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What No One Told You About Ethical Hacking

Who is better armed to confront a hack than someone who knows how to plant one? The main objective of ethical hacking is to prevent confidential information from falling into wrong hands.

Hackers break into computer systems. But ethical hackers do it with the owner’s permission. Their purpose is to identify loopholes and determine what a criminal hacker can see on a targeted network or system. There are various types of hackings that an ethical hacker can perform such as web server hacking, wireless network hacking, web application hacking, and etc. In this blog post, we answered 2 important questions: does ethical hacking require coding and is learning ethical hacking legal. Continue reading to uncover the full story.

What does ethical hacking mean?

We have all heard of hackers. Many of us have even suffered the consequences of hacker actions. A hacker is someone who maliciously penetrates the systems for personal gain. These are criminal hackers with malicious intent (e.g. disseminating viruses and performing DDoS attacks).

Ethical hackers, on the other hand, are usually security professionals or network penetration testers who utilise their hacking skills for defensive purposes. In the most basic sense, ethical hackers test networks and systems for security vulnerabilities using the same toolsets criminal hackers might use to compromise the network.

Ethical hacking is performed with the target’s authorisation. The goal of ethical hacking is to find out vulnerabilities from a hacker’s standpoint, hence the system security can be bolstered. In fact, you may see it as a part of an overall information risk management program that enables regular security developments. You must have heard of the saying “To catch a thief, think like a thief”. The idea is simple: in order to hack your own systems like criminals do, you have to think like them.

Did you know?

Many organisations hire hackers as a part of their staff. These [ethical] hackers use their skills to detect vulnerabilities before [criminal] hackers do.

Is ethical hacking legal?

We hear you asking “is ethical hacking actually legal?” or “what are the instances of ethical hacking becoming illegal?“. Excellent questions indeed. Let’s dig into the details to better understand the nature of ethical hacking.

As we already know, ethical hacking entails the element of “permission” from the owner or administrator. In other words, an ethical hacker is given the consent to break into the systems. It becomes apparent that ethical hacking is lawful. However, there are a number of situations where ethical hacking could result in a lawsuit when the hacker:

  • breaks the confidentiality agreement and exposes confidential organisation information.

  • alters, modifies, and misuses company data.

  • develops a backdoor into an organisation’s system to access later.

Is ethical hacking legal

Despite the “permission” element mentioned above, it greatly depends on how far the ethical hacker goes to accomplish the test. Hacking carried out to fulfil personal motives can never be termed as ethical! Instead, the overall goals of an ethical hacker must be as follows:

  • hack organisation systems in a non-destructive manner.

  • list detected vulnerabilities and inform the organisation that vulnerabilities exist.

  • remove vulnerabilities and solidify the security of systems.

Does ethical hacking need programming?

Yes! Ethical hacking does require programming. Python, C, C++, Assembly, Java, C#, Ruby, and Perl are some of the programming languages used by ethical hackers.

Does ethical hacking need programming

For example, if you need to reverse engineer software that has already been compiled, you have to know Assembly language. This language will even enable you to manipulate hardware through the use of a driver which is a type of software component that controls a hardware device.

Another widely used scripting language is Perl and Perl has proven particularly useful in the Linux environment. This language is mainly used by system administrators and network programmers to carry out network routing operations. Perl becomes more useful when an ethical hacker hacks into a server and then tries to reach out to other network sources.

Python, on the other hand, has gained popularity among ethical hackers because of its super powerful and easy-to-use libraries. Using Python is easy to understand and very powerful because ethical hackers can code their own tools as well as automate their security assessment processes.

Simply put, ethical hackers must be knowledgeable about computer programming and operating systems. Solid knowledge about highly targeted platforms like Windows, Unix, and Linux is also a requirement. Networking and database skills are useful in performing ethical hacking and vulnerability testing.

Start your ethical hacking journey now

Do you want to become an ethical hacker? Would you like to understand the processes behind hacking and cyber-attacks? It is time to take action – check Ethical Hacking IT – Awareness Training. This training is jointly provided by Swiss Cyber Academy and Airbus CyberSecurity. What makes this training unique is the fact that its content is developed by cyber professionals from Airbus CyberSecurity.

Upon completion of this 1-day training, you will walk away with the knowledge of XSS flaw, SQL injection, Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities, and etc. After the training, you will receive a certificate by Swiss Cyber Academy and Airbus CyberSecurity in an electronic and hard copy format. We welcome you to book a free Consultation first to learn more about this training, we would be happy to answer your questions. If you are interested in corporate offers, please drop us an email.