Last month I was at a tech conference and managed to grab 5 minutes to have a chat with Bharat Bhise HNA analyst and cybersecurity expert. Bharat has just given a rousing talk on the present and future of cybersecurity and we chatted mainly about hacking. Many of us know what hackers do, but something which not many of us are aware of are the numerous reasons why people actually do it. As it turns out there is a wide range of reasons why various individuals and groups may perform a hack, and these are the most common reasons.


Of course one of the most popular reasons for people hacking is as an act of crime. These men and women look to infiltrate the systems of home networks, small businesses, government agencies and even large corporations, with the intention of stealing information, changing data, taking secrets or financial information, all with a view to commit crime such as identity fraud, credit card fraud or straight up bank theft.

Ethical Hacking

A form of hacking which not many people know too much about is ethical hacking, a relatively new way of infiltrating systems. Ethical hackers are legally allowed to do this and they are paid by governments, by private companies or by cybersecurity software developers, to try their best to breach their systems. This is a great way of testing just how good a piece of cybersecurity software is, and through the use of ethical hackers the companies have a safe way of identifying any flaws or weakness in their systems.

Hack For Hire

Sometimes hackers will break laws to breach systems but they will do so with less nefarious intentions than those who are looking to commit crimes. In the main these hackers will be for hire, and they will have been paid by a criminal organization or individuals to break into certain systems and obtain documents or information, which they will then pass on and get paid. This is still criminal of course, but it is slightly less of a crime than those looking to use the information that has been obtained for illegal reasons.

Doing It For Sport

The hacking community is pretty competitive and what happens is that when new software comes out to keep networks and computer systems secure, there is a challenge thrown down to many in the community to try and break it. Whilst all forms of hacking apart from ethical hacking is illegal, in this case they are simply trying to break the system to prove that they have the ability to do so. For many hacking is a sport, they are not trying to steal info or data, they are simply trying to see if they have the skills and abilities to break down the walls of any new security software suites.

Sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes terrible, the world of hacking and why many do it.