physical burden on workers it has also increased the chances of data theft.

People involved in stealing data or harming the systems are knowledgeable people with wrong intentions known as Hackers.

Types of Hackers With Their Motives And Aims

There are different hackers in the world as far the computer age still exist. Let’s take a look at how many types of hackers are there, motives and risk factor including their techniques.

1. The White Hat Hackers

White hat hackers are types of hackers who’re professionals with expertise in cybersecurity. They are authorized or certified to hack the systems.

These White Hat Hackers work for governments or organizations by getting into the system.

They hack the system from the loopholes in the organization’s cybersecurity. This hacking is done to test the level of cybersecurity in their organization.

By doing so, they identify the weak points and fix them to avoid attacks from external sources.

White hat hackers work as per the rules and regulations set by the government. White hat hackers are also known as ethical hackers.

Motives & Aims: The goals of these types of hackers are helping businesses and an appetite for detecting gaps in networks’ security.

They aim to protect and assist companies in the ongoing battle against cyber threats. A White Hat hacker is any individual who will help protect the company from raising cyber crimes.

They help enterprises create defences, detect vulnerabilities, and solve them before other cybercriminals can find them.

2. The Black Hat Hackers

Black hat hackers are also knowledgeable computer experts but with the wrong intention. They attack other systems to get access to systems where they do not have authorized entry.

On gaining entry they might steal the data or destroy the system. The hacking practices used by these types of hackers depend on the individual’s hacking capacity and knowledge.

As the intentions of the hacker make the hacker a criminal. The malicious action intent of the individual cannot be gauged either can the extent of the breach while hacking

Motives & Aims: To hack into organizations’ networks and steal bank data, funds or sensitive information.

Normally, they use the stolen resources to profit themselves, sell them on the black market or harass their target company.

3. The Gray Hat Hackers

The intention behind the hacking is considered while categorizing the hacker. The Gray hat hacker falls in between the black hat hackers and white hat hackers.

They are not certified, hackers. These types of hackers work with either good or bad intentions. The hacking might be for their gain.

The intention behind hacking decides the type of hacker. If the intention is for personal gain then the hacker is considered to be a grey hat hacker.

Motives & Aims: The difference is, they don’t want to rob people nor want to help people in particular.

Rather, they enjoy experimenting with systems to find loopholes, crack defences, and generally find a fun hacking experience.

4. The Script Kiddies

It is a known fact that half knowledge is always dangerous. The Script Kiddies are amateur types of hackers in the field of hacking.

They try to hack the system with scripts from other fellow hackers. They try to hack the systems, networks, or websites.

The intention behind the hacking is just to get attention from their peers. Script Kiddies are juveniles who do not have complete knowledge of the hacking process.

Motives & Aims: One standard Kiddie Script attack is a DoS (Denial of Service) or DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service).

This simply means that an IP address is flooded with too many excessive traffic that it collapses.

Consider several Black Friday shopping websites, for instance. It creates confusion and prevents someone else uses the service.

5. The Green Hat Hackers

Green hat hackers are types of hackers who’re learning the ropes of hacking. They are slightly different from the Script Kiddies due to their intention.

The intent is to strive and learn to become full-fledged hackers. They are looking for opportunities to learn from experienced hackers.

6. The Blue Hat Hackers

Blue Hat Hackers are types of hackers who’re similar to Script Kiddies. The intent to learn is missing. They use hacking as a weapon to gain popularity among their fellow beings.

They use hacking to settle scores with their adversaries. Blue Hat Hackers are dangerous due to the intent behind the hacking rather than their knowledge.

7. The Red Hat Hackers

Red Hat Hackers are synonymous with Eagle-Eyed Hackers. They are the types of hackers who’re similar to white hackers.

The red hat hackers intend to stop the attack of black hat hackers. The difference between red hat hackers and white hat hackers is in the process of hacking through intention remains the same.

Red hat hackers are quite ruthless while dealing with black hat hackers or counteracting with malware.

The red hat hackers continue to attack and may end up having to replace the entire system set up.

Different Hackers with Different Hacking Capacity

Above are seven types of hackers broadly referred to in the cybersecurity world. Below there are seven types of hackers listed below work in different capacities.

1. The State/Nation Sponsored Hackers

Government appoints hackers to gain information about other countries. These types of hackers are known as State/Nation sponsored hackers.

