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Black hat hacker

Black hat hacker definition

A black hat hacker is someone who uses their hacking knowledge to perform illegal or criminal activities. These are the most widespread type of hackers, and they are usually behind all the cyberattacks you hear about. The best way for regular internet users to protect themselves from black hat hackers is to pay attention while browsing, be aware of phishing and the most common social engineering attacks, and never click links without being absolutely sure where they lead to. Hackers rarely use advanced techniques against regular people, so following these simple measures might be enough to protect your data and devices.

Black hat hacker intentions

  • Stealing. Black hat hackers try to steal personal information to sell it or craft further attacks. Either way, their ultimate goal is to make money.
  • Hacking. Hacking just for the sake of it — for example, just to prove to themselves or someone else that they can infiltrate a system.
  • Creating malware. Black hat hackers spend a lot of time creating new types of malware. It might be released into the world just for the sake of spreading chaos, but most often, malware is used to gain access to a system or steal information.
  • Spying. Black hat hackers use various methods (malware, phishing, or social engineering) to spy on individuals, companies, and governments to get confidential information.
  • Cracking software. Black hat hackers are known to reverse engineer applications and then distribute the cracked software for free or a fraction of the price that it would usually cost users.
  • Stalking. Hackers who become obsessed with someone can use their knowledge to gather information about the person and closely monitor their life.