What is a Black Hat Hacker?

A black hat hacker is an individual who seeks out vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks for malicious intent. This type of hacker often operates with malicious intent, such as stealing data, disrupting operations, or causing financial damage. Unlike a white hat hacker, who is often hired by organizations to test their security, a black hat hacker acts with the intent to cause harm.

Some of the techniques used by black hat hackers include using malicious code, social engineering, and physical entry into systems. They may also use automated tools to scan for weaknesses in networks and systems, or exploit known vulnerabilities in software. Black hat hackers may also use denial of service attacks to disrupt the operations of computers and networks.

The damage caused by black hat hacking can include stolen private data, damaged systems, or financial loss. They are considered a serious threat to computer security, as they may use their knowledge and skills to cause long-term damage to organizations and individuals. To combat the threat of black hat hackers, organizations and individuals should implement strong security measures and regularly update their systems. Additionally, they should educate their staff on the importance of cyber security and the dangers posed by black hat hackers.

Simplified Example

A black hat hacker can be thought of as a burglar who breaks into someone else's property to steal or cause damage. Just like a physical burglar, a black hat hacker uses their skills to access computer systems and networks without permission, with malicious intent. They may steal sensitive information, plant viruses or malware, or disrupt systems for their own gain or just for the thrill of it. Just as society tries to prevent and catch real-life burglars, the cybersecurity industry works to prevent and catch black hat hackers.

Who Invented the Black Hat Hacker?

The term "black hat hacker" was coined in the early 1960s, drawing a parallel to the stereotypical villains in Western films who wore black hats. This term emerged alongside the term "white hat hacker," which referred to ethical hackers who used their skills for good, such as identifying and fixing security vulnerabilities.

The origin of the term "black hat hacker" is attributed to Richard Stallman, a prominent software freedom advocate and the founder of the GNU Project. Stallman, in his writings and speeches, frequently used the terms "black hat" and "white hat" to differentiate between malicious hackers and those who used their hacking skills for positive purposes.


Cracker: A cracker is a type of hacker who attempts to gain unauthorized access to computer systems or networks with malicious intent, typically for financial gain, stealing information or causing damage. Crackers often use methods such as phishing, malware, and social engineering to gain access to computer systems and networks.

Cyberterrorist: A cyberterrorist is a type of hacker who uses cyberattacks to cause fear, panic, and chaos in society. Cyberterrorists may target critical infrastructure, such as power grids, transportation systems, and financial institutions, in an attempt to cause widespread disruption and harm.

Script Kiddie: A script kiddie is a type of hacker who lacks advanced technical skills but uses pre-made hacking tools and scripts to launch attacks. Script kiddies often target low-hanging fruit, such as poorly secured websites or networks, and use automated tools to launch their attacks. While less sophisticated than other types of hackers, script kiddies can still cause damage and disruption to computer systems and networks.

  • Hacking: Hacking is a term used to describe the process of gaining unauthorized access to computer systems and networks, with the intention of exploiting them.

  • White hat computer hacker: White hat computer hacker refers to ethical hackers who use their skills and knowledge for good.