In a time of advanced and evolving cyber threats, people need to use every available resource to be safe. The criminals behind these cyber-attacks are usually a lot more intelligent and capable than one might assume.

Hacking a network requires specific skills, understanding, and tools. These crimes are not simple to orchestrate and are growing more complex daily. Cybersecurity measures alone are not always enough. That’s why white hat hackers are there to lend a helping hand.

What Is White Hat Hacking? Definition

White hat hacking is a form of ethical hacking in which professionals are legally hired by a company to try to infiltrate its systems. This practice allows companies to find weaknesses and vulnerabilities in their security.

Once inside, a white hat hacker can provide an assessment of the cybersecurity measures in place and can suggest improvements. This feedback can be used to reinforce critical areas in the network.

Who Are White Hat Hackers?

A white hat hacker is a cybersecurity expert, consultant, or employee paid to hack into a system by the system’s owner. Think of white hat hacking as fighting fire with fire. Using their knowledge, skills, and trade secrets, a white hat hacker ensures tried-and-tested protection.

A white hat hacker might be someone who was previously a cybercriminal – or a black hat hacker. These hackers can change their ways and switch to the right team. White hat hackers can help to undermine potential cyber-attacks, reinforce cybersecurity, and keep governments and regulators informed.

White Hat Hacker & White Hat Hacking

Is White Hat Hacking Ethical Hacking?

When people hear the word “hacking”, the immediate assumption is cybercrime. However, not all hacking is bad. White hat hacking is ethical hacking by nature because it has the consent of the owner to carry out the hack.

While these professionals might use the same skills and tools as cybercriminals, they’re licensed with permission. White hat hackers also respect the laws of privacy, confidentiality, and security.

However, not all of these skilled experts hold such high moral ground. That’s where we find the different shades of hacking.

The Difference Between White Hat Hacking vs. Black Hat Hacking

A black hat hacker is the hostile and criminal variant. These black hat hackers will access systems illegally, deploy malware, steal data, and more. Find more interesting information on what motivates black hat hackers here. The main difference between a black hat and a white hat hacker is essentially motivation.

White Hat Hacker Black Hat Hacker
Legally employed Not employed by the company
Known intrusion Unknown intrusion
Good intentions Bad intentions
Deploys malware to test the security Deploys malware for personal gain
Deploys malware to test the security Deploys malware for personal gain
Respects data privacy and confidentiality Steals data to sell, expose, or hold hostage
Upholds the law Upholds selfish personal or political ideals
Informs companies of vulnerabilities Exploits vulnerabilities


White Hat Hacking Techniques

The majority of the tools used by white hat hackers are also used by black hat hackers. These include:

Penetration Testing

A penetration test – or Pen testing – is a way of simulating a cyber-attack on a system to gauge its response. This technique is used by an organization or white hat hackers to test the security in place.

Email Phishing

Phishing scams are a leading gateway for a cyber-attack. A white hat hacker can make use of a legal phishing scam – or “anti-phishing” campaign – to seek out weak areas in a network. These exercises can also help to establish employee protocols and cyber hygiene habits where necessary.

DoS and DDoS Attacks

A Denial-of-Service or Distributed Denial-of-Service attack aims to halt operations. This technique can also be used by ethical hackers to test the response of the company and its employees to a DoS or DDoS attack. It can also provide feedback on how to improve that response and the security preventing the attacks.

Social Engineering

A social engineering attack manipulates the trust, curiosity, or fear of unsuspecting victims to carry out a cyber-attack. Essentially, they count on human error and bad cyber hygiene to access a network. White hats might use these methods to educate employees and single out vulnerable spots on the team.

Security Scanning

White hat hackers can use different scanning tools to automatically spot weak areas in a security wall. These findings can then be used to draft up a better cybersecurity response plan or to invest in better cybersecurity measures.

A white hat hacker might also use documented public rootkits, attack decoys, spoofing protocols, and many more.

How to Become a White Hat Hacker

Having the right skills isn’t always all that it takes to become a white hat hacker. Like any other job, there are a lot of different requirements. The job is not an easy one and companies need to place their trust in someone reliable.

Some of the basic certifications or programs that might be needed or that you could look into to become a white hat hacker include:

Apart from requirements that look good on paper, you have to have the social skills and etiquette to instill trust. Some of the more personal or behavioral requirements include:

  • An understanding of the EC-Council’s code of ethics.
  • Integrity to always do the lawful and right thing.
  • A commitment to never associate with unethical hackers, malicious activities, or criminal behavior.
  • Impeccable problem-solving and organizational skills.
  • Great communication skills.
  • The ability to work both independently and in a team.
  • Ability to work well under pressure and stay calm in tense situations.

Sangfor Technologies offers a variety of advanced, affordable, and intensive platforms that you can use to secure your network. Make the most out of your cybersecurity by investing in a provider that understands the threats you face.

For more information on Sangfor’s cyber security and cloud computing solutions, visit


Contact Us for Business Inquiry

Listen To This Post


Get in Touch

Get in Touch with Sangfor Team for Business Inquiry

Related Glossaries

Cyber Security

What Is Zombie Attack in Cybersecurity

Date : 11 Oct 2023
Read Now

Cyber Security

What is SOC 2 Compliance?

Date : 03 Oct 2023
Read Now

Cyber Security

What Is BYOD Security?

Date : 28 Sep 2023
Read Now

See Other Product

Cyber Command - NDR Platform
Endpoint Secure
Internet Access Gateway (IAG)
Sangfor Network Secure - Next Generation Firewall
Sangfor Access Secure