White hat hackers use their skills to improve security by exposing vulnerabilities before malicious hackers (known as black hat hackers) can detect and exploit them.
A hacker is someone who uses their technical knowledge to breach limitations and security measures on systems. White hat and black hat hacking are two terms used to separate two types of hackers; one who does this to protect the system and the other one who exploits the vulnerability for his/her benefit. The way they do this can vary greatly, but the most common method involves using programming skills to find bugs that allow them to gain access to the system or cause it to behave in ways the creators never intended.
White hat hackers are also known as ethical hackers. They're computer security experts who specialize in testing the vulnerabilities of systems via penetration testing and other testing methodologies that ensure the security of an organization's information systems.
White hat hackers are needed to keep malicious hackers at bay. White hats hack into systems and networks to find vulnerabilities that malicious hackers could exploit for financial gain, fraud, or other nefarious purposes. They then work with the organization in question to fix those vulnerabilities so that they don't become a problem for users and customers.
In some cases, white-hat hacking is also done for sport — an ethical hacker might attempt to publicly expose a software vulnerability discovered by them but did not report to the company responsible for developing and maintaining it. Most commonly, however, white hat hacking is performed by paid professionals who use their skills to improve security in order to protect the privacy and personal information of those who use a given system or network.
The CEH certification is an advanced ethical hacking certification offered by the EC-Council (International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants). It is often touted as one of the most advanced ethical hacking courses currently available. The course teaches students how to look for weaknesses and vulnerabilities in target systems, using the same knowledge and tools as a malicious hacker, but in a lawful and legitimate manner to assess the security posture of a target system(s).
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