What is an Ethical Hacker

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Ever-so-often there will be snippets generated about hacking on the various media streams. It will either be from an unknown source or sometimes even bizarre farfetched information, some reports will blatantly refute breaching data or service related violation. Whatever be the case it always likes the wicked are at play and constantly trying new ways of attacking and invading these space – whether it is the irritating spam or an absolute rip in faith by extorting personal information.

Wherever there is bad and malicious intent the good folk are ever-present with the same potential to overlook this information but in a manner of protection – Ethical Hackers. If you are trying to figure out what that means – read on.

The meaning of Ethical hacking

I like to refer to Ethical hackers as a critical security professional, who is also known as white hat hackers. They can just as easily detect a flaw or vulnerabilities as efficiently as a black hat hacker who exploits this data for gain. What they have in common is the same proficiency and talent of knowledge but an ethical hacker will use this skill set in a legal way to find a weakness or vulnerability and fix it before their equally talented nemesis gets to it.

I think an easy way to break this down is by equating the work of an ethical hacker to a penetration tester – the only difference being is that the ethical hacker has a wider spectrum of responsibilities. Yes, they to hack into a system in a legal and ethical manner which is the sole disparity between the good guys and bad guys.

If you think you got what it takes to be a white hat – here is a link that will give you a preview of our Certified Ethical Hacker Course Click here to watch.

Here is a definition of ethical hacking by  EC-Council. They say “an individual who is usually employed with an organization and who can be trusted to undertake an attempt to penetrate networks and/or computer systems using the same methods and techniques as a malicious hacker.”

I think it’s is safe to say that without ethical hacker your information is extremely pliable and can be misused by black hat hackers – their role is very significant in safeguarding this. An ethical hacker must earn this certificate to prove his credibility: it is called Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).

Ethical entails this:

There is a wide range of tasks, aside from the testing duties an ethical hacker must do. This is what I find absolutely interesting and challenging because ethical hackers replicate the same prowess of a hacker to find the same weak links and cracks in the system, but they need to go a step further to provide a defense mechanism to help the system fight these miscreants. Here is what an ethical hacker may do to ensure he cracks the system:

  • An ethical hacker must scan through ports and search for vulnerabilities. To allow an ethical hacker ensure the job is done well-scanning tools like Nmap or Nessus filter through the system and detect ports that are opened. What the ethical hacker does next is studied these vulnerabilities and find solutions to stop them.
  • Patch installations are thoroughly checked and secured to thwart any attempts of exploitation.
  • Using concepts that have a social engineering makeup is sometimes resorted to by ethical hackers, for example, dumpster diving – where they will weed through trash bins for any semblance of information that can act as homing beckons to the hackers to attack.

[Something related to the topic: Top 3 Ethical Hacking Certifications]

  • Shoulder surfing is another social engineering tool adopted by ethical hackers to access vital information. What they also do is use their smarts and get the employee to divulge passwords themselves.
  • All efforts are made by the ethical hacker to avoid the IDS (Intrusion Detection systems), IPS (Intrusion Prevention systems), firewalls, and honeypots.
  • Ethical hackers will even hijack web servers or web applications, or sidestep and beat wireless encryptions and even sniff networks if they must.
  • They have the capability to deal with problems that circle around employee fraud or laptop thefts.

An organizations reaction to the factors above and various tactics will evaluate the strength of the policies and infrastructure around security. To help an organization gear up against malicious intents of a hacker, and the ethical hacker will resort to emulating the same behavior as a hacker and then find remedies to tackle it.

Who qualifies as an ethical hacker?

I notice the polarity when people suggest that all hacker have one agenda – not sparing the white hats but the fact is the profession is here to stay.

I think an element to find success in the field is the sheer grit and passion one exudes for the job. Another key ingredient is good knowledge of networking and programming which will heighten the chances of being a successful ethical hacker.

To know the monetary benefits in being an ethical hacker – Read the Ethical Hacking Salary Report.

I recommend the CEH V9 as the palpable choice for people who are and whose interests lie in aspiring to be a security professional, forensic analyst, and intrusion analyst. This certification has become a standardized requirement by most IT companies when employing for security-related positions, this makes the certification extremely relevant.

This certification and training (CEH V9) by Simplilearn will give each participant an in-depth knowledge of Backdoor, detailed aspects of Trojans and the grit on Countermeasures. It also ensures an improved grasp of IDS, firewalls, wireless hacking, and honeypots, apart from the more specified areas of ethical hacking.


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