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Blue hat hacker

Blue hat hacker

Blue hat hacker definition

A sub-group of white hat hackers who are hired externally by companies to perform penetration testing and sniff out bugs and vulnerabilities before a big launch. They are similar to white hat hackers in the sense that they use their hacking knowledge to improve cybersecurity measures, not bypass them. But white hat hackers are usually part of the company, whereas blue hat hackers are outsourced.

Sometimes a hacker seeking revenge is also called a blue hat hacker. They are not after money or destruction for the sake of it, they simply want to avenge someone — a person, a former employer, or a whole country. They work similarly to black hat hackers, with criminal intent and using illegal methods, but their purpose is not the same.

Blue hat hacking examples

  • Microsoft holds a BlueHat hacking conference every year. It invites offensive and defensive cybersecurity professionals to talk to Microsoft developers as well as penetrate and test Microsoft's newest software and systems before launch.
  • In 2014, an EnerVest (a US oil and gas company) employee sabotaged the company's systems after finding out he was going to be fired. The network engineer reset everything to factory settings, which also deleted a lot of data, and EnerVest couldn't operate for a month.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security