The Narus Group has detailed the various profiles of hackers to help companies better understand what they’re up against. Hackers have different motives, goals, and backgrounds. Some are just in it for the money (even though the average hacker’s income isn’t very impressive), some want fame, and some want to simply show what they can do. Understanding who hackers are and what they want can help you better protect your online business. However, no matter who a hacker is, upgrading to a virtual private server hosting package, improving your security settings, and practicing good habits, like frequent password changes, are all critical.
Photo – Adeanna Cooke is an amateur computer programmer and a well-established hacker. She also has a modelling career and performed in movies & advertisement.
The Cyber Warrior is often driven by national interests and often focuses on spreading misinformation while launching cyber warfare. These hackers are often highly skilled and very motivated. Their MOs are often malware, sniffers, Trojans, and APTs while targeting government, tech, energy and utilities, government agencies, and defense.
What a Hack
The Professional Mercenary is commercially motivated and has great skills. They’re ruthless, seem to have no moral compass, and have a lot of resources and organization to get the job done. Their goal is to steal information, corporate or personal, especially financial in order to enjoy themselves or sell on a black market. They enjoy the same MOs as the Cyber Warrior and target retail, financial sectors, and healthcare fields.
You also have the Principled Idealist, who’s driven by an agenda and is a Robin Hood-type who gets motivation from helping others, righting wrongs, and making a stand for the little guy. Some might say the Anonymous hacking group falls into this category. They often despise corporate and government policy and have an organization level similar to a terrorist cell. Skill levels vary and the ultimate goal is operation destruction. They prefer DDOS attacks, Trojans, malware, and botnets to take down defense organizations, tech companies, and government agencies.
Rounding it Out
The Malicious Insider is an employee or ex-employee motivated by idealism or a chip on their shoulder. They have insider information, usually work solo, are knowledgeable, and are often after proprietary IP addresses or trade secrets. They launch data theft through email, aiming for server disruption.
Finally, there’s the Nationalist. Their level of skill varies, but it often falls into the low or mid-range. They usually work from home or are otherwise a proxy employee. They want IP addresses and trade secrets just like the Malicious Insider. However, they use malware, Trojans, DDOS attacks, and SQL Injections to get the job done.
In the US, the average number of security incidents is nearly 5,000 per year with a big chunk dedicated to industrial product companies. However, keep in mind that this is a general grouping of hackers, and they won’t all fall cleanly into one category. Some are driven by completely different purpose while others dabble in a number of profiles. As a website owner, it’s important to take action to prevent hacks from occurring—many of which can be stopped with minimal measures.