What is Ethical Hacking?

Safalta Expert Published by: Saksham Chauhan Updated Wed, 14 Sep 2022 12:56 AM IST

Highlights

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The word "Hacker" was used to refer to professionals who redeveloped mainframe systems, boosting their productivity and enabling multitasking. Nowadays, the phrase is frequently used to refer to talented programmers who, driven by malice or mischief, exploit loopholes or use defects to obtain unauthorised access to computer systems. For instance, a hacker can develop algorithms to break networks, access passwords, or even impair network functions. Stealing important data or achieving financial benefit is the main motivation behind malevolent or unethical hacking. But not all hacking is harmful.

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The second kind of hacking is ethical hacking, which takes us full circle. Why do we need ethical hacking, and what is it? You will discover all there is to know about ethical hacking in this essay. Download these FREE Ebooks:
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Ethical hacking: What is it? 

In order to uncover possible data breaches and network risks, ethical hacking is a legitimate method that involves finding flaws in an application, system, or organization's infrastructure and getting beyond system security. In order to find vulnerabilities that malevolent hackers can exploit or eliminate, ethical hackers search the system or network. They can enhance security to better withstand assaults or deflect them. In order to test the system's defences, the firm that controls the system or network permits Cyber Security engineers to carry out such actions. Therefore, this procedure is planned, sanctioned, and—more importantly—legal, in contrast to malicious hacking. In order to find vulnerabilities that malevolent hackers can exploit or eliminate, ethical hackers search the system or network. To find out how to make the system, network, and applications more secure, they gather and analyse the data. They can strengthen the security footprint in this way to better fend off assaults or reroute them. Organizations use ethical hackers to investigate the flaws in their systems and networks and create defences against data breaches. Think of it as a technological twist on the proverb "It takes a thief to catch a thief."

They look for critical vulnerabilities such as, but not only:
  • Attacks by injection
  • alterations to security parameters
  • exposure of private information
  • Authentication protocol breach
  • System or network components that might serve as access points
Now that you know what ethical hacking is, it's time to learn about the different types of hackers.

Black Hat hackers versus white hat hackers

Examining their motivations is the greatest approach to distinguish between White Hat and Black Hat hackers. White Hat hackers look for and fix vulnerabilities to stop Black Hat hackers from exploiting them, in contrast to Black Hat hackers, who are driven by evil intent displayed by personal benefits, profit, or harassment.

The following are other techniques to distinguish between White Hat and Black Hat hackers:

Methods Employed
White Hat hackers imitate the procedures and methods used by malevolent hackers to identify system inconsistencies, following every step taken by the latter to determine how a system attack occurred or may occur. If they discover a hole in the network or system, they notify it right away and make the necessary repairs.

Legality
Even while both Black Hat and White Hat hackers use the identical strategies, only one is permitted by law. Black Hat hackers violate the law when they access networks without authorization.

Ownership
Organizations use white hat hackers to break into their systems and find security flaws. Black hat hackers are neither system owners nor employees of those who are.

Let's look at the tasks and responsibilities of ethical hackers now that we have a better knowledge of what ethical hacking is, the different sorts of ethical hackers, and the distinction between white-hat and black-hat hackers.

What are an ethical hacker's roles and responsibilities?

To hack lawfully, ethical hackers need to adhere to a set of rules. A good hacker knows his or her responsibilities and follows to all of the ethical norms. The following are the key guidelines for ethical hacking:
  • An ethical hacker needs permission from the company that controls the system. Before executing any security assessments on the system or network, hackers should get full authorisation.
  • Establish the parameters of their assessment, then inform the organisation of their strategy.
  • Inform the appropriate authorities of any system or network vulnerabilities and security lapses.
  • Keep their findings a secret. Ethical hackers should consent to and abide by their non-disclosure agreement since their goal is to safeguard the system or network.
  • After examining the system for potential vulnerabilities, remove all evidence of the hack. It stops malevolent hackers from exploiting the system's vulnerabilities.

Major Advantages of Ethical Hacking

Learning ethical hacking entails understanding the methods and attitude of black hat testers and hackers in order to discover and fix network vulnerabilities. Security professionals from a variety of sectors and companies may use what they learn about ethical hacking. Network defence, risk management, and quality assurance testing are all part of this field. However, understanding ethical hacking has the most direct potential to improve, protect, and inform organisational networks. Hackers pose the biggest danger to any organization's security; by learning, comprehending, and putting what they know into practise, network defenders may better prioritise possible threats and figure out how to mitigate them. Additionally, obtaining ethical hacking courses or certifications might help people looking for a new position in the security industry or those want to impress their employer. You are likely considering the skills needed to become an ethical hacker now that you are aware of what ethical hacking is and the numerous duties and responsibilities of an ethical hacker. Let's examine some ethical hacking talents now.

The Qualifications for Becoming an Ethical Hacker

To carry out hacking effectively, an ethical hacker has to have a thorough understanding of all systems, networks, programme codes, security measures, etc. Among these abilities are:
  • For security experts working in the fields of application security and the Software Development Life Cycle, programming knowledge is a need (SDLC).
  • Professionals working with host-based assaults and network-based attacks must have scripting skills.
  • Networking expertise - This ability is crucial since networks are where most dangers come from. You should be aware of every device linked to the network, how they are connected, and how to spot infected devices.
  • Understanding databases - Databases are frequently the target of attacks. Being familiar with database management systems like SQL will enable you to efficiently inspect database activities.
  • understanding of several systems, including Windows, Linux, Unix, etc.
  • working with various hacking tools that are accessible on the market.
  • understanding of search engines

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