Black Hat definition in Cybersecurity

A black hat refers to an individual with extensive computing knowledge whose purpose is to breach or bypass internet security for personal gain or malicious reasons. The term originates from old Western movies where the villain typically wears a black hat. In contrast to white hat, ethical hackers who help organizations identify security flaws, black hats exploit these vulnerabilities, often breaking laws and ethical standards.

Black hat activities can include creating and distributing malware, stealing personal or financial information, launching denial of service attacks, and hacking into networks without permission. Their motivations can range from financial gain to political agendas or simply the challenge of breaking into secure systems.