Ethical Hacking Tutorial

What Are Different Types of Hackers and Hacking Attacks in Cyber Security? Explained


In the previous post, we talked in detail about what is ethical hacking, its benefits, uses, process, and more. 

Now, in this write-up (part of the comprehensive Ethical Hacking Tutorial for Beginners), we are going to discuss:

  • Different types of hacking 

  • Types of hackers in cyber security

  • Different types of cyber security attacks

Let’s get started and discuss everything about types of hacking attacks and hackers.

How Many Types of Hacking Are There? Explained

There are numerous types of hacking in cyber security that you must know. Below, you will learn about all these types, including website hacking, network hacking, ethical hacking, email hacking, password hacking, as well as computer hacking. 

1. Website Hacking

It is the practice of hacking a website by gaining unauthorized access to its web server, database, files, or other interfaces. A website is mainly hacked by carrying out brute-force attacks, social engineering tools, phishing attacks, and finding vulnerabilities. This is one of the most common types of hacking.

2. Network Hacking

Network hacking is the process of collecting data about a network and gaining access to it for malicious purposes. Hackers can compromise the network and cause harm to its operation. Generally, network hacking is done using tools like Ping, Netstat, NS lookup, Telnet, Tracert, etc. 

Organizations having a network of computers and other devices must be aware of such types of hacking attacks so that ethical hacking practices can be implemented to prevent the network. 

If you are not sure what is networking and what different types of networks are, check the linked write-up.

3. Email Hacking or Email Hijacking

It is the practice of gaining unauthorized access to someone’s email account and using it for ill purposes without the permission of the email account owner. 

Also called email hijacking, email hacking is a popular type of hacking attack that is done using a number of techniques like email spoofing, adding viruses to the systems, and social engineering tools.

4. Ethical Hacking

Ethical hacking is the use of hacking methods for the right purposes, like detecting weaknesses in systems, websites, or networks with the aim of fixing them and preventing malicious attacks.

5. Password Hacking 

Password hacking is the method of using some application program to crack the passwords from data stored on systems or transmitted by the users. Also called password cracking, this practice of hacking further involves identifying unknown passwords or recovering forgotten passwords to access a system, network, or other resources.

6. Computer Hacking

Computer hacking means gaining unauthorized access to desktops, laptops, and related devices by stealing system credentials. In many instances, hackers compromise the hardware or software of the computers to gain access. 

In the list of different types of hacking attacks, this is very common as it can target anyone, whether you are an individual or an employee.

Different Types of Hackers in Cyber Security

Wondering how many types of hackers are there? There is not one, but different types of hackers in cyber security that you must know. Every hacker has different intentions and purposes behind carrying out different types of hacking attacks. Let’s discuss everything below.

1. Black hat hacker

Black hat hackers use hacking tricks and techniques for malicious purposes like stealing corporate data, transferring funds from others’ bank accounts, asking for ransom, etc. 

Their motives are to profit themselves by selling the stolen data, asking for money to decrypt the hacked data or accounts, etc. These are illegal activities and crimes. 

2. White hat hacker

White hat hackers are ethical hackers who apply their skills to identify and fix the vulnerabilities in a system. 

Their role is to correct the weaknesses that black hat hackers can otherwise exploit. White hat hackers have the authority to hack the systems to make them more secure. This type of hackers in cyber security is hired by companies to protect their systems and networks. 

That’s the reason people in the current era are choosing a career in it by choosing a reliable online ethical hacking course in India or in other countries. 

3. Grey hat hacker

Grey hat hackers fall between white hat and black hat hackers. These types of hackers gain access to systems or networks without authority but don’t do malicious activities like stealing data or money. 

Grey hat hackers find vulnerabilities and inform the system owners about them.

4. Script kiddies

These are amateur hackers having little knowledge of hacking websites, systems, networks, etc. They use tools or copied scripts to carry out common attacks like Denial of Service (DoS)

5. Hacktivist

Hacktivists are such types of hackers who consider themselves activists. They hack websites to run social, religious, or political campaigns. Generally, these hackers target government websites to influence the agenda.

Different Types of Cyber Attacks on a System

In general, the list of types of attacks in cyber security is long. Here, we are going to mention the types of attacks that can be carried out on systems.

1. Operating system attacks

Operating systems like Android, Windows, etc., come with numerous handy features for users and have a complex structure at the backend. Attackers lookout for vulnerabilities in this complexity to exploit the operating system. 

The vulnerabilities usually are found in the design, installation, or configuration, or there are bugs in the OS. The exploitation of the vulnerabilities in an OS is termed an operating system attack. 

That’s why organizations hire ethical hackers and penetration testers to find and fix vulnerabilities. You can check out the free Android Penetration Testing Tutorial for Beginners to learn more about it.

2. Misconfiguration attacks

Misconfiguration attacks happen when the security protocols of the web servers, databases, networks, frameworks, or app platforms are poorly misconfigured. It can lead to the systems being fully compromised or gaining access to confidential data. 

3. Application-level attacks

Before releasing an app, if the developers don’t test it properly, several security loopholes remain in the app. This is common in apps with a massive number of features and functionalities. Attackers find these vulnerabilities and launch application-level attacks. 

Vulnerabilities in apps can result in buffer overflow, SQL injection, session hijacking, cross-site scripting (XSS), Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, phishing, man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, etc. 

4. Shrink-wrap code attacks

Many developers use free libraries, code, and default configurations to speed up the development process. 

If a hacker finds any vulnerability in that code, numerous websites and apps become vulnerable. Attacks carried out by exploiting the default configurations and code are called shrink-wrap code attacks.

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