Kernel Hackers And Network Hackers – Which Should Worry Me The Most?

The word hacker is used in general terms these days; and even that general term is wrong.

When people hear the word hacker they automatically think of a cyber criminal but this is not what it is – a hacker is someone who wants to know how something works.

In the world of computers this can apply to a lot of things.

The two main activities of computer hackers are to focus on the kernel, meaning the operating system, and the network hackers.

Network hackers are people who focus on the Internet and the inner workings of it.

kernel hackers and network hackers

kernel hackers and network hackers

I will give a fuller description of both of these activities and then show you which one you should really worry about –

What Is A Kernel Hacker?

The term kernel hacker can have two different meanings.

One of the meanings is someone who works on an operating system to be used by other people.

An example of this is someone who codes for the Linux kernel.

Another meaning for the term kernel hacker is someone who tries to find holes in an operating system.

This is the type of kernel hacker that I will talk about in this article.

When there are millions of lines of code in a piece of software then you have the potential for there to be holes in there.

Actually, there is more than a potential; it will almost certainly happen.

So kernel hackers go through the operating system with a debugger and try to find any hole that can be exploited.

These are the type of people that can find the holes that can really damage your system.

What Is A Network Hacker?

A network hacker is someone who concentrates on finding holes in the network layer.

The more that we use the internet for our everyday life, the more people who hack on the network are able to do damage.

There are several layers of the network that security administrators must worry about securing.

When you have someone that knows the network as intimately as your average network hacker then they can find a lot of holes that they are able to exploit.

A network hacker can find holes in the router, the firewall, and the actual browser that someone uses to browse the internet.

A network has more layers to worry about than the kernel hacker but the kernel hacker’s layer is a lot more technical and complex.

Both Types Of Hacker Pose A Threat

When you are trying to secure your network you have to worry about both types of hackers.

They both can cause a lot of damage.

When it comes to who is more dangerous than the other the fact is you will have to deal with a network hacker more since kernel hacking is a lot harder to find exploits.

The network layer is everywhere and you have to worry about the dangers every day.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. Good question , i would have to say a network hacker today.


  1. […] article.While there are hacks that affect all layers of the computer, the hacks that affect the kernel layer are more wide spread and are more of a problem to the average user. low level system […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Charlie Dubart and ChanduNSA, Lee. Lee said: Kernel Hackers And Network Hackers – Which Should Worry Me The Most? […]

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