white hat

White hat describes a hacker (or, if you prefer, cracker) who identifies a security weakness in a computer system or network but, instead of taking malicious advantage of it, exposes the weakness in a way that will allow the system's owners to fix the breach before it can be taken advantage by others (such as black hat hackers.

White hat describes a hacker (or, if you prefer, cracker) who identifies a security weakness in a computer system or network but, instead of taking malicious advantage of it, exposes the weakness in a way that will allow the system's owners to fix the breach before it can be taken advantage by others (such as black hat hackers.) Methods of telling the owners about it range from a simple phone call through sending an e-mail note to a Webmaster or administrator all the way to leaving an electronic "calling card" in the system that makes it obvious that security has been breached.

While white hat hacking is a hobby for some, others provide their services for a fee. Thus, a white hat hacker may work as a consultant or be a permanent employee on a company's payroll. A good many white hat hackers are former black hat hackers.

The term comes from old Western movies, where heros often wore white hats and the "bad guys" wore black hats.

This was first published in June 2007

Continue Reading About white hat

Dig deeper on Security Testing and Ethical Hacking

Pro+

Features

Enjoy the benefits of Pro+ membership, learn more and join.

0 comments

Oldest 

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCloudSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchCIO

SearchConsumerization

SearchEnterpriseDesktop

SearchCloudComputing

ComputerWeekly

Close