The recent rash of cyberattacks on leading US companies has highlighted the scant options available to the victims, who often can do little more than endure the bad publicity and harden their defences in hopes of thwarting the next assault.
A computer hacker is an online security expert who exploits weaknesses in a computer system or network. The term 'white hat' refers to hackers who operate for non-malicious reasons, for example, testing security systems for large companies. A 'black hat' is a hacker driven by malice or personal gain. A 'grey' hat usually hacks a system to point out a security flaw, then offers to fix it for a fee.