What is Gray Hat Hacker?
A gray hat hacker is someone who violates ethical standards or principles, but without the malicious intent attributed to black hat hackers. Gray hat hackers can practice practices that seem less than completely overboard, but often work for the common good. Gray hat hackers represent the middle ground between white hat hackers who work on behalf of those who operate secure systems and black hat hackers who act maliciously to exploit security flaws in systems.
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 of a gray hat hacker is someone who takes advantage of a vulnerability to raise awareness that the vulnerability exists.
In this case, experts could say that the difference between a white hat hacker and a gray hat hacker is that the gray hat hacker publicly exploits the vulnerability, which allows other black hat hackers to use it close. In contrast, a white hat hacker can do it privately to warn the company without making the results public.