A hacker is a person who hunts for security gaps in computer hardware and software infrastructure with the actions driven by various intentions.
“Hacking generally refers to unauthorized intrusion into a computer or a network. The person engaged in hacking activities is known as a hacker. This hacker may alter system or security features to accomplish a goal that differs from the original purpose of the system.
Hacking can also refer to non-malicious activities, usually in an evolving unusual or improvised alteration to equipment or processes.” – Technopedia. 
History of the term ‘Hacker’
The term hacker was defined for the first time during the 1950s when computers and those working on them became more accessible. The word ‘hacker’ was used to define someone who explored the details and limits of technology by testing them from a variety of angles. 
By late 1980s, the term got associated with teenagers as they were caught intruding into government computer systems. Today, many leading hackers are running a large business of cybersecurity consulting firms. So, that is how we have got multiple versions of hackers driven by good, bad, or both these intentions.
When we talk about hackers, we tend to think of a notorious guy wearing a ski-mask and filling green-colored text on his laptop screen. However scary that would look, it holds little truth. As we have good and bad people in the world, hackers are also driven by their methodologies, agenda, and skill practice. This article will help you in understanding the most popular types of hackers as well as lesser-known versions of hackers.
Types of Hackers
1. White Hat Hackers
White hat hackers or ethical hackers are known to many of us for their ethical behavior. They are the cybersecurity experts who are hired by government and private organizations to hack their systems and surface the vulnerabilities most ethically. Ethical hackers penetrate and identify loopholes to protect the IT infrastructure from other malicious cyber attackers.
In short, these are the right people who hack your system intending to find vulnerabilities and help you in protecting it from malware or other types of attacks.
2. Black Hat Hacker
Black hat hackers are the real culprits that we should be worried about. Whenever you hear about an incident, remember that a black hat hacker is behind it.
These attackers are inspired mostly by monetary benefit or other criminal intention. They usually target financial institutions, healthcare, or businesses where they can reach the crucial personal information. These hackers also intrude the personal computers of individuals to access personal business and financial information.
3. Gray Hat Hackers
Gray hat hackers stand in the mid of white hat and black hat hackers. Though they may not use the hacked information for personal gains, however, their act is backed by both good as well as bad intentions.
For example, a gray hat hacker intrudes an organization’s infrastructure and leaks the vulnerability over the internet or informs this to the management, to prove his hacking skills or to ruin the brand image.
A gray hat hacker does not take any information from the victim organization while intruding their network. That means he is not a white hat hacker. Neither he holds any legal authorization to hack the organization’s infrastructure to consider him like a black hat hacker either.
In brief, a gray hat hacker is someone who hacks without ethical permissions but does not use the compromised data for any benefit.
4. Script Kiddies
An amateur hacker who has no good coding skills usually download ready tools or uses available hacking codes from other developers and hackers to impress their friends or gain attention.
Script Kiddies don’t care about learning the hacking script seriously. They launch an attack without bothering about its quality by using off-the-shelf codes and tools. The most common cyberattacks by script kiddies would include DoS and DDoS attacks.
5. Green Hat Hackers
Green hat hackers are similar to Script Kiddies, but they have the curiosity to learn to code to hack. They often join and follow online hacking communities and gets into a potential discussion with fellow hackers. They are amateurs with a passion for learning more about the hacking trade. They will always be loaded with a lot of curious questions and will seek replies like a pro.
6. Blue Hat Hackers
Blue Hat Hackers are also similar to Script Kiddies who are a novice with an agenda to take revenge on personal reasons. They don’t have any willingness to grow as a hacker and learn to script. Their attacks can be as simple as flooding IP by sending an overloaded packet, which will result in DoS attacks.
Any script kiddie with a revengeful motive can be considered as a blue hat hacker.
7. Red Hat Hackers
Red hat hackers are similar to white hat hackers in a way that their acts are meant to restrict the actions of black hat hackers. However, they are ruthless, and that is what makes them different from other hackers.
They are aggressive by nature and thus launches a series of attacks on the hacker that may force the hacker to replace the entire system. Red hat hackers believe in taking down the black hat hacker instead of reporting a malicious attack.
8. State/ Nation Sponsored Hackers
These hackers are hired by the state or national government to snoop in and penetrate other country’s IT infrastructure. A respective government executes hacking with complete security to gain confidential information related to targeted government.
This is done either to retrieve sensitive information or to demonstrate the vulnerabilities of the victim nation. The hacking government allocates an unlimited budget and applies extremely advanced tools while targeting companies, individuals, or agencies of rival countries.
Hacktivist is an online version of an activist. Like a social activist propagandized a social, political, or religious agenda, hacktivist does the same online. Hacktivists believe that they can bring social changes by opposing the acts of government. They hack government and organizations information to express their disapproval against any movement.
10. Malicious Insider or Whistleblower
A whistleblower or a malicious hacker is a strategic employee who either operates individually or has been compromised by rivals to garner trade secrets. This is often done by competitor agencies to retrieve trade information and stay ahead in the competition. These hackers can benefit rivals as they are aware of the entire system.
To conclude, among the different types of hackers, the ethical hacker works in your interest. They are true professionals who dedicatedly contribute their efforts for improving cybersecurity standards online and offline. They are real soldiers who defend the organization from all other hackers and ensure that the business is secured.
In 2019, the global information security spending would exceed $124 billion as against to $114 billion in the previous year.  This shows that the organizations are keenly interested in strengthening their cybersecurity workforce, and hence this creates ample demand. To get into cybersecurity, you should at least have a bachelor’s degree. EC-Council University offers a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Master of Science in Cybersecurity for those cyber enthusiasts who want to make their career in the industry. The bachelor program consists of cybersecurity management, ethical hacking, incidence response, and security threat assessment. The students are entitled to sit for multiple EC-Council certifications after the completion of the degree program. Among the certifications, Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) is included to enable students to launch their career in their desired ethical hacking profession.
EC-Council University is dedicated to creating superior educational programs in the stream of cybersecurity. The programs will equip graduates with the knowledge to assess the latest IT security risks and expert skills to handle them successfully. The university offers Bachelor and Master programs at the degree level. The Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity (BSCS) gives required exposure, builds cybersecurity skills, and develops leadership abilities that help any candidate to grow as a cybersecurity professional. Master of Science in Cybersecurity (MSCS) makes you an expert in desired skills and helps you gain domain knowledge to stand ahead in the competition.
ECCU is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) which is a recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education and is also an acknowledged member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
ECCU has industry practitioners as faculty members who also serve as mentors for the students when they aspire to get into cybersecurity. The iLabs facility from the university helps in gaining hands-on practice for students.