What is Ethical Hacking
Cybersecurity

What is Ethical Hacking

The moment we hear about “hacking”, we start feeling worried about the confidential data in our systems. On the other hand,  millions of computer engineers depend upon ethical hacking. So, let us understand what is ethical hacking.

Recent Cases cybersecurity stats during the pandemic and WhatsApp privacy policy, hacking of WhatsApp data from a personal mobile phone, and government restriction policies on various automated bots will surely make us to understand and learn ethical hacking

Ethical Hacking Meaning

Ethical hacking is simply put, is structured hacking. It is performed with the help of certain tools and techniques, to expose the vulnerabilities of a system. It is an authorized attempt. The management of an organization is aware that ethical hacking is being performed on the systems and data.

Ethical hackers often need to duplicate the strategies and actions followed by malicious attackers. Ethical hacking is generally performed by security experts. Also known as white hat cybersecurity experts. Ethical hacking is also legally accepted throughout the world. It implies legally breaking into computers, to test the defenses of an organization.

Learn Ethical Hacking

Ethical hacking provides an opportunity to the clients to rectify their opportunity areas before the attackers identify them.  In the absence of ethical hacking, cybercriminals have a golden opportunity to identify flaws and steal all the important data. With the development of the IT sector, cybercrime has also flourished. To counteract this technological evil, ethical hacking has been introduced. It is a lucrative career.

In 2018. The telecommunications giant named TalkTalk had faced a data breach. As a result, the data of more than fifteen thousand people had been breached. So, to protect the information security of customers, ethical hacking has become a lucrative career.

Phases Of Ethical Hacking

The phases of ethical hacking are as follows-

  • Planning and Reconnaissance
  • Scanning
  • Gaining Access
  • Maintaining Access
  • Analysis And WAF Configuration

Let us know the phases of ethical hacking are as follows-

Planning and Reconnaissance-

In ethical hacking, the first step is to define the steps and goals of a test and the test plans to be followed. It may be described as a preparatory phase.  Here, the ethical hacker gathers as much information as possible about the target before launching an attack. 

Also, it addresses intelligence to identify potential vulnerabilities. Also, it highlights how a target works.

Scanning-

Scanning is done to understand how a target reacts to different intrusion attempts in two ways-

  • When the application code is static
  • When the application code is functioning

The second way is the most practical to understand the performance of the application on a real-time basis.

Gaining Access

It is the most important phase of ethical hacking. Here, the web application is attacked using t SQL injections and cross-site scripting to identify the weaknesses. Then, the company exploits the weaknesses by interfering with the privileges. As a result, it highlights the amount of damage it can cause. It also intercepts the process.

Maintaining Access-

At this stage, the weakness is used as a  persistent presence for a longer time, in the infected system. The purpose of this step is to detect how confidential information is stolen.

Analysis

It is the final phase of ethical hacking. Its purpose is to analyze and comment on the vulnerabilities that have been exploited. It also analyzes and comments about the duration for which a tester remains unnoticed in the system.

While learning about the different phases of ethical hacking, many people want to know about a few certified and popular ethical hacking courses. These courses help people understand the phases in detail. Also, the certifications boost confidence and understand the market value of the certified professionals. People who hold a certification in ethical hacking have a better chance to earn a higher salary. Also, they have greater chances of getting employment than their non-certified counterparts.

Essential Skills Of Ethical Hackers

Ethical hackers need to have certain skills so that they may work efficiently. The best way to start learning ethical hacking is to begin from the basics. The skills are as follows-

  • Proficiency in basic computer knowledge
  • Basic knowledge of networking and connected technology
  • Technical skills related to programming and database management system
  • Use of Linux Operating System
  • Creation and management of web applications and computer networks
  • Knowledge of how to use reverse engineering
  • Familiarity with day-to-day technology. Passionate ethical hackers invest time in learning about techniques like phishing
  • Knowledge about the platform the ethical hacker wants to hack
  • Aspiring ethical hackers need to know about certain requirements they need to fulfill.

Popular Ethical Hacking Courses

Ethical hackers are in great demand throughout the world. It is important to do some research before choosing the right ethical hacking course. A few examples of popular ethical hacking courses are as follows-

Also, ethical hackers need to understand how to use reverse engineering to uncover specifications. Reverse engineering is also useful in checking a system for weaknesses by analyzing its code. Ethical hackers need to identify the flaws and weaknesses in the system in the network. Their purpose is to determine how to strengthen the security of the systems to avoid external attacks.

Ethical Hacking Softwares & Tools

Several ethical hacking tools and software for pc as well as for windows are available in the market, to simplify ethical hacking tasks. Let us find out about a few ethical hacking tools. They are as follows-

