Most folk think hackers are bad people who steal secret information and ruin websites. However, some hackers use their skills for good instead of evil.
Good hackers are called White Hat Hackers, and they do jobs like testing the security of websites and computer systems. This job is called ‘penetration testing‘, and sometimes it’s treated like a game.
Kevin Mitnick used to be a criminal hacker, but he was caught by the FBI and sent to prison. Now he has changed sides and works as a security expert—a white hat hacker. You need to have lots of skills to do this job, as you need to find ways to break into computers so the problems can be fixed before a bad (black hat) hacker can exploit them.
Of course, if you want to become a white hat hacker, you shouldn’t learn those skills through crime! It’s better to go to university to learn the skills you will need on a Computer Science course.
One group of security experts have created a game called ‘Control-Alt-Hack‘ where you are a security expert working for a big company and have to complete missions with your ninja hacking skills. By playing it, you can have fun while gaining new skills that could one day help your career in white hat hacking.
Message that matters: go to uni to learn how to hack, don’t go to prison!