Hello and welcome back to our “Mystery Jet Ski”. Much better than that Iker Jiménez’s program, which is lasting so long. Today we will continue with our exhaustive research on the hacker’s world, and we will delve a little deeper into the concept of the “ethical hacker”. Is it true that there are good hackers, who are the so-called “White Hats”, and will Deportivo de La Coruña win the league again?

Do you already know who the so-called “White Hats” are?

In this blog we never tire of saying it: “Nobody is free from EVIL, because EVIL never rests”, and if in previous articles we saw that a bad hacker, roughly speaking, is a person who knows a lot about computers and uses his knowledge to detect security flaws in the computer systems of companies or organizations and take control, today we will see who is the archenemy of the bad hacker or cracker, the superhero of security, networks and programming… “The White Hat Hacker”. White Hats are “evangelized” hackers who believe in good practice and ethical good, and who use their hacking superpowers to find security vulnerabilities and help fix or shield them, whether in networks, software, or hardware. On the opposite side would be the “Black Hats”, the bad, knave hacker, who we all know for their evil deeds. Both hack into systems, but the white hat hacker does it with the goal of favoring/assisting the organization he is working for.

White Hat Hacker = Ethical Hacker

If you thought that hacking and honesty were antonyms, you should know that, within the IT world, they are not. Unlike black hat hackers, White Hats do their thing, but in an ethical and supervised manner with the goal of improving cybersecurity, not harming it. And, my friend, there is demand for this. A White Hat is not short of work, they are hypersolicited as security researchers and freelancers. They are the organizations’ sweet tooth for beefing up their cybersecurity. Companies take the white hat hacker and put them to hack their systems over and over again. They find and expose vulnerabilities so that the company is prepared for future attacks. They highlight the ease with which a Black Hat could infiltrate, and get into the kitchen, a system, or they look for “back doors” within the encryption determined to safeguard the network. We could almost consider White Hats as just another IT security engineer or insightful network security analyst within the enterprise.

Some well-known white hat hackers:

  • Greg Hoglund, “The Machine”. Known mostly for his achievements in malware detection, rootkits and online game hacking. He has worked for the U.S. government and its intelligence service.
  • Jeff Moss, “Obama’s Right Hand (on the mouse)”. He went on to serve on the U.S. National Security Advisory Council during Obama’s term. Today he serves as a commissioner on the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace.
  • Dan Kaminsky, “The Competent One”. Known for his great feat of finding a major bug in the DNS protocol. This could have led to a complex cache spoofing attack.
  • Charlie Miller, “The Messi of hackers”. He became famous for exposing vulnerabilities in the products of famous companies such as Apple. He won the 2008 edition of Pwn2Own, the most important hacking contest in the world.
  • Richard M. Stallman, “The Hacktivist”. Founder of the GNU project, a free software initiative that is indispensable for an unrestricted understanding of computing. Leader of the free software movement since 1980.

Besides black and white, are there other hats?

We have already talked about the exploits of these White Hats, but what about the aforementioned “Black Hats”? Are there more “Hats”? Let’s see:
  • Black hats: the black hat hacker is the bad hacker, the computer criminal, the ones we know and automatically associate with the word hacker. The villains of this story. They start, perhaps, as inexperienced Script Kiddie and end up as crackers. Pure slang for how badass they are. Some go freelance, selling malicious tools, others work for criminal organizations as sophisticated as those in the movies.
  • Gray hats: Right in the middle of computer morality we find these hats, combining the qualities of black and white. They tend, for example, to look for vulnerabilities without the consent of the system owner, but when they find them they let you know.
  • Blue hats: These are characterized by focusing all their malicious efforts on a specific subject or collective. Spurred perhaps by revenge they master just enough to execute it. They can also be hired to test a particular software for bugs before its release. It is said that their nickname comes from the blue emblem of Microsoft’s curritos.
  • Red Hats: The Red Hats don’t like the Black Hats at all and act ruthlessly against them. Their vital goal? To destroy every evil plan that the bad hackers have in mind. A good Red Hat will always be on the lookout for Black Hat initiatives, their mission is to intercept and hack the hacker.
  • Green Hats: These are the “newbies” of the hacking world. They want their hat to mature into an authentic and genuine Black Hat. They will put effort, curiosity and sucking up in such an enterprise. They are often seen grazing in herds within hidden hacker communities asking their elders for everything.


Sorry for the Manichaeism, but we have the White Hat that is good, the Black Hat that is bad, and a few more colorful types of hats that walk between these two poles. I know you’re now imagining hackers sorted by color like pokémons or Power Rangers. If that’s all I’ve accomplished with this article it’s all worth it.