  • Netsparker– Netsparker is a web application security scanner, used to find SQL injections and other weaknesses in web applications and web services.
  • Acunetix– It is a fully automatic ethical hacking solution. It scans HTML5, Javascript and single-page applications.
  • HTTPCS- It is an ethical hacking vulnerability scanner. It stimulates attacks on websites and web applications to find vulnerabilities.
  • Probe.ly- It constantly scans the web applications to find out the vulnerabilities. It guides ethical hackers to fix them.
  • Ettercap- It is a tool for ethical hacking. It comes with the support of active and passive dissection. It also packs a host of network analysis features.
  • Aircrack- It is another ethical hacking tool. It is used to crack vulnerable wireless connections.
  • Burp Suite- It has a variety of tools that help it complete the pen testing process. It is used for performing security testing on the web application.
  • Angry IP Scanner- It is an open-source ethical hacking tool. This cross-platform tool is used for scanning IP addresses.
  • GFI Languard- This tool is used to scan the network for vulnerabilities. Moreover, it may act as a virtual security consultant.
  • Savvius-This tool reduces the security risk factors. Omnipeek offers deep visibility to it.4
  • Webinspect- It is a dynamic web security testing. It allows ethical hackers to perform different ethical hacking techniques.
  • Hashcat- Ethical hackers use this tool for cracking passwords. People use it to recover lost passwords or data lost in a hash.
  • IronWASP- It is open-source software for ethical hacking. It is used for the vulnerability testing of web applications.
  • Medusa- It is one of the finest ethical hacking tools used for cracking passwords.

Requirements To Be a White Hat Hacker

 There are no standard criteria for people who want to be ethical hackers. Passion towards technology and hacking is necessary for it. However, it is a good idea if the passion is supported by a graduation or master’s degree in information security, mathematics, or information security. 

The prime duty of an ethical hacker is to test the IT security of an organization, with the help of penetration test techniques. Their responsibility is to identify the weaknesses, related to the It security of the organization.

A few prerequisites for being ethical hackers are as follows-

  1. Educational Requirements- There are no fixed educational criteria to be an ethical hacker. However, a degree in information security, computer science or maths is helpful.
  2. Certification Requirements- Several security-related and ethical hacking IT certifications are available in the market. However, the EC-Council offers a certified course on Certified Ethical Hacking. It is the most recognized course on ethical hacking. The intermediate level of this certification aims at SQL injection, social engineering, viruses, and different forms of attack. Apart from this certification, the SANS  GIAC curriculum and the PenTesting Hacking series by Mile2 give a boost to the career.

People who are working in the information security department of an organization need to be updated with computer forensics. Anybody who aspires to be a computer hacker should try to attain the computer hacking forensic investigator certification. This certification uses the correct techniques and tools to work on the forensic investigation, for extracting computer forensic data. While people undergo the training for this certification, they learn the following lessons-

  • How to investigate network traffic
  • Use different forensic tools to retrieve information
  • Recover deleted files
  • The process of cracking passwords

3.Creativity- An ethical hacking job has a great scope of creativity. However, ethical hackers need to have tremendous problem-solving skills. They need to find a way out of a problem in a creative way. A white-hat hacker uses multiple smart techniques to protect the systems of an organization against malware attacks. The job of an ethical hacker requires several permissions to strengthen the security system of various organizations. It helps reduce the risk factors.  Certified ethical hacking courses provide in-depth information about creating viruses and malware, so that hacking can be removed from the root. Ethical hacking also provides an opportunity to learn how to hack background applications by unblocking the antivirus systems and firewalls.

4.Knowledge Of Legal Issues- Ethical hacking is a fully responsible duty. Even the slightest mistake may lead to legal trouble and breach of security. Even the slightest mistake can lead to a breach of confidential or personal information. Any ethical hacker may commit errors. These errors may negatively impact the profits of the organization. Certain situations may impact the reputation of the organization. As a result, the organizations may sue the hackers for putting their data at risk. For that, the ethical hacker needs to play defensive. This way, the chances of compromising the client’s system are minimized. Ethical hackers need to play defensively to exercise extra caution.

5.Soft Skills- Professional ethical hackers need a lot of technical skills. They need a lot of skill sets to act smart. They are capable enough to manipulate different strategies to execute files and counteract malware attacks. Thousands of black hat hackers quit the criminal world to join rich organizations. They need to be intelligent and have strong technical skills to work in pressurized conditions.

6.Experience– Ethical hackers need hands-on experience with computer systems security to showcase the knowledge of ethical hacking to employers. Ethical hackers need plenty of experience to be successful as ethical hackers. There is no substitute for hands-on experience for identifying security breaches.

7.Use The Resources- Ethical hackers need to discover areas that help people enhance their knowledge about IT security. Technology is dynamic and subjected to rapid change. So, good ethical hackers need to be updated with the latest technological trends. Otherwise, they will not be able to cope up with the latest technological trends. Unless the technologically sound cybercriminals may steal data from the company database.

Jobs and Salary After Completing Ethical Hacking Tutorial

Certified Ethical Hackers have a dearth of jobs with bright careers. A few examples of these jobs for certified ethical hackers are as follows-

  • Site Administrators
  • IT Security Specialists
  • Network Security Specialists
  • Security Administrators
  • Site Administrators
  • Penetration Tester
  • Cyber Security Specialists
  • Computer Security Specialists

Ethical hackers are never at a loss for jobs.  Ethical hackers who have government jobs, such as in the defense ministry, need to go through an extensive background check, They need to get a security clearance. Aspiring ethical hackers and experience ethical hacking professionals getting a 30 to 50% salary hike in India.

Conclusion- The certified ethical hackers need to showcase all their technical knowledge and skills to breach the network security of the employing organization. Experienced ethical hackers can participate in events like hacking conferences. Such participation helps them interact with people belonging to the same field and work on their flaws.