Essential Hacking Terms and Definitions

I have tried to explain a few hacking terms in the simple ways possible, every effort has been taken to be original and simplistic in terms of definition and explanation.

These are important to understand, as they will give you an idea of how things are and what works behind any online hack and data theft.

This article is just an attempt to make people aware and spread the knowledge, of how one can be protected in this highly vulnerable world where data flows and goes through various channels and networks.

Types of Hackers

There are various types of a hacker but prominently we can categorize them into three main types:

  • White Hat Hacker or good hacker
  • Grey Hat Hacker or conditional hacker
  • Black Hat Hacker or evil hacker

So let’s understand each of them in more detail

1. White Hat Hacker:

A ‘White Hat Hacker’ refers to an ‘Ethical Hacker or Computer security expert’.

White hat hackers are those hackers who use their skills to check and improve security, by locating and fixing the existing vulnerabilities in a system.

They use their skills for the benefit of society and organizations. White hat hackers are hired by businesses, organizations, and companies to check for vulnerabilities in their systems in order to protect them from a hacker.

The white-hat hacker first takes the required permission from the owner of the company and then legally tries to hack their system to find vulnerabilities.

If the hacker is able to hack their system or finds any vulnerabilities in their system, the company pays them to fix it, these types of hackers are also known as ‘Good Hackers’ because they never violate any laws of ethical hacking.

2. Grey Hat Hacker:

A ‘Grey Hat Hacker’ is a type of hacker or security expert who may sometimes break laws of ethical hacking but with good intentions.

These hackers hack the system without the consent of the business, company, or organization but after hacking or after finding vulnerabilities in the system they report it to the owners.

The intention of a grey hat hacker is not to violate the rules and regulations and further not to use or leak the obtained data for its own benefit.

They also work for the public welfare; if the company or business is involved in corrupt activities they leak their data to the public but it is still illegal according to the laws of ethical hacking and if found guilty they (grey hat hackers) will be detained.

NOTE: Before hacking any system always take proper permission from the organization, business, or company involved.

3. Black Hat Hacker

Black hat hackers are hackers that hack for their own gain. They use all sorts of illegal ways and techniques to get into a system. They target social media accounts, companies, organizations, and even banks. They will try to hack whatever comes their way.

Important: It is illegal and you will be jailed if you do black hat hacking.

Ways of Hacking

There are many ways to hack a system. I will make you understand some basic ways of hacking hackers use:-

1. Phishing:

Phishing is an attempt to acquire sensitive information such as your username, password, credit card details, and much more.

How phishing works:

In phishing, the hacker creates a fake login page or a website that looks like the original one and somehow persuades you to login on to this fake website or login page.

They make use of fake offers, promises, or any other eye-catching elements. This can be done by means of SMS, MMS, pop-ups, banners, and fake ads.

The fake websites created by a Black hat hacker are sometimes so convincing that it gets very difficult to differentiate between the real website and the fake website.

These types of fake websites are created through coding and private servers in such a way that it makes it almost impossible for authorities to track the hacker.

When you visit these fake websites and pages, you are asked to log in using your username and password. Once you’ve entered your login details they get stored in the hacker’s server and you are hacked.

By this method, many criminal-minded people are stealing and selling information from common people who do not have proper knowledge of cybersecurity and hacking.

2. keylogger:

A keylogger is a type of surveillance software (considered to be either software or spyware that can record every key which you type from your virtual keyboard or from your physical or inbuilt keyboard) that composes a log file which is usually encrypted and it records instant messages, e-mails or any other information you type with the help of your keyboard.

So whenever you enter anything on your device with the help of its keyboard it will be secretly stored in the keylogger.

There are two types of key loggers:

A) Software keylogger:

These types of keyloggers are installed on or hidden in a computer and are very difficult to detect. Whenever someone types in that computer the software stores the keystrokes in an encrypted file without the permission of the owner.

Software keyloggers are primarily of two types:

1. Those which are installed by the owner of the system and do not require the internet for their work.

2. Those which are installed by a third party software and do require the internet for their work.

B) Physical keylogger:

This type of keylogger is mostly observed to be present in public computers like those of cyber cafés.

The physical keylogger is connected to the system and whenever you type something in this system it gets stored in the keylogger and thus these details can further be used by the hacker.

Types of data key logger store

Everything that you type on a computer with a keylogger installed in it gets stored. It will store all of your data like your bank account details, card details, personal chat, personal data, etc.

How to protect from keyloggers?

