white hat

noun
Updated on: 22 Apr 2018

Definition of white hat

1 : one who is admirable and honorable
2 : a mark or symbol of goodness
  • could use a few more guys in white hats
  • —Robert Christgau
3 : a hacker who tests computer systems for possible vulnerabilities so that they can be fixed
  • Chu, 33, is part of a fraternity known as "penetration testers" or "ethical hackers," a group of experts who are hired to hack into computer systems or find other ways to gain access. These so-called "white hats" will spend days or weeks searching company systems to come up with recommendations for fortifying corporations against such threats.
  • —Greg Wiles
— compare black hat

Recent Examples of white hat from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'white hat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of white hat

from the white hats stereotypically worn by law-abiding characters in movie westerns


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