Hacking is unauthorized access into anyone’s digital device to either damage or steals information. Often performed by anonymous users, hacking costs people and organizations a lot of money, reputation, or both.
Based on the mentioned consequences, hacking is considered illegal. However, its variant exists, known as ethical hacking. It acquires permission before breaking into the system. Ethical hacking serves the purpose of protecting from hacking. Ethical hackers try to find the weak points of systems and the possible point of entry by hackers and fix them.
Candidates aiming at proficiency often take up ethical hacking certification to prove their caliber. As a result, the job prospects are broad, along with good income options.
Hackers can enter into different components to decode the information. A few of them are as follows.
|Type of hacking
|The computer’s login credentials are stolen to gain access to the device. These login credentials are the computer ID and password.
|The encrypted passcode, pin, or necessary details kept or transferred from the computer being hacked.
|Various network hacking tools are used to gain information about the network and associated functions. Subsequently, the hacker can damage the network affecting the organization. Commonly used tools include Ping, Netstat, Telnet, Tracert, etc.
|Evident by name, hackers take over email accounts. Generally, hackers send spam links, third-party threats, virus-infected mail, etc.
|Hacking a website, gives control over it as well as associated software. The software can be a database, technical tools, etc.
What is the process for hacking into the components of the computer or network?
There are six steps or procedures to get into someone’s system –
The initial phase of any activity starts with accumulating information. So does ethical hacking. Different tools are required for this purpose, such as Hoping, Nmap, Google Dorks, etc. The data involves details on packet hops, operating systems, IP configuration, services associated with the device, etc.
So, it’s obvious here that an ethical hacker scans the machine. They look for weak points or easily accessible points. Hackers often use ignored spots to gain access. Tools assisting in the endeavor are NMAP, Nessus, Nexpose, etc.
- Gaining access
In the previous step, ethical hackers found the point to enter. Now, they do set foot in. The main aim is to slide in unnoticed. Different methods and tools are possible for entry. However, the most commonly used tool is Metasploit.
- Maintaining access
Once entered, ethical hackers need to achieve their ultimate aim. Therefore, they perform several activities termed payloads. Metasploit provides three payload modules, namely stagers, singles, and stages. The hackers also make sure to ease their future entry. This action is termed backdoor.
- Clearing tracks
The art of hacking is to enter and act without letting others know. So clearing tracks is one of the critical activities, as the unethical hacker would do the same. The intruder removes the traces of their activity in this step.
Ethical hackers have to analyze their activity and present it to the company. Therefore, the report will include information like success rate, vulnerability points, the process of exploitation of sources, the improvements, etc.
By now, we understand hackers are only sometimes ethical. There are categories of hackers based on their actions and intention.
Classification of hackers –
- Suicide hacker
Known by the name hacktivist, we have witnessed several famous examples of their actions. They aim to expose the company or topple well-known organizations and their resources. If caught, legal steps are taken against them. Despite knowledge, their revenge is essential to them.
- Black hat hackers
These are the hackers who everyone should fear. They gain access to steal your data and sensitive information and intend to use your data illegally. The acts involve violating privacy, theft of corporate organizational analytics, damage to the system, etc.
- White hat hacker
White hat hackers are ethical hackers. They grant permission before accessing the system. Also, they function to protect from black hat hackers.
- Grey hat hacker
Grey hat hackers work for fun. They analyze and understand the weak points and earn massive amounts. Then, rather than gaining unauthorized access, they sell the information to the owner.
How to become an ethical hacker?
Companies require ethical hacker certification to hire candidates. The EC council provides certification by the name CEH v12 certification. Cybersecurity certification is also in demand among numerous companies. In addition, substantial income possibilities further attract students towards the profession.
Ethical hacking is a trending and exciting field. It attracts many individuals and companies due to the vulnerability and sensitivity of the information. However, with various hacking categories, one needs to clear their intent mindfully and act accordingly.