Now you can even go to school for it!
Naked Security explains:
In a bijou booth at London’s CloudExpo, BlackBerry, the much-diminished former behemoth of the mobile sector, was quietly plying its trade. BlackBerry describes itself as “a mobile-native security software and services company” and was there to promote its professional cybersecurity services, which it acquired following the February 2016 acquisition of Encription Ltd, a specialist in penetration testing.
So now, should you wish, you can get BlackBerry round to mess with your systems, while paying for the privilege. They’ll get up to no good, then write you a report telling you all the stuff you’re doing wrong. This, then, is the odd world of the ethical (or “white hat”) hacker, a somewhat shady-sounding occupation that uses penetration-testing techniques to assess IT security and identify vulnerabilities.
Sure, it serves a useful purpose, but it’s a bit weird still, isn’t it? It’s basically analogous to paying an “ethical burglar” to break into your house, or a “white hat mugger” to have a go at stealing your phone. You never hear about those, though, which is something of a shame. There must be thousands of charmless chancers out there desperate to get certified by the council and go out thieving for the greater good. Or, better still, much like that old Kate Bush song, set up in the faithfulness-testing racket, put on a white hat and run around propositioning spouses.