Always avoid entering personal information on a public computer and before using the computer check if you find any keylogger installed on it. In case you do than report it to the authorities.

3. Man-in-the-middle attack

As the name suggests ‘Man-in-the-middle attack’ is a type of hacking attempt by intercepting the victim’s communication.

Let’s understand this with an example:

You are using the internet through Wi-Fi so all the data which you send or receive goes through the Wi-Fi.

If the hackers are able to intercept the communication between the server and your device (the data which you are sending or receiving through the internet) they can easily access all your data and also make changes to it.

These types of attacks are mainly done on Wi-Fi routers having lower security. Those people who use public Wi-Fi have more chances of getting hacked so avoid using public Wi-Fi.

4. Malware Attack

A malware attack is performed by the use of malware which is a type of software specifically coded to access the data of the victim’s device. Malware is usually downloaded from a fake website into a computer without the consent of the owner.

Once downloaded into a computer, the malware starts to download other malicious software. Malware can affect all types of operating systems like Windows, Android, macOS, and IOS.

Always try to download applications from respective app stores to protect your device from malware and viruses.

Note: Malware is mainly downloaded when you try to download pirated content like games, movies, software, etc, or visit websites like porn websites when you install this software it may also install and store in your system.

Types of malware:

Viruses, spyware (for stealing sensitive information), ransomware, adware (for forced advertising to earn profits), Trojan horses, zombie computers (for email spam), and many other types.

So let’s now understand more about spyware and how its works

Spyware-It is a type of software, command line, or a program that steals data (personal details like your password, credit card, personal image, or any other data) from your pc mobile and computer and sends this data to their owner (hacker).

These types of malware (spyware) are mainly downloaded on your pc which you download anything from the internet.

Basically, it is mainly seen that when you try to download pirated content like movies, games, software, etc from the internet this small spyware is also downloaded with them because the software has thousands of files to install them, and this spyware is attached with and download in your system and normal people cannot detect them and when you install this software they also install in your system(in the files so it can’t be detectable easily) and when you connect to the internet this spyware start their function and sends personal data like your bank details which you enter earlier for online payment and also sends your personal other data to their owner and many times the owner of the spyware leak this data and it gives great loss to the people and if the spyware install in the system of organization/business/company it may lead to great damage for the organization/company/business because
in today’s world maximum of the data of the organization/business/company is stored in their system or internet server.

Note- if you are using the system of your organization or your personal computer where your personal data is stored then try to avoid downloading unwanted files from the internet and use good anti-virus to protect the system.

5. Denial of service attack (DDOS ATTACK)

Denial of service attack (Dos or DDoS attack) is a type of cyber attack in which the victim’s website is flooded with the traffic of fake users created by the hacker to make slow down their website or makes them temporarily unavailable for the real user of the website, it creates a great loss to the website owner. Let’s now understand in some more detail with an example Let’s suppose you are a website owner where you are selling clothes for men and women and you are one the best seller any other person who also want to start the same business and want to sell clothes online but you are the best seller so why people visit on their website to buy clothes.

So the people make dos an attack or hire black hat hackers to perform dos attack their website and make your website temporarily unavailable for their buyers and then by using marketing he/she can attract these buyers from your website and earn profit from it. Now the question arises what are the benefits of hacking and how does this attack perform?

So first we will understand how dos attack performs The hacker sends fake users to the victim’s website which leads to more traffic on their website and as we know that every website has limited (e.g. how many people visit a website in per second) let’s suppose your website can handle 100 people per second but the hacker sends suppose 150 or 200 users per second.

Note – before performing the dos attack the hacker that complete information regards your website like who is the owner of the company website, their address their server address, limit, and many other required things before hacking the website.
It is because the denial of service is an illegal and criminal offense.

After getting all the information the hacker performs dos attack on the victim’s website which leads to more traffic and the website will become temporarily down or not respond here the hacker’s work will be complete after this attack real user of the website which is buying a product from the website is unable to buy which lead to the great loss to the owner of the website and the competitor can attract these audiences or buyers to their website.

Now let’s understand are benefits of a dose attack on the hacker.
The hacker didn’t have any profit from them but it leads to damage to the owner of the website. This attack is mostly used to take revenge the revenge to the owner of the website and the hacker will be jailed because of the DDoS attack in terms of ethical hacking.

WARNING: – ALL the ways are illegal and you will be jailed if you are for illegal purposes. So before using these ways please take proper and complete permission from the owner of the company, or organization.


