The term “white hat” in Internet slang refers to an ethical computer hacker, or a computer security expert, who specializes in penetration testing and in other testing methodologies that ensures the security of an organization’s information systems. Ethical hacking is a term meant to imply a broader category than just penetration testing. Contrasted with black hat, a malicious hacker, the name comes from Western films, where heroic and antagonistic cowboys might traditionally wear a white and a black hat respectively. While a white hat hacker hacks under good intentions with permission, and a black hat hacker, most often unauthorized, has malicious intent, there is a third kind known as a grey hat hacker who hacks with good intentions but at times without permission.
White hat hackers may also work in teams called “sneakers and/or hacker clubs”, red teams, or tiger teams.