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Who are hackers and why do they hack? Motivations for hacking vary. Some of the most common include:


The biggest motivation is often financial gain. Hackers can make money by stealing your passwords, accessing your bank or credit card details, holding your information to ransom, or selling your data to other hackers or on the dark web.

Corporate espionage

Sometimes, hackers are motivated by stealing trade secrets from competitor companies. Corporate espionage is a form of hacking designed to access classified data or intellectual property in order to gain a competitive advantage over corporate rivals.

Political espionage

Nation states can use hackers for political purposes. This might involve stealing classified data, interfering with elections, accessing government or military documents, or attempting to cause political unrest.


Sometimes, hackers are motivated by anger – a desire to get revenge on individuals or organizations which they feel have wronged them in some way.


Hacking can be a form of civil disobedience. Some hackers use their skills to promote a particular political agenda or social movement.


Hackers can be motivated by a sense of achievement, that is, breaking ‘the system’. Hackers can be competitive, challenging each other and gaining recognition from their exploits. Social media gives them a platform to boast about their activities.

Security improvements

Not all hacking is malicious. Some hacking, for example, white hat hacking or penetration testing, is done to test vulnerabilities with the aim of improving security for all users. White hat hacking is therefore considered ethical hacking.

© Kaspersky


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