Black-Hat Hacking (the Dark Tangent of the Internet)
Black-hat is a term that is mainly used to describe individuals who have a superior understanding of IT technology and who use their skills for illegal purposes. Black-hats are not born; they are made because of necessity.
IT professionals turn to black-hat hacking mainly because of the lack of career opportunities where they live, as shown by security company F-Secure in its latest revolutionary YouTube video titled "F-Secure Re: Solution." F-Secure points out that countries that do not have well-developed information technology industries are more likely to become hosts for illegal black-hat hacking activities.
It is important to understand that the clear division between black-hats and white-hats that exists today is primary based on the separation of ethical principles among hackers. While white-hats are willing to share the information they possess for the good of society, black-hats are most keen on selling it to highest bidder.
The background of the organizations who buy black-hat–generated content varies from military institutions to the local Mafia. Information is the most powerful trade in the digital world.
In 2001, eWeek reported that there is a significant raise of black-hat attacks against critical U.S. government, banking and e-commerce websites—all sponsored by the Russian Mafia.
Since then the number of Russian Mafia hacker syndicates has risen dramatically. eWeek commented further:
Authorities said the Russian Mafia members gain access to a company’s computer systems, download proprietary information—such as trade secrets, customer databases, and credit card information—and then demand money to patch the system against other hackers.
Where does all this information go? Who is the end consumer? It is hard to say. However, the truth is that hacking has turned into a 24/7 high-demand business, essential for both sides of the fence.
In 2007, the IT security industry has put a formal face among many countries in the developed world. On the other hand, black-hats are still underground and their number is significantly greater.
In the digital world, hacking is a way to get access to sensitive information that usually costs loads of money, depending on whom they are selling it to. Irresponsible disclosure of private information might lead to the rise and fall of nations.