What Does Gray Hat Hacker Mean?
A gray hat hacker (also spelled grey hat hacker) is someone
who may violate ethical standards or principles, but without the malicious
intent ascribed to black hat hackers. Gray hat hackers may engage in practices
that seem less than completely above board, but are often operating for the
common good. Gray hat hackers represent the middle ground between white hat
hackers, who operate on behalf of those maintaining secure systems, and black
hat hackers who act maliciously to exploit vulnerabilities in systems.
Techopedia Explains Gray Hat Hacker
Many people see the world of IT security as a black-and-white
world. However, gray hat hacking does play a role in the security environment.
One of the most common examples given of a gray hat hacker is someone who
exploits a security vulnerability in order to spread public awareness that the
vulnerability exists. In this case, experts might say that the difference
between a white hat hacker and a gray hat hacker is that the gray hat hacker exploits the vulnerability publicly, which allows other black hat hackers to
take advantage of it. By contrast, a white hat hacker may do it privately in
order to alert the company, without making the results public.