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Hackers can be divided into categories known as black hat, white hat, and gray hat. The terms derive from the old Western movies of American popular culture, where the protagonists wore white or light-colored hats, and the antagonists wore black hats. Essentially, what determines the type of hacker is their motivation and whether they are breaking the law. Black hat hackers have malicious intent whereas white hat hackers are considered ethical hackers. Gray hat hackers fall in between.

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