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A classification of hackers (the list is continuously updated)

What one has to know about hackers to put up a fit resistance?
Lately, an ever-increasing number of publications appear dedicated to data leaks because of a hacking attack. Since, unfortunately, data theft and data protection are two parallel processes, one may state that, by learning the laws and notions of the thievish world, we are becoming more prepared to prevent crimes.

In other words, one must know the enemy by sight.

As such, hackers can be of various types.

When one sets themselves to the task of classifying hackers, the notion comes to mind of how strong one’s self-justification may be: when the activity is performed on OUR side, it is performed by an intelligence man, but when it is not on OUR SIDE, it is performed by a spy. In spite of the fact that we are talking about the same person.

An understanding of the types of hackers, their motivation, objectives and the nature of the software that they use may help not only to determine the hacker threats but also to prevent such actions.
It makes a strong impression on a person to learn, how diverse hacker methods and the hackers themselves may be. However, their main types may be delineated as follows. The list is not exhaustive by far. Unfortunately, it will expand over time.

Type 1. Bank robber
Fraud, software cracking, forged checks etc. all are in the hacker toolkit whose objective is to steal money from companies, banks and private entities.
Their motivation is greed.

Type 2. A “governmental” hacker
Presently, the most developed countries employ thousands of qualified hackers. Their job is to penetrate the back areas of the enemy as well as military and industrial networks of other countries and their aim is to map the assets and thus power up the cyber warfare machinery. These persons are soldiers performing their work to attain the goals of their countries.

Type 3. A corporate spy
The task of this type of hackers is to steal intellectual property with a view to reselling it. This may be performed either for one’s own benefit or on order. A widely spread type of corporate espionage is the stealing of patents, future business plans, financial data, contracts, health data and even notes about legal disputes. It means everything that ensures an advantage to the competitors over the hacked organization.

Type 4. Outlaw gamer
You may believe that gaming habits of your adolescent kid are only an obstacle to having good grades at school. However, computer games to millions of people are a serious business. It spawned a multi-billion dollar industry. Some gamers spend thousands of dollars on state-of-the-art, newest and highly productive computer equipment. They spend hundreds, if not thousands, of hours playing computer games. Is it a wonder, that the gaming industry has its own hackers? They steal credit caches of their competitors or cause anticompetitive distributed attacks of the “service denial” type.

Type 5. Cryptohackers
One of the most widely spread reasons why hackers today steal computer resources is “mining” crypto currency. Illegal cryptominers known as cryptojackers either disseminate malware or directly use browser visitors, or infect the websites they visit which, in turn, would mine cryptocurrency for them.

Type 6. Hacktivists
Hacktivists use hacking to make a political statement or promote social changes. They either want to steal unfavorable information from the victim company or cause operations problems to the company or wreak the havoc that would cost money to the victim company.
Some law-abiding people employ hacker methods to achieve decent purposes. For example, recently, a hacker attack was used to identify several websites with child pornography. However, in this case, it is worth considering whether or not you are knowledgeable enough to handle information of this sort. Would it not come off so that, instead of identifying the crime, you would commit it yourself?

Type 7. Master bot
Many malware developers create bots that they send out to the world to infect as many computers as possible. Their objective is to form large armies of botnets that would obey orders. As soon as your computer becomes their “territory,” it will be expecting instructions from its master.

Type 8. Advertising spammer
You may consider yourself lucky if your company was hacked only by spamming malware or your browser was hacked only by malicious advertising that attempts to sell you something. Advertising software redirects your browser to a website that you had no intention of visiting. It may be that you searched for “dog food” but the malicious advertising redirected you to a “beauty and health” website.

Many companies are astonished to learn that their own marketing campaigns on the Internet employ spam and malicious advertising. Sometimes, companies purposefully engage suppliers of malicious advertising and, as a result, have to pay legal costs.

Spam and malicious advertising may not seem a big threat but may be a symptom of a serious leak within the system. These tools find their way through unpatched software and other means that are used by more serious threats such as Troyan horses and ransomware.

Type 9. Thrill hackers
There are hackers that do this out of thrill. They may wish to show off to themselves and to the online community, what they can do. They are not so numerous now as they used to be because hacking, irrespective of the motives, is a violation of law and criminal prosecution is possible.

Type 10. Accidental hackers
Finally, some of the hackers rather resemble tourists than serious evildoers. It may well be the fact that they possess some technical potential but they never intended to hack something intentionally. Then, while browsing the Internet, they come to the website that has a flagrant code error. They are thrilled by the puzzle that it represents and start playing hacker. Much to their surprise, they discover that the process is easy to them.

An accidental hacker may discover that they committed an illegal crime by simply starting to solve a puzzle. Most security specialists who fight against serious hackers believe that the innocent hackers must not be subject to legal prosecution, if they notify their act to the company.