An IT expert who hacks into computer systems to find vulnerabilities in them. Unlike cybercriminals, ethical hackers report their findings to developers and work with them to fix bugs. White hats can be motivated by either altruism or financial reward.
Many vendors offer special incentive programs for ethical hackers, known as bug bounties. There is also the Pwn2Own contest, held annually in the U.S. and Japan, where white hats compete to hack programs and devices provided by developers.