When we hear the word “hacking”, the first thing we feel is fear. Because in most of the movies, when the bad guy wants to take revenge over the good guy, he will sneak into his system and manipulates the information and use it against them. So hacking has been recorded in our brain as a bad or wrong thing to do and the exposure towards hacking is also very limited among the common people. That’s why we are going to see clearly in detail what (Ethical)hacking is all about. This article will brief you about Ethical Hacking and after reading this, you will get a clear picture of how it works. So folks, fasten your seat belt and lets get started.
What is Ethical Hacking?
As the name suggests, hacking means finding the weak spot (Vulnerabilities) in other’s system to gain unauthorized access of that system to perform some malicious activities like deleting the files or stealing the sensitive information. This is called Unethical hacking or Malicious Hacking and it is punishable offense. Ethical Hacking is similar to that but doing the wrong thing in a right way. Confused…. Ok.. here it goes..
Ethical Hacking means hacking the system legally or with permission. Computer experts are often hired by the company to find their weak endpoints so that they can be fixed. This is because to take a precautionary measure against the hackers with malicious intent. So, Ethical Hacking is a process of hacking into a system with permission and without any wrong or malicious intent and people who does this kind of hacking is called as Ethical Hackers or White Hat Hackers.
Significance of Ethical Hacking
Ethical Hacking can be useful for us in this fast moving digital world. In real world, posting a picture in a social media itself is not safe and we have to think about it many times before doing any of our personal stuffs. In order to feel safe and secure we need more security protection. With the help of Ethical Hacking we can
1.Identify the vulnerabilities:
The purpose of Ethical Hacking is to evaluate the securities and identify the vulnerabilities in systems, network or system infrastructure. It means finding and attempting to exploit vulnerabilities to determine whether any unauthorized access or any malicious activities are possible. This is done to protect their organization from the malicious hackers and also to improve their overall security. The prime purpose of Ethical Hacking is to prevent sensitive data from falling into wrong hands. It owes to better qualities of infrastructure and strengthen the security system of the organization.
It safeguards the company from the blackmail by those willing to exploit the vulnerabilities. The security risks and vulnerabilities in a network can be recognized with the help of ethical hacking. Via real-world testing, we can enhance our digital network security and prevent security breaches.
2.Demonstrating methods used by Cyber Criminals:
This demonstration will show the hacking techniques used by the malicious actors used to attack the system and create havoc in their business. Companies who have in-depth knowledge of the methods the attacker used to break into their system will be well prepared and equipped to prevent the havoc from happening.
3.Preparing for a cyberattack
Cyberattacks can cripple a business especially a small business who are completely unaware and unprepared for cyberattacks. Ethical Hackers understand how these malicious hackers operate and attack the security system. Security professionals who work with the Ethical Hackers are better able to prepare for future attacks.
Types of Hacking
Hacking a website means taking unauthorized management over an internet server and its associated software like databases and alternative interfaces.
As the name suggests, network hacking is hacking of a network by manipulating its network tools like Telnet, NS Lookup, Ping, Netstat etc with the intention of destroying the network system and creating the havoc in its operations.
It is the method of hacking the password of any network or system or email to gain illegal access to steal the sensitive information. That’s why its always insisted to set up a strong password which contains mix of characters like at least one capital letter, one number and one special character. One must be very careful in setting up the password and better not to share it with anyone.
This is the most common method of hacking and can be done by hacking the ID and Password of the computer system by applying the hacking methodologies to get unauthorized access to the system.
Different Types of Hackers
Hackers are of three different types and they are as follows:
White Hat Hackers
White hat hackers are otherwise called as Ethical Hackers are hackers who work to keep the data safe from other hackers by finding system vulnerabilities that can be mitigated. White hats are generally employed by the owner of the target system and are typically paid foe their work. Their work is not illegal because it is done with the consent of the system owner.
Black Hat Hacker
Black hats or crackers are the hackers with the malicious intent. They often steal, corrupt and sell data for their personal gain. Thats why their work is illegal. They are very skilled hackers and do hacking to make profits or benefits not just to vandalize. These hackers find exploits for system vulnerabilities and often use them to their advantage by selling the fix to the system owner or by selling the exploit to other black hat hacker, who in turn use it to steal information or gain royalties.
Grey Hat Hacker
They are the hackers, who hack for fun or to troll. They may both fix and exploit vulnerabilities, but generally not for their personal motive. Its still illegal if its done without system owner’s permission,even though their intent is not malicious
Roles and responsibilities of Ethical Hacker
Any security position has its busy days and its slow days. When cyber attacks happen, an ethical hacker is usually a part of a security team that helps mitigate damages. They help provide support that protects the network, and some days they just need to monitor the network for any irregularities. If network security is strong, the job position doesn’t require a high level of stress. But, for security to be strong, the applicant must have a strong history in computer security.
