Mom (asks her kid): What do you want to be when you grow up? And the kind gave an innocent reply “Hacker”! Leading with a moment of Silence.
It may appear to you as a shock but whenever we listen to the term “Hacking”, usually tends to evoke negative connotations on our minds. No wonder, why they are phrased as the “Bad Guys” of cyber world. Hackers mostly portray a hint of menace to most users. But not all hackers are inherently bad. Well let’s not get out of hand, as the point of discussion at this moment is whether we should encourage hacking or not? Should we inspire our kids to indulge their adolescent age to become cyber deviants in future?
Well, if you are perplexed, we’ll help you to have a clear understanding about different perspectives of Hacking.
Hackers-Angels or Demons?
Most of us are not aware but there are various forms of Hacking. We can broadly categorize hackers into two types viz. Black Hat Hackers & White Hat Hackers.
Black Hat Hackers or Unethical hackers
These are the actual bad guys aka devils who use their prowess to find or develop attack methods or other malicious tools to break into machines and steal data, such as passwords, email, intellectual property, credit card numbers or bank account credentials. Their primary motivation is usually for personal or financial gain, but they can also be involved in cyber espionage, protest or perhaps are just addicted to the thrill of cybercrime.
White Hat Hackers or Ethical Hackers
White hat hackers (the more innocent ones) choose to use their powers for good rather than evil. The only difference which makes them exceptional is that whatever they do, they do it with the permission of owner of system which keeps the process completely legal.
Gray Hat Hackers
They fall somewhere in the middle of black hat and white hackers. Gray hat hackers sell or disclose their vulnerabilities not to criminals, but to government, law enforcements or intelligence agencies. The government then use these security holes to hack into the systems of adversaries or criminal suspects. These types of hackers are not inherently malicious with their intentions; they’re just looking to get something out of their discoveries for themselves.
The increasing need of White Hat Hackers!
As cyber-criminal activities are on a boom, so arises the need of white hat hackers. The world is in need of white hat hackers who can deliver a counterblast against malicious tricks of cybercriminals. Not just common people, hackers are not even sparing the celebrities! Recently it hit the news that OurMine is a famous Hackers team who have hacked social media accounts of various know personalities like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey etc.
Hence, White hat hackers can be an invaluable resource in this digitally driven world. Well, here lies the answer to our initial question whether hacking should be encouraged? So in our recommendation, yes hacking should be encouraged but only if its ‘ethical’, in order to create more secure systems and software.
The Bright Side
You can find great hackers in almost every field and industry and they all have one thing in common: they spend time learning how things work so they can make them work in a new way. Hackers are those who seek knowledge, to understand how systems operate, how they are designed, and then attempt to play with these systems.
Well, here’s a note to coming generations, barring the good or bad attributes, hackers are nonetheless but ‘Technical genius’.