Why do we love hackers?

By: Shasi Vadlamudi

Ever since computers came out, hackers have been there: doing what they want on the internet with essentially no limits.

Hackers have gained access to many websites and organizations such as NASA and the even the Pentagon! A hacker generally has intense programming skills and is fluent in multiple coding languages like Perl, java, python, and HTML. They usually keep their identity hidden and are stereotyped as secretive intelligent gamers who pull off major bank robberies— at least they are in Hollywood. That is not true! Hackers don’t destabilize countries or anything even remotely close to what the “hackers” in movies do. Those are all misguided stereotypes and beliefs.

Hackers have numerous mannerisms and some are classified as “white hat,” “grey hat,” and “black hat.”

White hat hackers are ethical hackers who are specialized in IT/cybersecurity and have jobs. They aren’t corrupt and actually help protect websites from hackers.

Black hat hackers are exactly the opposite of white hat hackers. They hack for a devious purpose, which is to earn tremendous amounts of money almost always illegally. They prey on banks and rich individuals who have poor security and cause bankruptcy. They live secretive lives and do not talk about hacking with any of their friends and family for protection purposes.

But nothing is ever black and white: grey hackers are a well-known hacker type as well. Grey hat hackers don’t steal information, nor do they help websites and people. They lie in the middle and make up almost all of the hacker community. They are hacker groups who have fun by hacking to write their names on websites and other non-harmful practices.

Hackers are criminals, but why don’t we hate them as much as other criminals like thieves? Why does this happen, and is it morally right to accept hackers as good people? Although black hat hackers usually have a higher skill level, they cause the most chaos to society and I personally believe they should get even harsher fines and/or punishment than robbers. White hat hackers aren’t causing any damage or harm to anyone so they should be praised for protecting us from dangerous black hat hackers. It gets complicated when grey hat hackers are concerned because they don’t mean to cause harm to anyone, but some of the time they do— so it depends on the severity of the attacks. Almost all the time no serious damage occurs from hacking: except in Hollywood cinemas.

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