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White hat (computer security)

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History and Tactics of White Hat Hacking
– One of the first instances of ethical hacking was a security evaluation conducted by the United States Air Force on the Multics operating system.
– The evaluation revealed vulnerabilities in hardware, software, and procedural security.
– Ethical hacking includes attacking software and systems, scanning ports, and examining known defects.
– Tactics like email phishing, rummaging through trash, and setting up cloned test systems may be used.
– Long-term infiltration and social engineering are used to replicate real attack techniques.
– Other methods include disk and memory forensics, DoS attacks, and security scanners.
– The goal is to identify vulnerabilities and gain access to secure areas.

Legality of White Hat Hacking
– Belgium legalized white hat hacking in February 2023.

United Kingdom:
– Hacking is legal if the access to a system is authorized.
– Unauthorized access is an offense under the Computer Misuse Act.
– Penalties range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the severity of the unauthorized access.
– Even exposing vulnerabilities for the greater good is not a legal defense.

Employment in White Hat Hacking
– The United States National Security Agency offers certifications in ethical hacking.
– Certifications cover techniques and team management.
– Red teams are aggressor teams, while blue teams are defender teams.
– The agency recruits ethical hackers and considers past indiscretions.
– Ethical hackers bring benefits to enterprises by finding and fixing bugs.

Notable People in White Hat Hacking
– Tamer Şahin is a Turkish white hat hacker.

Related Concepts and References
– Bug bounty program
– IT risk
– MalwareMustDie
– Wireless identity theft
– References to further reading and resources on white hat hacking.

A white hat (or a white-hat hacker, a whitehat) is an ethical security hacker. Ethical hacking is a term meant to imply a broader category than just penetration testing. Under the owner's consent, white-hat hackers aim to identify any vulnerabilities or security issues the current system has. The white hat is contrasted with the black hat, a malicious hacker; this definitional dichotomy comes from Western films, where heroic and antagonistic cowboys might traditionally wear a white and a black hat, respectively. There is a third kind of hacker known as a grey hat who hacks with good intentions but at times without permission.

White-hat hackers may also work in teams called "sneakers and/or hacker clubs", red teams, or tiger teams.

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