In today’s growing world of the internet millions of people come online daily and serve the internet and also many companies are also on the internet to sell their services or product online but with the growth of the internet social crime is also growing with the internet and hacker also try different methods to hack you to steal your personal details like your bank details social media account or any other personal details which affect your life.

Growing the internet also leads to growing crime.

By learning some basic steps of hacking you may protect yourself from stealing your

  • Bank details
  • Personal details
  • Personal chat
  • Card details
  • Business data and many others.

In the growing world of online business, they need to protect their data also from hackers so these organizations businesses or companies hire cyber-security hackers (white-hat hackers- to check the vulnerabilities or security of the system, and they are paid a very good amount of money and this is also one of the most reputed works in the field of internet and it also gives opportunities to many people to make carrier in this field.


As we know all companies are now coming online to sell their product or services from the digital medium.
Digital service is also growing with time daily ‘millions’ of people use the internet to transfer money or to buy something online or to buy products or services online and many companies depend on the internet for their business but black hat hacker uses the internet in different ways to hack so to protect the companies or organizations.

The white-hat hacker is hired by the business to check the vulnerabilities in their system because now these days, many important data or the business are stored in their system or on the internet.

Let’s take an example for a better understanding

Now maximum of banks are online and millions of people excess their bank account online and transfer money (digital money) from one account to another or for digital/online payment.

If any of these bank websites will hack it will create a great loss of money and the users of the bank get disturbed they did not access their money or use their money because all the money of the bank is under the control of the hacker and it also creates a great loss of money.

So to protect these websites, the bank or business/organization/companies hire ‘white hat hackers to protect their system from ‘black hat hackers’ and from time to time they will update their security so no one can hack their system and they can be protected from social attacks.

Now many ‘white hat hackers’ works for a particular company/business/organization because ‘black hat hackers’ always try to find new methods of hacking.

Here the ‘white hat hackers’ plays an important role to help them to protect the companies/organizations/business from these hackers and we know that with time the need for ‘white hat hacker’ is also increased.

In the cybersecurity field, you did not need any particular type of certification or degree for their work but if you have a degree or certification of white hat it also helps to grow in your field.

Anyone can get work in these fields if they have talent or skills and if you want to make a carrier in this field it is one the best-paying job in the field of cybersecurity and it is also good for those people who are interested in learning something new.

If you are finding any job in the field of internet or technology or if you are belonging to the engineering field then it may also help you to get better jobs and new opportunities.

There we understand that the need for white hat hackers is also increasing with time and it is a new opportunity for people in this field. But in hacking always choose white hat hacking because it is legal.

Certification for a white-hat hacker

Basically in the field of cybersecurity, you do not need any proper certification for the job because the work of white-hat hackers depends upon their skills and how he/she protect the companies from their skills many reputed hackers worldwide did not have a certification but they have good position so if you have skills then on basis of your skills you will get paid in this filed. But it did not mean certification is nothing in this field many organizations hire people according to their certification.

The worldwide most reputed organization named EC COUNCIL is the most popular organization that conducts examinations for white hat hackers complete details about the examination or certification and their criteria are available on their website and the syllabus of the examination is also on their website.


  1. Protection against phishing
  2. Spyware or malware attack
  3. Carding
  4. Key logger
  5. USB hacking
  6. Email spam and urgency account span
  7. The distinction between real and fake web websites.
  8. Benefits of anti-virus and how to use it properly

1. Protection against phishing

It is one of the most popular ways to hack and most hackers use this in different types to hack the victim. Here we are going to understand how you can protect your personal and important data from this hacker.

The hacker has different ways to send you on this website like throw emails(mainly) or throw the web and many other ways. In this topic, we basically deal with how hacker hacks your data throw email.

Because email is one of the most popular ways to take you to this website. By any mean hackers wants to take you to these fake website or pages by any methods hacker use some common way to influence you to these websites like by mail, promotional offer or discount or throw website.

To protect yourself from phishing from mail then follow the given points below

  • Don’t click or open those emails which are in the spam folder of your email box because Google or other email providing company reviews with this mail from the last history. And sometimes throw these mail some additional files also attached malware
  • Check the mail id of the sender (hackers easily bypass this)
  • Compare that mail with other mail of a particular company or organization
  • Check the word mistake or grammar mistakes (because in the reputed company’s mail, we may not see any mistakes in word or grammar
  • If you think these entire things are correct and when you click on the website first check the URL of the website.

Note- sometimes some emails in the spam box are not spamming they are just mistakenly added to the spam email box.

To protect yourself from phishing from the web or any other source then follow the given points below

  • First, check the security of the website like(HTTPS)
  • Then check the URL of the website.

