Mostly all hackers like to have a laugh. We like to have fun! We like to troll. And maybe, even cause some havoc once in a while. But, while we do this, we must always stay in the line of the law.
In the United States (Where I live), the government will get involved in almost every hack you do. The most common agency you will meet if you do something illegal is the FBI.
Wherever you live, there will most likely be a cyber crime unit, a local one. There just always is. Now, I'm going to quote something a good ol' black-hat efriend told me: "To be truly anonymous on the internet, you must follow a few steps.
1.) Never talk about your hacks. You just don't need to. To anyone. Especially in real life friends.
2.) Don't go magically getting 50 bitcoin and put it all in your bank account. The cops will investigate it.
3.) Proxies are your friends, VPN's are just acquaintances."
Let's take note that you need to do at least $5,000 dollars in damages for any illegality to be done. At least, $5,000 in damages are needed for something like the FBI to get involved with.
Some people here (Keyword: SOME) are teens. Curious teens. If not teens, preadolescent. And we get curious. Some people here know more than even me, and I've been in Cyber Security for quite some time... I've known people to hack government databases looking for 'Information' on something specific. Not meaning to cause harm, of course. Has anyone heard of the Gary McKinnon story? A hacker who hacked Military computers & NASA just to find 'U.F.O' sightings? Curiosity get's the best of all of us.
Now, let's talk about what an illegal hack is.
A hacker, defined by Google is:
"A person who uses computers to gain unauthorized access to data."
while this definition although seems idiotic for me, being a white-hat hacker... I'm going to go by it.
What this means is that to do something illegal, you must "Gain unauthorized access to data". But this isn't the only illegal part. You do not necessarily need to gain authorization to anything. A simple DDoS/DoS attacks would do it.
A DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) is a type of DOS attack where multiple compromised systems, which are usually infected by some sort of Trojan/Virus are used to target a single system causing a Denial of Service (DoS) attack. A DoS is a type of attack on a network that is designed to bring a specific network down to it's last breath by flooding it with useless traffic.
These types of attacks make something unavailable, whether it's your internet access or a website, it take's it offline for a specific amount of time. If you want to get more into the subject, or do a DDoS attack test, there are multiple Network Stress Testing tools you can use for a price.
Now, a DDoS attack can cause a lot of damage. I mean a lot. If we right now, send 1.2Tbps of traffic to a specific IP (Internet Protocol) the chances of that website going offline are beyond huge. If we were to manage to take down Amazon.com offline for more than 10minutes, we would cause more than $1,000,000 in revenue! A lot!!! Amazon can lose about $66,240 per minute every time it is down, if not, a lot more. But if you add the lawyer fees, the cyber security investigation to find the attacker, etc, it'd be a lot more than 1,000,000. And a DDoS attack is actually really famous around the e-world.
I just want to leave this with, BE CAREFUL ON THE WEB.