They use their knowledge to gain confidential information from other countries to be well prepared for any upcoming danger to their country.

The sensitive information aids to be on top of every situation but also to avoid upcoming danger. They report only to their governments.

2. The Hacktivist

These types of hackers intend to hack government websites. They pose themselves as activists, so known as a hacktivist.

Hacktivists can be an individual or a bunch of nameless hackers whose intent is to gain access to government websites and networks.

The data gained from government files accessed are used for personal political or social gain.

3. The Malicious Insider or Whistleblower

These types of hackers include individuals working in an organization who can expose confidential information.

The intent behind the exposure might be a personal grudge with the organization or the individual might have come across the illegal activities within the organization.

The reason for expose defines the intent behind the exposure. These individuals are known as whistleblowers.

4. Elite Hackers: The Most Advanced Hackers

Elite hackers are the cream of the crop in the world of cybercriminalsand are considered to be the highest skilled hackers in their field.

They’re often the first ones to discover cutting-edge attack methods and are known to be the experts and innovators in the hacking world.

Motives/Aim: To perform advanced cyberattacks on organizations and individuals. High-revenue corporations are mostly at risk.

5. Cryptojackers: Cryptocurrency Mining Hackers

Cryptojackers are known to exploit network vulnerabilities and steal computer resources as a way to mine for cryptocurrencies.

They spread malware in a variety of ways, often by planting infectious viruses across the web.

These viruses and ransomware-like tactics are used to plant malicious code on victims’ systems, which work quietly in the background without the victims’ knowledge.

Once the code is planted, it sends the results back to the hacker. Cryptojackers are tough to spot since the malicious code can go undetected for a long time.

Since their motive isn’t to steal victims’ data, but rather to use their system as a vehicle for cryptocurrency mining, it’s difficult to trace the source of the infection once it’s discovered.

Motives/Aim: Cryptocurrency mining. Any individual or organization with unsecured networks are mostly at risk.

6. Gaming Hackers

A gaming hacker is someone who focuses their hacking efforts on competitors in the gaming world.

With the gaming industry booming, it’s no surprise that its own specialized category of gaming hackers have emerged as a result.

Professional gamers might spend thousands of dollars on high-performance hardware and gaming credits, and hackers typically carry out their attacks in an attempt to steal competitors’ credit caches or cause distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to take them out of the game.

Motives/Aim: To compromise gaming competitors. High-profile gamers are mostly at risk.

7. Botnets: Large-Scale Hackers

Botnet hackers are malware coders who create bots to perform high-volume attacks across as many devices as possible, typically targeting routers, cameras and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

The bots operate by looking for unsecured devices (or devices who still have their default login credentials intact) to plant themselves in.

Botnets can be used directly by the hacker who created them, but they’re also frequently available for purchase on the dark web for other hackers to take advantage of.

Motives/Aim: To compromise a high volume of network systems. Individuals with unsecured routers and WiFi-connected devices are mostly at risk.

The constant evolution of today’s cyberscape means an ever-increasing amount of information is available online, and there are countless types of hackers looking to exploit it.

While the intent of every hacker is different, the danger they pose to the security of your data remains the same.

One of the simplest steps you can take to keep hackers at bay and defend against a potential attack is to make sure you’re equipped with a reliable antivirus.

Panda Security

Panda Security specializes in the development of endpoint security products and is part of the WatchGuard portfolio of IT security solutions.

Initially focused on the development of antivirus software, the company has since expanded its line of business to advanced cyber-security services with technology for preventing cyber-crime.

Some Common Types of Malicious Attachments Hackers Use

Ransomware is an escalating, increasingly sophisticated threat, and no one seems to be immune.

With new ransomware authors constantly upping their game to evade detection by demanding new forms of crypto-currency, such as DASH, or stealing passwords and Bitcoin wallets.

It can be difficult for the average user to understand how they were infected in the first place when they fall victim to an attack.

There are a number of attack vectors ransomware can exploit to take over computers or servers. These are the four most common ways ransomware infects its victims.

1. Phishing Emails

The most common method for hackers to spread ransomware is through phishing emails.

Hackers use carefully crafted phishing emails to trick a victim into opening an attachment or clicking on a link that contains a malicious file.

That file can come in a number of different formats, including a PDF, ZIP file, Word document or JavaScript.

In the case of a Word document, the attacker most commonly tricks the user into “Enabling Macros” upon opening the document.