Let’s take an example for a better understanding

E.g. 1 –

The hacker buys the related domain of original websites like or now you are thinking everything is a book but now check the spelling of the website (original website ) in the first one’s” is extra and second having “O” extra and you may think It is ok and you ignore this but this is fake phishing which is created to hack you (to protect users from these different domain related to the original website the owner of the website also buy some related domain but something these are already registered and hacker or the owner these websites sometimes misuse them.)

E.g. 2-

you may have sometimes seen that many big companies use their sub.

A domain like but the hacker also misuse them, they buy a domain or make a domain like but the people might think it is real and the spelling of Facebook is also correct here the hacker uses a subdomain in a different way so to protect themself also check complete URL, .in, .xyz, web, etc.

2. Spyware or malware attack

If you are using the system of any organization, company, a business where the data of the company is stored or connected to a company server where all personal information of the company is stored they should avoid downloading unwanted data from an unauthorized website.

In your system and always try to download data from “reputed websites” and always use a good antivirus to protect because some malware will install in your computer by any means because they are very small and bind to other software or files of your system.

If you are using your personal computer then also try to avoid downloading unwanted software from an unauthorized website and always use anti-virus.

A Note- Basic step of protection is the same for all.

The biggest mistake most people do – After installing an anti-virus most people didn’t update the anti-virus, it leads to creating low security for the system so the new malware which is new for anti-virus antivirus did not detect because thousands of new malware are created daily and the anti-virus companies update their anti-virus to fight against malware, they update them regularly but many the people did not install the latest version of anti-virus so it leads a passage for the malware and the anti-virus did not work as a barrier between system and the malware.

So to protect your system from a virus you need to update your anti-virus so it can work more efficiently and helps you to keep your data safe.

Now we know how you can protect your system from malware.

i. If your system is slow below normal sometimes because malware duplicates very fast in the system and it takes more memory from your system and due to which your system will become slow because they did not get proper memory for their function.

ii. If your system is consuming more battery than normal sometimes when you connect through the internet it happens because malware starts its functions and sends data to its owner.

Note- sometimes your system may be slow or consume more battery because sometimes companies slow their old devices when they are launching a new version of the system or something is happening due to when you are using more applications or using high processing software in the low capacity device.

iii. Those devices which are affected by malware create unwanted ads on your system screen. (something is happening due to the internal software of the system which is by default installed by the brand of the system.

3. Carding

Carding is another way for hacking where hackers hack your bank card details by different methods how can you protect yourself?

Definition-Carding is nothing just a way to get the credit card details of the victims by different methods
Let’s now understand the mechanism of carding –

a. When you buy a service or a product through the internet and pay money through your credit card which is issued by your bank and when you enter your card details on this website the website store your data on their server for future payment now suppose the website will hack them your card details which are stored on the website server are now in the control of hacker and now the hacker can use your card for future payments which gives you a great loss of money.

b. The hacker can create a website or through marking offer you a discount a take you to their website and when you enter your card details for the payment the hacker can get excess your card and can transfer your money for personal use and it also gives a great loss of money to you.

c. In the above two ways, hackers hack your card details throw the internet but one more way of carding is possible.

Let’s suppose you are buying something throw a supermarket near your house and you are paying money through your card. When you swipe your card in their machine for the payment.

Here the machine can store your card details and it also gets your pin when you enter now the supermarket owner or hacker uses your card and gives you a great loss of money.

Here we understand how carding is performed now we will understand how can you protect yourself from it Online If you are paying money online through your card also check whether the website is real or not and also check the security of the website (e.g. check HTTPS) or also prefer HTTPS because it is more secure then HTTP website.

Here HTTPS website gives you extra protection against hacking.

Always do the payment on a website that is reputed in the marketplace and secure and avoid the websites which are giving you a lot of discounts because mostly these websites are fake and they just hack your card details and your other personal data. Here I am not talking about the entire website.

If a reputed website gives you this type of discount then you can use this website for payment because they are genuine and highly secure (with some exceptions).

Note- when you will know that your account has been hacked or someone is using your card details without your permission than as soon as possible information to your respective bank or your issued credit card company and block your card temporarily.

4. Key logger

We have already disused key loggers and their types.

Keylogger is of two types :

a. Software keylogger.

b. Physical or hardware key logger

Now it’s time to understand each of them,

a) Software key logger As we already know software is installed in our system and saves all the Commands done with the help of our keyboard.

