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An ethical hacker is an individual hired to hack into a system to identify and repair potential vulnerabilities, effectively preventing exploitation by malicious hackers. They are security experts that specialize in the penetration testing (pen-testing) of computer and software systems for the purpose of evaluating, strengthening and improving security.
An ethical hacker is also known as a white hat hacker, red team, tiger team or sneaker.
Generally, a software or hardware vendor achieves greater profitability by hiring ethical hackers, versus being subjected to other types of vulnerabilities and exploitations.
Ethical hackers evaluate systems using a number of methods, some of which include: