Most people have heard the term “hacking” at least once in this digital age, and most of the time it is in a negative context. The reason for that is the definition of hacking is “gaining unauthorized access to a computer or program that does not belong to you.” That may sound bad, but it can actually be quite beneficial. Hacking can help improve digital security by finding the holes in it or help someone find wrongly hidden information. You see hacking is a skill that is only evil when it is used by evil.
The term “hacker” is actually quite vague, because of that people have created terms to make it more specific that oddly revolve around hats. The color of the hat is what defines the hacker and these colors are black, white, gray, and blue. A black hat hacker is the stereotypical bad guy because they lie, cheat, and steal from the innocent for their own personal gain or amusement. Because white is the opposite of black, the white hat hackers are the good guys who are helpful to humanity because they expose the truth, help the cheated, and return the stolen to the innocent. The color gray is an equal mix of white and white, therefore the work done by a gray hat hacker is a 50/50 mix of good and bad. Gray hat hackers are the mercenaries of the internet because they usually work for the highest bidder. The blue hat hacker are more like the police of the internet, as in their actual job is to be a white hat hacker and help people. Usually blue hat hackers work for computer companies to write programs and improve security.
There are many instances where hacking is used for crime by the “Black Hats,’ among these instances a lot are viruses, which have bine know to wreak major havoc upon the internet. One of the worst was the “Melissa Virus.” The year is 1999 and a virus is spreading rapidly throughout the internet, causing damage were ever it goes. It spreads at an exponential rate and soon infects a vast majority of the computers in America. That Melissa virus was a self-replicating computer virus that spread by sending an email to one computer and then used the contacts in that computer to send copies of its self to others email addresses, that when opened infected those computers. That virus caused 400 million dollars in damage to people and businesses. North America. The writer of the program was a man named David L. Smith and he apparently created the virus “to see if it would work.” Even weirder was his inspiration for the name, Melissa was apparently was (and this is putting it nicely) an exotic dancer he met in Florida. While Mr. Smith caused 400 million dollars in damages, he was only charged with 80 million in damages due to the federal guidelines of the time. He was ultimately sentenced to five years in prison. This was one of the first super effective viruses created by a Black Hat hacker.
The work done by the white hat hackers is as varied as the Black Hats, but result in good such as stopping a virus instead of creating one. Most...