12+ Types of Ethical Hackers and Hacking Groups To Watch in 2022

Technology has evolved over time and is helping us to navigate our tech driver world. With this, it has also opened up a widening window of security vulnerabilities that criminals love to exploit. As data is the new gold, it is very dear to companies and malicious entities for purposes such as fraud and committing crimes.

There are various groups of people that are working to protect this information and they fall into various types! This is why it is important to know who has good intentions and who has bad intentions.

Security breaches and malware they use for criminal activities has also evolved and their methods have also become quite sophisticated. Today these thefts fall into different categories all based on their motives and how they perform attacks.


13 Different Types of Ethical Hackers and Hacking Groups 

Keep in mind that not all of these are dangerous but few are hired to stop others.

Black Hat Hackers: The ones on the dark side

Black Hat Hackers

He breaks into the system with criminal or malicious intent. They are just like typical hackers or cybercriminals. What makes them skilled in carrying out different attacks is their advanced technical knowledge and the ability to navigate. Their way of working is quite interesting as they go out of the way to find all the vulnerabilities in a system and then exploit it for financial benefit or other malicious reasons.

By stealing private yet sensitive information they can harm the organization badly, compromising the whole system or altering critical networks. They can use various techniques

Their motive 

They intend to get profit from data breaches.

Who do they target as a group or individually

Organizations are at risk as a criminal target to get hands-on sensitive information which can compromise a business financially.

White Hat Hackers: The good guys

White Hat Hackers

These are experts in cyber security and use their skills to find vulnerabilities in organizations and networks. What makes them different from black criminals is that they are authorized to look for security vulnerabilities before an actual criminal can.

Government or large businesses hire them and then they work to identify and fix weaknesses that are found in organizational security systems so that an external attack or data breach is prevented.

Their motive

They intend to help businesses prevent cybersecurity attacks.

Who do they target as a group or individually

They are not after anyone or target anyone specifically in general. They try to be the first for a vulnerability to report it so the bad guys don’t get to it first, simple!

Grey Hat Hackers – The good and the bad

Grey Hat Hackers

These are cybersecurity experts who hack into systems and networks but without the aim of black hat hackers.

Now what they do is involve themselves in such activities but for the mere enjoyment of finding gaps in systems and most of the time tell-all weaknesses of the system to the owner. Keep in mind that these do not always take ethical routes when employing criminal activities- they might get into the system without taking permission from the owner even they don’t intend to cause any kind of harm.

Their motive

Personal enjoyment

Who do they target as a group or individually

All who do not wish to have any kind of unauthorized access to their systems.

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Script Kiddies – The learners

Types of Hacking Groups

These are amateur criminals that do not have the same skill or expertise. Now what they do is turn up to existing malware which is made by others to carry out attacks. They mostly use hacking tools e.g. for hacking into a wireless network, but they won’t develop their own due to lack of knowledge.

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Their motive

Create disruption

Who do they target as a group or individually

All organizations which do not have secured networks and systems

Green Hat Hackers – Training to be the best

These are new in the world of hacking but focus with full intention to increase their skills in cyberattacks. They work primarily with the purpose to gain knowledge on how to perform cyber attacks on a similar level as their black hat counterparts. They aim to get involved in a fully-fledged theft therefore they spend most of their time looking for opportunities to learn from far more experienced criminals.

Their motive

Learn to become an experienced hacker

Who do they target as a group or individually

Till now no one

ALSO READ: Best Books for White Hat and Black Hat Hackers to read.

Blue Hat Hackers – Tampering with software

Organizations hire such criminals in order to bug-test a new system or software before it gets released. Their main purpose is to look out for security vulnerabilities or loopholes in software being released and provide a remedy before their official launch.

