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From massive ransomware attacks that shut down entire business operations for days at a time to data hacks impacting billions of user accounts, cyberattacks have quickly become a major threat in our modern society. While many people associate hackers with lone rogue kids in their bedrooms, the truth is that hacking is a multibillion-dollar industry with highly sophisticated attack methods. In this article, we will explore the different types of hacking and the tools that hackers use to gain access to systems.

Hackers use a variety of programs to explore computer software and hardware systems. While the programs hackers use can vary, all hackers share a set of skills that allow them to manipulate systems and steal information. They also typically have specialized operating systems, such as the open-source penetration testing Linux distribution Kali Linux.

While many hackers hack for financial gains or espionage purposes, other hackers hack for the greater good. These hackers are known as white hat hackers and work to mitigate cybersecurity vulnerabilities that threaten businesses and consumers. These hackers are often employed by the system owners and are paid (sometimes quite well) for their services.

For example, hackers who work with companies such as CDUniverse or RealNames may find security issues that affect millions of users and resolve them before malicious cybercriminals exploit them. Then, the white hat hackers will notify those affected and disclose the flaw to the public. This is often referred to as “pentesting” and it’s an essential part of every company’s cybersecurity strategy.