What is ethical hacking and skills required to become an ethical hacker?

Written by janvi

cybersecurity blogger and hacking enthusiastic

November 16, 2018

In the Internet world, computer security has become a major concern for governments, businesses and even to common people. Organizations are using the Internet to their advantage by utilizing it as a medium for, advertising, e-commerce, information distribution and access. However, each and every organisation and government remain worried that they may be hacked which could lead to a loss of private and personal information.

In the search to reduce the fear of being hacked, governments and organizations have come to the realization that the most effective way to evaluate security threats is to have independent security experts and they are ethical hackers. Now let us know more about ethical hacking.

By definition Ethical hacking is an act of locating weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the computer by duplicating the intent and actions of cybercriminals. It is also known as intrusion testing or penetration testing and an ethical hacker is a security professional who applies his/her hacking skills to secure information systems on behalf of the owners.

Ethical hacker most of the times need to do Testing round the clock to pinpoint when the network is vulnerable. Being an ethical hacker is intellectually demanding as malicious hackers are continually finding ways to hack in many ways.

An ethical hacker is like all-rounder so he/she must have equal knowledge in several fields and here are some of the top skills that are required:

Programming skills:

To become an ethical hacker he/she should know Programming languages for writing exploits, Reverse Engineering, Web Hacking and Pentesting.

If you’re interested in web hacking and pentesting, then you must know HTML, JavaScript, SQL, and PHP.

As HTML is the most important basic markup language he/she should know it very well to understand web action, structure and logic. And for client-side programming and for web development JavaScript is used. One should learn it as it can help you find the web-apps flaw. Each and every data is stored in the database so you should know about database programming SQL. And every beginner in Hacking and Penetration testing must know PHP.

If you are interested in advance part of Hacking then you must know to exploit writing. And it requires a higher level of programming languages like C, C++, Ruby, Python etc.

C is used for Exploit writing and development as it is mostly used in software creation for Linux, Windows etc.  And to learn to exploit creation you first need to know about Python Socket Programming. For meterpreter scripting, ruby is a must.

For crime prevention, you need to have extensive knowledge in Reverse engineering where you extract knowledge or design information from anything man-made and reproducing it based on the extracted information. For this, you need to learn Assembly language.

Networking Skills

Most of the security threats originate from networks. So you must know computer networking and how computers in a network are interconnected. And you should explore all security threats that may exist in a network.

an ethical hacker exploring all security threats

Social Engineering

Social engineering is a technique hackers use to interact with their targets without revealing their intentions for obtaining information about an organization or computer systems. In order to protect their networks, ethical hackers should understand social engineering.

Social Engineering cycle


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