Hackernoon logoA Beginner's Introduction To Ethical Hacking by@techhackers

A Beginner's Introduction To Ethical Hacking

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@techhackersTECH HACKERS

An Ethical Hacker is one who finds vulnerabilities or weaknesses in computers or their networks and tries to fix those vulnerabilities or weaknesses. Whenever a computer gets hacked, important details get stolen like credit card details, bank accounts details, etc.

It is typically not possible to run a company with one computer, it requires a network of computers. In that case, the chances of getting hacked increase. You must have seen in the news that whenever a company gets hacked, there is a huge loss of reputation for a company that gets hacked. Hence after seeing to all these things, companies recently have started appointing ethical hackers for their company.

There is not much difference between a hacker and an ethical hacker; the only difference between them is that an ethical hacker does with the permission of the client whereas the hackers don't. In the same way, when an ethical hacker finds vulnerabilities or weaknesses in the computers or networks, he informs that to the client and also tells them how to fix it and thus, this makes it legal and other hacking illegal.

There are three types of Hackers

White Hat Hackers - This simply is the other name of ethical hackers.

Black Hat Hackers - These are those hackers who harm others for their personal interest. It is illegal and can be sentenced to imprisonment for many years if caught.

Grey Hat Hackers - These hackers are a combination of both White Hat and Black Hat Hackers. They also find the vulnerabilities of the system but without the client's permission. Once they find the vulnerabilities, they will go and tell the client about them. These people normally work for Bug Bounties.

Now the question here arises, what is a Bug Bounty?

Sometimes big companies like Facebook or Google give rewards to those hackers who find bugs in their system and when those hackers get the reward for finding bugs in their company's system or network then, that is called a bug bounty.

Goals of Ethical Hackers in an Organization

White Hat Hackers, or Ethical Hackers, have to protect their client's privacy data from Black Hat Hackers. If they find any vulnerabilities in the client's system, they prepare a detailed vulnerability report to submit to their client, as well as a solution to the vulnerability. The Ethical Hacker also has to inform the client's vendors if he finds any weakness in their hardware or software so that in the future vendors don't bring those defective products again.

How important are Ethical Hackers for the company?

People are nowadays more aware of data privacy and it is a resource of the company, if anything happens to the company's data then there will be a huge loss and it will spoil the reputation of the company as well. On the other hand, if the ethical hacker does anything beyond the company's contract then it will be illegal and this can also cancel their ethical hacking certification.

What is a Security Threat?

A security threat is a situation where the company, organization, or computer is at a security risk. First of all, to keep the security of the system it is important to identify the security threat so that ethical hackers should first know all are the types of security threats. There are basically 2 types of security threats.

(A) Physical Threats

A person who by oneself generates threats to the system is called a physical threat.

Further, it is divided into 3 parts:

  1. Internal Threats: Suppose your system catches fire, then that comes under internal threats
  2. External Threats: Say, for example, there is a voltage issue at your home due to which your system gets ruined; that comes under external threats.
  3. Human Threats: Any threats caused by humans are human threats for example your system got stolen.

(B) Non-Physical Threats 

If your system is been affected by malware or a virus, it is called a non-physical threat. An Ethical Hacker has to deal with these threats on daily basis. Below given are some of the examples of these threats and their prevention which can be taken to protect the system.

  1. Worms. Prevention: Setup logical security measures in the system.
  2. Viruses. Prevention: Install corporative cybersecurity tools in the system.
  3. Trojan. Prevention: Use different types of authentication systems like facial authentication, password related authentication, biometric authentication, etc.
  4. Spyware. Prevention: Install IPS (Intrusion Prevention System), IDS (Intrusion Detection System); these two tools are considered to be quite important these days.

Skills required for an Ethical Hacker

An ethical hacker needs to learn different kinds of programming languages like HTML, JS, PHP, SQL, Python, Bash, etc. At least the basics of them should be known by ethical hackers.

They should have in-depth knowledge of Operating Systems like Windows, Linux, etc. They should have in-depth knowledge of networking like TCP/IP, working of OSCI Model, how packets reach from one computer to another, etc.

Ethical Hackers are also called problem solvers, so for solving problems they have to take the help of programming languages and a lot of things can be automated with the help of programming.

If hackers know how to program, they will be able to find the weaknesses in coding, which are necessary to find for any hacker, as part of their profession. With the knowledge of programming, a hacker can also customize the existing tools to fulfill his requirements

Ethical Hacking Tools

The tools mentioned below are some of the ethical hacking tools that are important for hacking.

Netsparker: It is an easy-to-use web application security scanner, by using it hackers can automatically find vulnerabilities like SQL injection, Cross-Site Scripting, etc in the web application.

Burpsuite: It is a platform where hackers can do testing of web application security and it is pretty famous because the tools which are in burp suite seamlessly integrate.

Nmap: This is also a famous tool where hackers can scan the network. It is quite well known in the hacker community because it is easy to use and it is powerful as well. With the help of this, a huge and dynamic network scan can also be done very easily.

Acunetix: This can actually mimic the hacker i.e all the ways that a hacker can hack the computer is shown by this tool. And respectively it will also provide some security tips to protect the computer.

Hashcat: By using this tool, the hacker can crack the password and retrieve the password as well. Basically, whenever a password is stored in a database, it is not stored in the form of plain text, instead, it is stored in the form of hash, and to crack that hash hackers use Hashcat.

Sqlmap: This tool is related to databases and it automates the process to find vulnerabilities.              

Thus, this is a brief explanation of Ethical Hacking.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

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