Everything You Should Know About Ethical Hacking

What is ethical hacking:

An authorized action to obtain unauthorized access to programs, devices, or data is referred to as ethical or white-hat hacking. Reusing the tactics and acts of cybercriminals is part of conducting an ethical hack. This method assists in the identification of security bugs, that can then be patched before a potential hacker has a chance to exploit them. 

Who are ethical hackers:

Ethical hackers, also known as “white hats,” are technology professionals who conduct these tests. They contribute to an organization’s security strategy by being proactive. The task of ethical hacking differs from criminal hacking in that it requires explicit permission from the company or holder of the IT resource.

What are the main protocol concepts of white hat hacking?

Below we have listed the 4 key protocol concepts that white hat hackers follow to perform ethical hacking.

i. Legalization

First and foremost, an ethical hacker is supposed to get a legal license and obtain proper approval prior to authorizing and conducting a security evaluation.

ii. Defining the scope

Once legal approval is received, the next step is to understand the scope of the security evaluation in order to make the process legal and within the company’s authorized actions.

iii. Reporting the vulnerabilities:

Once the scope is defined within the company’s boundary, the next step is to notify the company of all security vulnerabilities detected in the course of the evaluation. Also, give remediation guidance to resolve the found weaknesses.

iv. Respecting the data sensitivity:

Ethical hackers may well be forced to sign a non-disclosure contract in accordance to many other terms & conditions imposed by the assessed agency, based on the quality of the information. 

What makes ethical hackers different from malicious hackers?

Ethical hackers apply their expertise to enable companies to protect and develop the technology. They provide a critical service to these companies by searching for security flaws that might lead to a data breach. The found vulnerabilities are reported to the company by an ethical hacker. They also give advice on how to fix the issue. In several instances, the ethical hacker conducts a re-test with the company’s permission to ensure that the bugs have been completely addressed. 

For monetary benefit or positive reinforcement, malicious hackers pursue illegal access to the resource and exploit it. For amusement, reputation harm, or financial gain, many malicious hackers vandalize websites or collapse backend servers. The techniques used and bugs discovered have not been disclosed. They are unconcerned about the security posture of the company. 

What are the necessary ethical hacking skills?

An ethical hacker should be well-versed in a number of computer technology. They also practice, being subject matter experts in a specific field of ethical hacking.

Following skills are crucial to have for all ethical hackers:

  • Proficient in scripting languages.
  • Expertise in operating systems.
  • A detailed understanding of networking concepts.
  • Good knowledge of the information security principles.

Ethical Hacking Certifications:

Some of the most well-known and acquired certifications include:

  • CEH Certification (Certified Ethical Hacking certification) by EC Council
  • CompTIA Security+ Certification
  • OSCP (Offensive Security Certified Professional) Certification
  • Cisco’s CCNA Security Certification (CCNP and CCIE are other good security certifications by Cisco)

What issues does ethical hacking recognize?

Ethical hacking attempts to imitate an attacker when evaluating the security of a firm’s IT assets. They are looking for attack vectors against the goal when doing so. The first objective is to conduct reconnaissance and gather as much data as possible. If the ethical hacker has gathered enough data, they will use it to search for flaws in the resource. They use a mix of manual as well as automated testing to complete this evaluation. Also, advanced systems can be prone to complex prevention and mitigation technologies.

They do not stop there when it comes to finding flaws. Exploits are used by ethical hackers to demonstrate how a potential hacker can exploit a vulnerability. The following are among the most common flaws found by ethical hackers:

  • Misconfigured Security 
  • SQL Injection attacks
  • Consumption of elements with identified vulnerabilities
  • Broken verification
  • Classified data disclosure

Ethical hackers write a comprehensive report after the testing phase is completed. Steps to compromise the found vulnerabilities, as well as steps to fix or minimize them, are included in this documentation. 

What are the limitations of ethical hacking?

  • The scope of the project is restricted. To carry out a successful attack, ethical hackers must stay within a given framework. However, it’s not irrational to bring up the possibility of an out-of-scope assault with the company.  
  • Resources are limited. Malicious hackers are not constrained by the same time limits that ethical hackers are. Ethical hackers face additional constraints in terms of computing resources and budget. 
  • Restricted Methods. Some companies hire experts to help them escape test cases that cause servers to crash such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

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