7 Different Hacker Examples: Motives, Aims, and What That Means For Your Business


For the safety of your organisation it’s essential to understand the attributes of the 7 different hacker examples.

Some hackers will protect you, while others will use viruses and malware with malicious intent, to steal your data, or for financial gain.

These hackers typically find loopholes and vulnerabilities within your network before they strike, and before you know it, your organisation’s network has been breached, and your cyber security architecture is no longer secure.

Therefore this post will outline the exact role of each hacker example, what their motives are, and how this affects your company, organisation, or even personal network.

So, let’s jump into it.

The 7 Different Hacker Examples

Hackers are everywhere and are certainly on the rise, so much so that they can be split into different categories based on the level of threat they pose.

These categories are:

  • Black Hat Hacker
  • White Hat Hacker
  • Grey hat Hacker
  • Blue Hat Hacker
  • Red Hat Hacker
  • Green Hat Hacker
  • Script Kiddie

As we have identified there are 7 different types of hacker out there, however, some of which will protect your network and others will breach your architecture and steal your data.

In order for you to be prepared for any kind of hacking or attack it’s crucial that you know the difference between all 7 different types of hacker.

1. Black Hat Hacker

Black Hat Hackers are more often than not referred to as the “criminal hackers”, and are the stereotypical cyber hackers we hear about day-to-day.

These cyber criminals are better named as the biggest threat to your organisation’s network, as they have advanced technical knowledge and the ability to navigate the cyber landscape most effectively.

Ultimately, this means these Black Hat Hackers can locate the vulnerabilities within your network, and exploit them.

This can be for either malicious purposes, financial gain, or usually both, and in doing so they can compromise entire computer systems at once.


The main motive behind a Black Hat Hacker attack is usually to steal company funds and financial details for themselves, or the group of hackers they work within.

However, some hackers within this group may steal confidential information for malicious purposes in order to use it against employees within your company, and then eventually for financial gain.

What That Means For You

Black Hat Hackers pose the highest risk to organisations and businesses as by accessing sensitive information, this can compromise a businesses reputation as well as their financial standing.

'done' post-it on white computer

2. White Hat Hacker

On the other side of the coin, White Hat Hackers are cyber security experts, who use their expertise and skills to seek out vulnerabilities for you.

This hacker example is authorised by a company or organisation to identify problems within a network and fix the gaps and loopholes before Black Hat Hackers get there first.

White Hat Hackers are usually hired and authorised to do so by the government of a large business or organisation in order to get one step ahead.


Overall, White Hat Hackers help organisations to prevent external attacks and breaches by seeking out vulnerabilities.

This does not mean they will destroy Black Hat Hackers, but instead ensure that your organisation is protected from every angle.

What That Means For You

Ultimately, these hackers are on your side, they are a positive for your organisation as criminal hackers will be identified and it will be made much more difficult for them to penetrate into your network.

3. Grey Hat Hacker

Similar to Black Hat Hackers, Grey Hat Hackers penetrate the gaps within your network but without the malicious intent, and therefore possess the skills of White Hat Hackers too.

Although this may seem slightly confusing, the name Grey Hat Hacker makes sense, as this hacker example uses the expertise of both hackers in one.

However, instead of alerting organisations about potential threats and vulnerabilities, they aren’t so ethical, and instead enjoy seeking out gaps and penetrating networks without going as far as stealing information.

In some cases Grey Hat Hackers may decide to tell companies about a certain loophole or gap, but otherwise they treat breaching security architecture as a kind of video game.


The distinct difference between Black Hat Hackers and Grey Hat Hackers is the lack of malicious intent used by the latter.

Instead these hackers get a personal enjoyment out of identifying network vulnerabilities, but choose not to help organisations with the information they discover.

What That Means For You

This type of hacker may pose a potential problem for your network as although they’re not a direct threat, they may leave obvious gaps and entry ways into your network open for criminal hackers.

As it’s likely you wish to keep your company network safe, it is worth authorising White Hat Hacker or Red Hat Hackers to identify vulnerabilities for you to ensure your networks cyber security.

hacker under a red light

4. Red Hat Hacker

Similar to White Hat Hackers, these hackers are here to help you, as they spot vulnerabilities, but sometimes choose extreme ways to protect your network.

Not only this but Red Hat Hackers can do something the others don’t, as they can disarm Black Hat hackers.

As this category of hackers poses the largest threat to any network, government hackers focus specifically on using any means possible to take them down.

This essentially means Red Hat Hackers use Black Hat Hackers tactics against them, which includes the use of Malware, DoS attacks, and viruses to destroy them altogether.

This is an effective way to eliminate threats to an organisation and help to decrease the amount of Black Hat Hackers in the cyber space.