Their motive

Look out for vulnerabilities in new software’s before their release

Who do they target as a group or individually

Criminal hackers

Red Hat Hackers – Hired by the country Government

These again are hired by the government agencies to hunt down all the vulnerabilities in security systems with the main focus to find and disarm black hat criminals. They are seemed to be quite ruthless in their hunt and use all and any means to take them down. This is like using the black hat tactics and using them against them, using the same malware, viruses and other strategies to compromise machines from inside out.

Their motive

Find out and destroy all the black hat criminals

Who do they target as a group or individually

Black hat hackers and are working to steal other government secrets for national security purposes.

State and Nation Sponsored Hackers – Backed by Agencies

State and Nation Sponsored Hackers

These are hired by the government to get access to systems of other nations. What they do is get all the confidential information in preparation for a potential upcoming attack or even threat. Moreover, they also keep a pulse on sensitive situations that can be threatening in the near future. Keep in mind that criminals are hired especially by government agencies.

Their motive

Monitor and prevent all threats at the international level.

Who do they target as a group or individually

International thefts and criminals

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Malicious Insider – Spies

These are criminals who employ attacks from within the organization they are working for. Now, this can be due to any personal grudge against someone they work for or to find out or expose any illegal activity inside the organization.

Their motive

Exploit private information of the organization

Who do they target as a group or individually

Business leaders and internal executives

Hacktivists – Motivated by politics

This one plays on the word activist as these are someone who gets into the government networks and systems to get attention to a political or social cause. They use this to protest to get all information from the government used for political and social reasons.

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Their motive

To put light on any political or social cause

Who do they target as a group or individually

Government agencies

Elite Hackers

These are cherry on the top and are seemed to be the highest skilled thefts in their field. They are able to first discover and look for cutting-edge attack methods and are well-known to be innovators in the world of hacking.

Their motive

Perform advanced cyberattacks on both organizations and individuals.

Who do they target as a group or individually

Corporations high in revenue

Cryptojackers – Looking for Finance

They are well-known to exploit network vulnerabilities and steal system resources to mine for Cryptocurrency. In different ways, they are able to spread out malware especially by planting infectious viruses across the web. The tactics like viruses and ransomware are used to plant on the victim’s system malicious code which works in the background without them knowing. Once they are planted down results are sent back to the criminal.

They are taught to spot at the code can go undetected for a longer time. It becomes quite difficult to trace down the source of infection once it gets discovered as their main motive is not to steal data of the victim but to use their system as a Cryptocurrency mining.

Their motive

Cryptocurrency mining

Who do they target as a group or individually

Any organization or individual has networks that are not secured.

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Game Hackers – Bypassing security mechanisms for advantage

These mostly have their focus on all the competitors in the world of gaming. As the gaming world is getting more and higher in demand it is no surprise that a category like this has emerged. Professionals spend thousands of dollars on high-performance hardware and gaming credits, also they make attempts to steal others’ credit caches or cause distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks so they get out of the game.

Their motive

Compromise gaming competitors

Who do they target as a group or individually

Gamers of high profile and accounts

Botnet Creators – A new one

These are coders of malware who are able to create bots to perform high-volume attacks on as many devices as it is possible. Typically it is used to keep in target routers, cameras and other IoT devices. What they do is look out for devices that are not secured and then plant themselves in. They can be directly used by the criminal who created them but can also be purchased from the dark web for other criminals to take benefit.

Their motive

Compromise high volume of network systems

Who do they target as a group or individually

All whose routers and wifi connected devices are not secured

To keep yourself safe from all such criminals and thefts is to have a good anti-virus installed on your system.

Keep Reading:


How many hacker types exist

Hackers come in various different types and we have now explained all the types and what they do in great detail above. There are also various different types and what their operations are or their inner-working patterns. We have tried to add all but if there is any missing please let us know and we will add it here. Also, which one would you like to become in the future?

Shaheer is the founder of SecuredYou. He is a cybersecurity freak and loves anything related to Computers and Technology. Apart from being a tech geek, he loves listening to music and going to the gym.


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