This enables the attacker to run a script that downloads and executes a malicious executable file (EXE) from an external web server.

What’s More!

The EXE would include the functions necessary to encrypt the data on the victim’s machine.

Once the data is encrypted, and ransomware gains a foothold on one machine, the more advanced ransomware variants will spread to other machines on the network (PCs and servers).

All it takes is for one person to naïvely open an attachment in the phishing email, and an entire organization can be infected.

Popular ransomware exploiting victims using phishing emails include:

• Locky

‣ Cerber

• Nemucod

2. Remote Desktop Protocol

An increasingly popular mechanism in which attackers are infecting victims is through Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

As the name implies, Remote Desktop Protocol was created to enable IT, administrators, to securely access a user’s machine remotely to configure it, or to simply use the machine. RDP typically runs over port 3389.

While opening doors to a device for legitimate use has many benefits, it also presents an opportunity for a bad actor to exploit it for illegitimate use.

In 2017, it was determined that over 10 million machines are advertising themselves to the public internet as having port 3389 open ie, they are running RDP over 3389.

Hackers can simply search for those machines on search engines such as to find devices that are vulnerable to infection.

Once the target machines are identified, hackers commonly gain access by brute-forcing the password so they can log on as an administrator.

More Information

Open source password-cracking tools help achieve this objective. Popular tools, including Cain and Able, John the Ripper, and Medusa, allow cybercriminals to quickly and automatically try multiple passwords to gain access.

Once they’re in as an administrator, hackers have full control of the machine and can initiate the ransomware encryption operation.

To create additional damage, some hackers will disable the endpoint security software running on the machine or delete Windows file backups prior to running the ransomware.

This creates even more reason for the victim to pay the ransom, as the Windows backup options may no longer exist.

Popular ransomware exploiting victims through RDP include:

‣ SamSam: Responsible for significant damage in 2018 on the City of Atlanta, Colorado Department of Transportation, Hospitals, and other organizations.

A recent report estimated that SamSam authors made $5.9 million of revenues.

‣ LowLevel04

• CrySis

3. Drive-By Downloads From a Compromised Website

Another entry path that attackers use to deliver ransomware is through what is known as drive-by downloads.

These are malicious downloads that happen without a user’s knowledge when they visit a compromised website.

Attackers often initiate drive-by downloads by taking advantage of known vulnerabilities in the software of legitimate websites.

They then use these vulnerabilities to either embed the malicious code on a website or to redirect the victim to another site that they control, which hosts software known as exploit kits.

Exploit kits give hackers the ability to silently scan the visiting device for its specific weaknesses, and, if found, execute code in the background without the user clicking anything.

More Details

The unsuspecting user will then suddenly be faced with a ransom note, alerting them of the infection and demanding payment for returned files.

While this may sound like something encountered only on small, under the radar sites, drive-by downloads are actually not limited to obscure websites.

They have happened to some of the most popular sites in the world including the New York Times, the BBC, and the NFL all of these were targeted in a ransomware campaign through hijacked advertisements

Popular ransomware exploiting victims through drive-by downloads include:

• CryptoWall

‣ PrincessLocker

• CryptXXX

4. USB and Removable Media

Another avenue that ransomware uses to penetrate an environment is through a USB device.

In 2016, Australian police issued a warning to citizens about USB drives containing malicious software appearing in mailboxes.

The USB drives masqueraded as a promotional Netflix application, then once opened deployed ransomware onto the unsuspecting user’s computer.

The mighty Spora Ransomware even added the capability to replicate itself onto USB and Removable Media drives (in hidden file formats), jeopardizing subsequent machines in which the USB device is plugged into.

Ransomware has become the go-to attack of choice for cybercriminals to generate revenues.

It’s simple to buy on the dark web through Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) and attacks are relatively easy to launch through one of the above methods.

Whats More !!!

It’s important for organizations to recognize how their systems can be targeted and proactively take steps through a layered security approach to keep themselves protected and to safeguard their business service continuity.

Information is widely available over the internet. Keen individuals can learn and adapt to them immediately. The intent behind hacking is what sets the hackers apart.

The knowledge is used for harming individuals or governments or for personal gain which makes hackers dangerous. The types of hacker attacks vary from organization to organization.

The intensity and type of attack are dependent on the hackers’ ability to find the loophole and penetrate the security system. This has put up a huge challenge to organizations and governments to be updated with.

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CSN Team.

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