Talk:Black hat (computer security)

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I agree that a cracker is either one who circumvents some protection, or otherwise brute forces some type of password file


I can't help but think the terms 'black hat' and 'white hat' must come from the Hollywood tradition (in the old cowboy movies) to have the bad guys wear black hats and the good guys white hats. I think this would be important to include if it can be verified. Neil -- (talk) 14:14, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

It could be Spy v Spy, too. --- tqbf 14:17, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Any more precise references to that from some serious sources in the subculture? -- (talk) 10:49, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

Expand and split?[edit]

Why not expand this thread, and split it to refer to the multiple terms? I know that this'll lead to another annoying disambiguation page, and annoying links to fix all over the place, but it should patch up the needs of a few things. And I believe that the whole "Merge" idea has been shot down. (talk) 21:16, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Apparently a compromise has been reached. There is a separate disambiguation page and a link to that page, but most of the content of Black hat (disambiguation) is replicated here. I wonder who thought this was a good idea.-- (talk) 22:27, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

IMO Black Hat should be a DAB, similar to White Hat. The list of movies is already duplicated at Black hat (film) and should stay there. Andrewa (talk) 18:00, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Both the articles Black hat and Black hat (film) have now been stable, with almost 100% duplication and no further comment, for some months. I'm going to WP:be bold and merge to Black hat (film), similarly to White hat (film), and leaving Black hat to eventually become the DAB. Andrewa (talk) 18:26, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Hmmm, except I see a problem... Black Hat (film) would mean a film by the name of Black Hat. True, it wouldn't be Black hat (film), but is the case of the H really enough disambiguation? Andrewa (talk) 01:56, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure what happened to this article but it really does need to be fixed.
The reason it is so difficult to define, unlike that of the grey hat (which deals solely with it's truly neutral view of ethics, where laws may or may not be broken, although when doing so it is done simply because, and not an underlying reason) or white hats (the general IT Security population and its core ethics as well as others who follow corporate requested guidelines and shy away from any activity which could be classed as legally dubious), black hat hackers come in largely broad range insofar as the public definition thereof. For example, someone who uses a sqli to grab a password dump from an online credit authorization company and sells or uses the data for monetary gain could be considered a black hat. Compare this to, for example, the black hat who uses web defacements for political statements. The latter, while illegal, is ethically viewed by the black hats involved not as a crime, but a form of protest not unlike it's real world counter parts, of chalking the side walk, carrying signs around in front of a building and stopping people from entering, and so on. Parallels in this case of black hat hacking can be seen in pretty much all of their actions. Compare a distributed denial of service to protest by sit ins. This is both in action and technical case, synonymous. If a website can only handle 500 requests per second and so you provide 600 with a ddos attack, this differs little in the mind of the activist black hats from sitting in 50 chairs in the waiting lobby of some bank. Legally it is obviously different, but this isn't about legality, it is about the ethics of the black hat in question, to exemplify why "black hat" as a term is so difficult to define.
The issue at hand is thus, the black hat title as per the varying public definitions can be use to describe almost any aspect of hacking that ignores the law, regardless of intent and ethic, while white and grey hat definitions are very strict in all or implicit lack thereof. This article needs some serious work as it doesn't even have any coverage of the the security field. I'd write something but, I don't exactly have a neutral point of view.
What I suggest is that someone take some look at actual research into black hat culture. The problem is it seems that everyone is reverting to the media's black hat definition, which is hyperdefined by television/news/movies as the term black hat seems to imply villain and so they sell it as such with some pickups from the actual black hat culture found on the net. This doesn't occur with white hat and grey hat definitions, since they are industry defined and don't have the selling points that the scary technological nightmare or mystery and intrigue that the medias black hats can belt out. (talk) 01:30, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Requested move 11 July 2019[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: Move the dab page to Black hat. It appears we have consensus that the name is ambiguous, so this is the default solution. Cúchullain t/c 14:01, 19 July 2019 (UTC)

Black hat (computer security)Black hat – User PBS unilaterally moved the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC without discussion, creating a WP:MALPLACED pair of disambiguation pages. This should be moved only with consensus through a requested move. — Gorthian (talk) 04:30, 11 July 2019 (UTC)

This is a contested technical request (permalink). Anthony Appleyard (talk) 04:44, 11 July 2019 (UTC)


  • PBS clearly thought that the hacker meaning was not the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC when they moved the page. But it left Black hat (disambiguation) as the dab page, with Black hat redirecting to it, which is WP:MALPLACED. Perhaps there is no primary topic; in which case, yes, Black hat (disambiguation) should be moved to the base name. I have no opinion on the primary topic; I’m just trying to rectify the dab-page problem. — Gorthian (talk) 05:14, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment. I did not move the dab page as I thought that if someone objected to the move they could always change the redirect before requesting a move back. If I had moved the dab page to the redirect then it would have explicitly involved using administrative powers to which I thought that someone might object. The outcome of this RM can decide if the dab page should be moved. What I did was using AWB change all the links in article space that linked to black hat to link to Black hat (computer security) or to a redirect to Black hat (computer security), so that none of the links in article space would be linking to the dab page. -- PBS (talk) 16:28, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment. The problem is that "back hat" is very difficult common term to do an internet search on to ascertain what if anything is that primary topic for such a phrase. For example black hats are probably the second most common colour for military headgear after green hats. As a visual idiom it is probably best know a symbol for bad in cowboy movies (indeed this article used to make that point in 2008). Outside a very limited number of people who work in the computer security industry it is not used to mean a computer "hacker" as news sources call such people. With regards to Wikipedia policy WP:AT states in the first two bullet points under WP:NAMINGCRITERIA:
    • Recognizability – The title is a name or description of the subject that someone familiar with, although not necessarily an expert in, the subject area will recognize.
    • Naturalness – The title is one that readers are likely to look or search for and that editors would naturally use to link to the article from other articles. Such a title usually conveys what the subject is actually called in English.
    And the last one one:
    So we have to assume that the person looking for the article is not an expert on "black hat hack[er]"ing and a "back hat" is also a common term outside the computer industry, therefore it is not unreasonable for there to be a dab extension at "black hat". -- PBS (talk) 16:28, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support making black hat the dab page. -- PBS (talk) 16:28, 11 July 2019 (UTC)
  • Support making black hat the dab page per WP:NOPRIMARY.ZXCVBNM (TALK) 00:06, 12 July 2019 (UTC)


The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


Hacking Lone Akif (talk) 15:48, 3 March 2020 (UTC)