Ethical Hacking: The good side to hacking?

In the 1960s engineering students would hack their university computer systems to see how they could improve them. However, when we think of hacking, why do we think a people behind a mask in a dark room, hiding behind a screen? What is Ethical Hacking?

Ethical hacking is hacking performed by a company or individual to help identify potential threats on a computer or network. Ethical hacking can be quite lucrative if you find a bug or vulnerability in some software.

To be ethical when hacking, you need (to):

  • Permission to penetrate the network
  • Respect the individual’s or company’s privacy
  • Close your work, so you don’t leave anything out in the open for you or someone else to exploit at a later time
  • Let the software developer or hardware manufacturer know what vulnerabilities you locate in the software or in the hardware if they are not already known. You can even earn cash by reporting vulnerabilities:

Ethical hackers use the same techniques as hackers would use to see how the systems would cope based on these attacks. Examples of these attacks are Denial of Service Attacks (Dos) and social engineering attacks.

The 5 Phases of Ethical Hacking

  • Planning and Reconnaissance. The hacker identifies the objectives of the test. Intelligence about the target is gathered to know about potential vulnerabilities and how it works. That is gathered by looking at search engines, email etc – public information using footprinting tools.
  • Scanning. Using scanning tools when the code is not running and then running to see how it reacts to various attack attempts.
  • Gaining Access. Using different types of attack methods, for example – SQL injections to find vulnerabilities and exploit them.
  • Maintaining Access. The hacker sees whether they can use the vulnerability to gain information.
  • Analysis. Analysing and commenting on the test.

Why is Ethical Hacking important?

Ethical Hacking helps create secure networks. It also helps protects the data of people. Ethical hackers find problems first. They also keep up to date with new hacking techniques.

How to become an Ethical Hacker

The best way to become an Ethical Hacker is by taking the CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker Qualification. For more information click here.

My opinion on Ethical Hacking

I believe Ethical Hacking is important and essential in the world now. It is a great career choice as well. You learn how to hack but in a legal way. I think this is an exciting job as you are preventing crime.

What do you think of ethical hacking? Do you agree with Adithi that it is important, even vital, to have ethical hacking? Perhaps you think that ethical hackers are ethical by day but have a darker side by night? Have you been hacked? Let us know your thoughts below.


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4 thoughts on “Ethical Hacking: The good side to hacking?

  1. I think that’s a very interesting topic , personally I agree with ethical hacking so long as it’s done in accordance with the law. I think that lots of major companies use this method as well.

  2. What an interesting article Adithi. I think it is very important and as Neelum says as long as it is carried out in accordance with the law I agree with it. I am happy to think there are people out there doing this to try and insure online safety for others. Is it a career you might consider in the future?

  3. Very nicely written article on Ethical Hacking. Concise and informative.
    Such hackers are also called White Hats btw. And just to add, Facebook also has a bounty program for free lancers who find vulnerabilities as well as bugs and I know of a couple of guys in Bangalore, India who make a living out of it. Of course the most famous EH is Kevin Mitnick I suppose.

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