As we have identified above, as well as identifying gaps within organisations security architecture, Red Hat Hackers focus on finding and destroying Black Hat Hackers.

They are like the superheroes of the cyber security world, as they are less well known than White Hat Hackers and often do their job without being noticed.

What That Means For You

Ultimately, this means you have another group of hackers on your side, protecting your company from threats, and alerting you about any loopholes in your network’s security.

The group most at risk when it comes to Red Hat Hackers, is cyber criminals themselves.

5. Blue Hat Hacker

Blue Hat Hackers can be split into two different categories, which can become quite confusing if you are faced with both.

Blue Hat Hacker 1: Software Testing

These hackers are specifically hired by an organisation to bug-test new software before it launches and is used within a company.

They are often external security professionals and can be invited into an organisation regularly to conduct tests and ensure the security of company data.

Similar to a White Hat Hacker, this category of hackers find holes and gaps and remedy them before they are breached.

All in all, these hackers are on your side and look to fix any flaws in your cyber security architecture.

Blue Hat Hacker 2: Revenge Seekers

On the other hand, Blue Hat Hackers can be revenge seekers, meaning they aren’t looking to breach company organisations for personal financial gain, but instead seek to ruin reputations.

This can be done by using malware or conducting cyber attacks on “enemy” networks in order to hack into personal accounts or cause problems within a network.

Hacking into accounts allows these Blue Hat Hackers to gain unauthorised access to their targets accounts, and send or share inappropriate content to others.

This method of hacking is based around revenge and destroying reputations rather than financial gain, however it is possible for Blue Hat Hackers of this kind to engage in Black Hat Hacker activities further down the line.

What That Means For You

If you come into contact with Software Testing Blue Hat Hacker, chances are you will know about it and therefore this does not pose a threat to your company data.

However, Revenge Seeking Blue Hat Hackers are a lot more dangerous as they have the potential to completely breach an organisation’s security systems and steal personal account information, as well as break into their target’s accounts.

hands on a keyboard

6. Green Hat Hacker

Think of Green Hat Hackers like amatuer Black Hat Hackers, in that they are in the process of learning how to perform cyber attacks.

The focus of these hackers is educating themselves on everything they need to know concerning cyber attacking skills, and exactly how to perform a successful cyber attack.

They are new to the cyber world and therefore don’t necessarily pose a serious threat, however they are essentially working at the stage just below a Black Hat Hacker.


Although these hackers may not have malicious intent yet, and may only wish to progress to the level of a Grey Hat Hacker, there is potential for them to progress further into the world of cyber crime.

The main aim of a Green Hat Hacker is to learn how to identify vulnerabilities and breach them, and this may be for personal enjoyment or for financial gain later down the line.

What That Means For You

This means that for your organisation or company you may need to watch out for hackers in this category as they may pose a potential threat in the future.

As identified earlier it may be useful to employ White Hat Hackers to ensure your cyber security architecture is as secure as possible.

7. Script Kiddie

A Script Kiddie hacker is one step above a Green Hat Hacker in that they have the ability to hack into networks, but they don’t possess the same level of skill.

Therefore, they use existing malware scripts and codes created by more experienced hackers to conduct their own attacks.

This is because they lack the expertise to create their own, but can use others’ work to hack and exploit companies.


More often than not Script Kiddies hack to cause disruption, track networks or to troll users.

Although they may not pose a serious threat like that of a Black Hat Hacker, this type of hacker can still penetrate into a network and therefore leave your company vulnerable.

What That Means For You

Script Kiddie cyber attacks are sometimes easier to spot as they take less care, sometimes leaving traces of how they entered your network and paying less attention to the consequences of hacking.

That being said organisations who have vulnerabilities in their architecture should be mindful of Script Kiddies as it may still be possible for them to steal information or pass on vulnerabilities to a criminal hacker.

7 Different Hacker Examples: Motives, Aims, and What That Means For Your Business

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the major differences between each and every hacker example.

From this post it’s evident that all of the hacker examples have different aims, motives, and consequences for your organisation, whether that be positive or negative.

Protecting your company or business from hackers of any kind comes down to having a solid cyber security architecture in place that can protect confidential information as well as personal details.

Although White Hat Hackers, Red Hat Hackers and in some cases Blue Hat Hackers are here to help you, it’s important to stay vigilant and regularly check your cyber security system is doing its job.

Here at TLR we can help to streamline your security processes, from incident response programming, to vulnerability scanning, ensuring you’re prepared for any threats that come your way.

Get in touch with our team and gain more insight into how our company can benefit your cyber security and help to shield you from all hackers that pose a threat.

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Written by

Dave Roberts