Ethical Hacking

Getting started with Ethical hacking - The ultimate guide for beginners


It is hard to imagine that there is anything ethical about hacking. The term ‘hacking’ originated in MIT, in the 1960s, and since then has grown to become a huge security issue. As technology advanced, we moved most of our payments and purchases online. But, as more and more data gets accumulated online, the threat of a privacy breach also looms. Several companies have already faced the brunt of a security breach. That has led to the large-scale loss of data and trust amongst customers. So, what is ethical hacking, why is it important and what are some of the best ethical hacking for beginners? Here’s a look at some great ethical hacking tutorials and courses to help you get started.

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What is Ethical hacking?

Hacking means to find irregularities or vulnerabilities in a firewall. Hackers then utilise these to gain access to the system. After gaining access, they siphon off data, delete accounts or erase data. Hackers bypass the security system to gain access to information that is off-limits. Ethical hacking, though sounding like a misnomer, is a branch of hacking that is legal. Companies hire such experts to test their system security and improve their firewalls. Ethical hacking also helps government agencies to locate, and deal with national security threats. 

Individuals who have permission to hack systems are ethical hackers, and they work via the clients’ instructions. After identifying vulnerabilities, they present a maturity scorecard. This file states the level of risk, number of loopholes, and suggests improvements. Ethical hacking is also known as penetration testing.

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Types of ethical hackers

  1. White Hat Hackers: These are proper ethical hackers who take an organization’s consent before hacking into its system. They detect and report vulnerabilities to prevent others from doing the same.
  2. Grey Hat Hackers: They serve as the dividing line between black and white hat hackers. These hackers enter into a system without permission to expose their vulnerabilities. In most cases, they do not do anything malicious, but rather ask for a bounty.
  3. Black Hat Hackers: These hackers invade and evade the firewall with an intent to harm the company. They may steal sensitive information or erase data and are illegal in the eyes of the law. 
  4. Suicide Hackers: They do not care about the consequences of hacking and cause irrevocable damage.

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Types of Ethical Hacking

  1. Network Hacking: Using tools such as Telnet, Ping and NS lookup to hack into network systems
  2. Website Hacking: Gain illegal control over a web server, its database and interfaces. 
  3. Computer Hacking: Gaining unauthorized access into a third-party’s computer 
  4. Password Hacking: Using illegal means to recover passwords of a system.
  5. Email Hacking: Gaining illegal control of an email account for sending spams and threats

Real-World Examples of Ethical Hacking

  • Mark Litchfield who made over $1.5m by finding bugs for Yahoo. 
  • Hacker Rapidspike found security issues in the York City council’s app which allowed for data loss

Unethical hacking too happen, and examples are as follows;

  • Ashley Madison Dating Service hack of 2015 by the Impact Team
  • Marriott’s hack in 2018 led to over 500 million user’s personal data getting breached
  • British Airways lost credit card data of thousands of customers via a hack in 2018

Importance of Ethical Hacking

State-sponsored hacking allows governments to gain intelligence information about other states. It also helps them influence politics and gain data on counterintelligence operations. Ethical hacking also allows states to protect their own data against cyber-terrorism. In many ways, it allows for better national security by preventing data breaches. Economic Espionage is another great use of Ethical hacking. Technology has changed the way nations handle their foreign affairs. As countries try to gain illicit information by hacking, ethical hackers ensure good defences.

Additionally, ethical hacking allows companies to fight cybercrimes. By improving the vulnerabilities in their security, companies can prevent breaches. It allows companies and agencies to set up better protection against malware, viruses, worms and ransomware. It also prevents unauthorized access by providing an unbiased analysis of security architecture. Ethical hackers are able to point out loopholes in the system and viable entry points and targets, which the company can then shut.

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Benefits of Ethical Hacking

  • Prevent the breach of sensitive data 
  • Enhance digital security via real-world testing
  • Better security measures help in building brand and client loyalty
  • Prevent cyber-terrorism and improve national security
  • Help identify potential entry points and targets
  • Ethical hacking for beginners books and courses help you up-skill for better roles in security management
  • Being trained in ethical hacking tutorials open up exciting employment opportunities 
  • Enables you to provide swift security tests and quality assurances 
  • Provide protection against malware, Trojans, worms and other forms of ransomware

Skills required to become an ethical hacker

1. An ethical hacker will need to have a good understanding of the following concepts;

  • Password cracking
  • Session hijacking and spoofing
  • Traffic sniffing and buffer overflow problems
  • Denial of Service attacks and SQL injection

2. You might also need a degree in Computer Science to have enough knowledge to become an expert hacker. Students also need to keep themselves updated about new vulnerabilities and techniques.

3. Strong programming and networking skills.

4. 4 P’s: Patience - Persistence - Perseverance- Practice

5. Great problem-solving skills 

Guide to become an ethical hacker

  • Try to pass out with a Bachelor’s degree in CS as it will help you understand how hardware and software components work.
  • Work for a few years as a programmer and then switch to tech support to gain more understanding of computer networks.
  • Learn about and get certifications like Network+, CCNA, Security+ and TICSA.
  • Work as a Network Engineer or System Administrator to gain insight into these systems.
  • Go through ethical hacking tutorials and courses to understand various computer security aspects.
  • Enrol in ethical hacking courses that focus on Trojans, worms, backdoors, DOS, SQL and session hijacking.
  • Through practice, master services, such as penetration testing, footprinting and social engineering.
  • Try to get a Certified Ethical Hacker Certification.

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What is the best way to learn ethical hacking for beginners? 

Thes best way to learn ethical hacking as a beginner is by developing hands-on experience on ethical hacking tools following is one such online ethical hacking tutorial that explains all the ethical hacking concepts from basics. 

Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing

Over 78% of all businesses around the world face cybersecurity threats. This ethical hacking course will help serve as a protector for such companies. With so much data online, companies need to ensure that it remains safe and protected. This ethical hacking tutorial will teach students about important penetration techniques. They will learn about security-related terminologies and how to protect systems from invasion. Through this ethical hacking for beginners course, students will learn about Kali Linux, pen-testing reports and Password Cracking.

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As more data ends up online, more and more companies will need ethical hackers to make sure their systems are safe. Thus, this is a field that has a lot of scope for employment and growth. Through our ethical hacking courses, you will be able to gain some hands-on experience in the field of hacking. Make use of these ethical hacking tutorials to teach yourself a skill that will become very important in the years to come!

Getting started with Ethical hacking - The ultimate guide for beginners
Skyfi Labs Last Updated: 2021-03-09

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