To protect yourself from hacking always try to use your own computer for personal uses like for your bank account or social media account you already know that some key logger is also installed through the internet and sends data to their owner to protect from this you can use good anti-virus to protect.

b) Physical or hardware key logger We already know that a physical or hardware key logger is mostly present in a public computers where different people use this computer to excess their accounts.

It is mostly seen in cyber café computers and the owner of the cyber café can excess the information which you enter through your keyboard like email, bank details, social media account password, or other data if you ever saw a physical key logger in a cyber café computer you can complain in the cyber branch of police and the police will help you and file case against cyber café owner why cyber café owner use these physical key logger if the owner can’t explain then they will be jailed for the use of physical key logger and to use people account without their permission.

Uses/ benefits of key logger like as

  1. The key logger can be used by the parents to monitor the online activities of their children and protect their children if he/she doing anything wrong on the internet.
  2. The key logger may be useful for the organization because the owner of the logger can monitor the working activity of their employees and monitor if the employees were doing anything wrong or doing work against the organization or companies.

5. USB hacking :

You might many a time had heard that don’t use any other people’s pen drives because the virus may be present in the pen drive of that person then that virus may also transmit to our system.

After all, many malware duplicates very rapidly, and when you insert that malware-infected pen drive the malware attached to the files of that pen drive also enters your system and binds with your files due to duplication of malware it will infect your complete computer and the hacker get excess to your computer due to which your system will consume more memory of your system due to which your system will become slow and when the computer connects to the internet the malware sends all the data to their owner and due to which the system will consume more battery than normal and the system will consume more internet then normal or before malware attack and most important all the data of your system is now in the control under the hacker.

Some malware is also present in a new pen drive so always buy the pen drive of big brands before uploading data in the pen drive first format them so the malware will not affect your system.


To protect from USB hacking did not use an unwanted Pendrive and before accessing the pen drive always scan them with a good anti-virus so the chances of protection against USB hacking increase. It is the easiest way of protection against USB hacking.

6. Email spam and urgency account span

It is the same as phishing where the hacker sends you mail and create urgency for you to exceed your account as it may send you have not used your account for many time or your account has been hacked or the company update their policy by this method or any other method they can create urgency and you will think it is original mail from the company because it looks same as official mail of the website and when you click on the given link to excess the website you will redirect to a fake website which is created by the hacker and when you enter your details and click on login button all the details were store in hacker’s server and now hacker get the excess of your account now
the hacker uses your account for their benefit.

How to protect from it

  • The company never sends you these types of mail.
  • If you get this type of mail always contact your companies regarding the mail.
  • After clicking the URL check the URL of the website. These are some basic ways you can protect yourself from cyber-attacks.

7. The distribution between a real and fake website

We have discussed the majority of the distribution between real and fake web pages now here we are going to understand more about this topic.

Let’s take an example for better understanding let’s assume two pages one of them is real and the other one is fake.

In the first check, the URL of the website is and the other one is are you find any difference between them?

No, now again see the URL and check the spelling of Facebook, have you found any difference between them,

Yes, so by buying a similar domain of a related website the hacker hacks your personal data
and we already discussed how the hacker takes you on these websites.

Here is the second example for better understanding Before understanding things let’s understand some basic things related to web designing and domain.

Many times you have seen that many big companies e.g. use their subdomain for their website like here is the main domain and here the word YouTube work as a sub-domain.

So let’s understand how hackers use this for hacking:

Those people who know the basics about hacking did not fall in the first way of phishing so hackers started using one another may like as they make a subdomain for their website like so when people see the URL they might think everything is ok but this type of pages are fake and created by the hacker for their personal gain.

So now the question arises of how to check whether the page is real or not.

a) Firstly check the security of the website. ( prefer – HTTPS secure website)

b) Then check the URL of the website

There are two types of error

1. Check the spelling of the domain which we discuss in

example-1 – if you find any mistake in the spelling of the website then it is a fake website and copies from the original website to gain your information.

2. Check the complete URL which we disused in

example-2 – if you find that the subdomain or domain is not of the original website and it is created to gain/hack your information by the hacker.

8. Benefits of anti-virus and how to use it properly

A good anti-virus may protect you from much malware spyware and give you an additional sheet of protection from malware attacks and helps you to keep your data safe but many types the malware will infect your system in the presence of an anti-virus this is happening due to when people do not update their anti-virus or the anti-virus company did not update their anti-virus to protect against new malware attack.

So always try to keep your system from updated anti-virus which does not 100% protect you but it protects you in many ways and it helps to keep your data personal.

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