Access the NEW Basecamp Support Portal

White hat (computer security)

« Back to Glossary Index

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:
– 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.

« Back to Glossary Index

Request an article

Please let us know what you were looking for and our team will not only create the article but we'll also email you to let you know as soon as it's been published.
Most articles take 1-2 business days to research, write, and publish.
Content/Article Request Form

Submit your RFP

We can't wait to read about your project. Use the form below to submit your RFP!
Request for Proposal

Contact and Business Information

Provide details about how we can contact you and your business.


Quote Request Details

Provide some information about why you'd like a quote.