There are basically four motivations for hackers: revenge, profit, pride, and curiosity. Interestingly, each of these motivations results in a different severity of attack.
A hacker's motivation is what determines how damaging the attack is intended to be.
Not all hackers intend to cause the same amount of damage. It turns out that those wishing to seek revenge are much more interested in harming their target than the hackers that are merely seeking to explore or deface web sites. Truly, some hackers are more dangerous than others, and it generally has very little to do with their technical ability. The most dangerous hackers are the ones that are intent on causing the most damage.
Now we realize that hacker attacks ...