- Create scripts that test for vulnerabilities including penetration testing and risk assessment
- Develop low-level tools that improve security testing and monitoring
- Deliver detailed reports to different team members and executives that document security findings
- Perform risk assessment across the entire network including hardware and software systems
- Set up security policies that help personnel use best practices for digital protection
- Review and hire vendors to incorporate security systems
- Train staff and personnel on best practices for network security
5 Phases of Hacking
There are five phases of hacking. They are
- Gaining Access
- Maintaining Access
- Clearing Tracks
Hacking Phase 1: Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance refers to the preparatory phase where the attacker gathers as much information as possible about the target before launching the attack. The attacker draws on competitive intelligence to learn more about the target for the future point of return for ease of an entry for an attack. In this phase, the attacker gather as much information as possible to plan the attack.
Part of this reconnaissance may involve social engineering. A social engineer is a person who convinces people to reveal the sensitive information like unlisted phone numbers,passwords etc. Another technique is Dumpster Diving. It is the technique of looking through an organization’s trash for any discarded sensitive information. Attackers can use the internet to obtain information like employee’s contact information,business partners,current technologies. But dumpster provide them with even more sensitive information such as user names, passwords, credit card statements, bank statements.
Hacking Phase 2: Gaining Access
During this phase, the attacker designs the blueprint of the network of the target with the help of the information collected in the phase 1. This is the phase where the attacker breaks into the system. Once he gets into the system, he has to increase his privilege to administrator level so he will install an application to gain access to the target.
Hacking Phase 3: Scanning
Scanning is the phase immediately preceding the attack. In this phase, the attacker uses the details collected during reconnaissance. Scanning is a logical extension of active reconnaissance. Often reconnaissance and scanning phases overlap and it I not always possible to separate the two. Port scanners detect listening ports to find information about the nature of services running on the target machine. The primary defence mechanism against port scanners is to shut down services that are not required and also to implement appropriate port filtering. However, the attackers can still use tools to determine the rules implemented by port filtering.
Hacking Phase 4: Maintaining Access
It is the phase when the attacker tries to retain his ownership of the target system. Once the attacker gains the target system with admin access, he will use both the system’s resources at will.He can either use the system as a launch pad to scan and exploit the other system or to keep a low profile and continue exploiting the system. Both these actions can cause a great amount of damage.
Attackers who want to remain undetected, remove evidence of their entry and install a backdoor or a Trojan to gain repetitive access. They can also install rootkits at the kernel level to gain full administrative access to ten target computers. Rootkits gains access at the operating system level, while a Trojan horse gains access at the application level.
Hacking Phase 5: Clearing Tracks
As the name suggests, this is the phase of erasing all the evidence of their actions by an attacker to hide their malicious acts. Attackers always cover their tracks to protect their identity so that they can avoid problems like prosecution in future. To hide information, attackers would use techniques like stenography and tunneling. Stenography is the process of hiding data in other data. Eg image and sound files. Tunneling takes advantage of transmission protocol by carrying one protocol over another. Attackers can use even a small amount of extra space in the data packet’s TCP and IP headers to hide information.
Career Opportunities in Ethical Hacking
Scope, Job Prospects and Sectors
Internet security and networking are the two fastest-growing industries where ethical hackers can find employment. Ethical hackers are hired to find any vulnerability that might exist in a network and to fix them. They can join the government as well as private organisations as cyber-security experts.
IT firms are the main recruiters of ethical hackers. They can also be required by financial service providers, airlines, retail chains and hotels.In addition, government agencies such as various wings of the military and law enforcement, defence organisations, forensic laboratories, detective companies and investigative services offer challenging roles for ethical hackers.
Some skilled hackers work for investigative agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Information.Some large organizations employ security testers and others use contractors to audit their systems.
Graduates can set up their own companies offering ethical hacking services. Companies such as Wipro, Infosys, IBM, TCS, Tech Mahindra, HCL, Airtel, Reliance and many more are also looking for good ethical hackers.Designations that are used for this profile include Network Security Systems Manager, Network Security Administrator, Systems/Applications, Security Executive, Web Security Administrator, Web Security Manager, etc.
As a certified ethical hacker, you will see many career channels open for you like:
- Forensic analyst.
- Intrusion analyst.
- Security manager.
- Computer network defense analyst (CDN)
- CDN auditor.
- CDN infrastructure support.
- Penetration tester.
- Ethical hacker
Conclusion Hope you have enjoyed reading this basic article about the Ethical Hacking. So what are you waiting for? Register for your online Ethical Hacker Certification Course today and make all your dreams come true!