What is Ethical Hacking

Hacking  is an attempt to gain unauthorized access to data in a system or to make a system do something it was not designed to do. The job of the ethical hacker is to discover loopholes in the system from the perspective of the hacker. It’s often a controversial perspective but it’s very beneficial to the enterprise and to the security industry as a whole as well.

Types of hackers

There are several types of hackers.  White Hat hacker are professional hackers with great computing and IT skills, but they use that skills for security analysis and defense. White hackers are also called ethical hackers.

Black Hat hackers are individuals with great skills which they use for malicious, destructive or offensive activities.

We also have Gray Hat hackers which are using their skills for defensive and offensive purposes at the same time.

We also have Red Hat hackers which aim to bring down the Black Hats.

The job of ethical hacker

The job of ethical hacker is to stay up to speed on current techniques, technologies and tactics of the bad guys. The job is extremely varied and there’s a lot to learn. The ethical hacker has to learn the tools, techniques and methods of attackers, but also actually understand a way of
learning, and know places to go to learn. That’s not just certifications sites, but also places like IRC and forums with community of fellow ethical hackers where they can talk to them and learn about new ways of doing things.

Through the knowledge of attacks and threats they have an understanding on how to interpret threats and vulnerability findings and in that way secure information technology assets for the company. Ethical hacker is one of the good guys. He is employing bad guy techniques, technologies, tactics,  strategies, he is thinking like a bad guy and hows to misuse and abuse a system to bend it to his will to reveal information that should not be revealed or make a system behave in way it should not behave.

General phases of hacking

For successful hacking one needs to follow some predefined steps.
Step one is reconnaissance or foot printing. This step is about getting information about the target, actively or passively. Step two is scanning. In this step one uses specific tools to get more information about the target. Example tools are port scanners, nslookup, ping, etc. Step three is gaining access. In this step one actually hacks the system to gain access. In step four one maintains access while he is stealing or manipulating the data. Step five is one of the most important parts because in this step one covers his tracks to make him untraceable.

Becoming a hacker

Becoming an ethical hacker opens your eyes to the vulnerable world around us. As a hacker you’re aware of the threats and potential attack vectors that are out there so you can better defend yourself and improve the lives of those around you with the skills that you have. Being aware can go a long way in helping create a more secure world for all of us.