Ethical Hacking

Ethical Hacking Tutorial

by Drivler

in Uncategorized

When someone mentions the word “hacker,” several stereotypes are likely to spring to mind. A lot of people assume that hackers are predominantly young males who live at home and have nothing better to do than to cause mischief online. While this is in part true, it in no way represents the whole hacker culture. Often hackers are actually teams of people working together from all corners of the world and not all of them are up to criminal activity. Of course, there are teams of hackers out there who are trying to steal credit card numbers, information, identities, pirate software, and other illegal activities. These hackers are called black hat hackers. On the other hand, there are people who hack ethically in order to prevent cyber-crimes. These people are called white hat hackers. Often, ethical hackers are hired by corporations, educational institutions, and government agencies to test their defenses and software against computer attacks. In this tutorial to ethical hacking, we’ll provide an introduction to what ethical hacking is, who does it, how you can get started as an ethical hacker, and how much you ethical hackers get paid for their unique skills.

What is “ethical hacking”?

Ethical hackers, or white hat hackers, are often IT professionals and computer engineers and scientists.

Corporations spend a lot of money to secure their servers from hackers.

Their primary objective is to make sure that the client’s computer network and software are secure. In order to do this, ethical hackers must know how to find security breaches and how to implement defenses against these breaches on both the software and hardware levels. They must also be able to predict behavior of black hat hackers, to prevent future computer attacks that may steal personal data like place names, or they may disrupt business.

Ethical hackers are sometimes called “penetration testers.” Many times, ethical hackers start as black hackers, but quickly realize that they can make more money legally by offering their skills to major corporations or government agencies. In order to become an ethical hacker, it takes a great amount of computer knowledge. Hacking the computer systems of major corporations is not an easy task, despite what the entertainment industry would have people think. Instead, it often takes weeks or months of laborious work to even get a foothold into the system.

How to get started in Ethical Hacking

While no ethical hacking tutorial can ever hope to cover all the knowledge required to succeed an ethical hacker, we hope to provide some useful information as to the route you can take for acquiring that

hacker on keyboard

Ethical hackers have to be highly skilled with computers.

knowledge. For people interested in ethical hacking, a degree in computer engineering or computer science is highly recommended. Hacking requires in-depth knowledge of the UNIX and NT operating systems that most businesses use run their computer systems and networks. This is important because it is often necessary to be able to go through many levels of the operating systems to get to deleted files or to find evidence of computer attacks. Ethical hackers also need knowledge about computer networking and how email and routing work, because of the rise in email and internet related crimes. Being able to work within the structure of the corporate world is also a skill that is necessary to be an ethical hacker. Often, corporations are constrained by budget and time. Their main goal is to ensure security while maximizing profit for their shareholders. Ethical hackers are often contracted out by corporations to work on projects, so being able to relate to the client how security implementations will affect the bottom line is important. Classes in business and economics are often helpful to ethical hackers so that they can learn how the corporate world thinks and operates. Finally, there are no current guidelines to certify that someone has the knowledge and expertise required to be an ethical hacker and to effectively diagnose and protect against security threats. However, a person can get a Certified Information Systems Security Professional certificate. This certification is offered through the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium and aims to ensure that a person is certified to work in computer security.

How much can you earn as an ethical white hat hacker?

Being an ethical hacker for a major corporation can be a lucrative and rewarding career. Corporations and governments lose billions of dollars every year through the crimes of black hat hackers. Often, ethical hackers are the first and the last line of defense that exist. Salary ranges for a skilled ethical hacker are generally solidly in the six figures, with top professionals earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. The very best ethical hackers often start their own security consulting companies, where they can earn as much as $500 per hour to help corporations solve their most pernicious security riddles. Some ethical hackers also earn money and prestige participating in hacking contests held by companies testing security flaws, such as the annual Pwn2Own hacking contest where hackers earn $5,000 to $10,000 for each security flaw they uncover in major operating systems and browsers.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Eve August 14, 2010 at 11:09 pm

How hard is it to get into Ethical Hacking? and about how long does it take?

ogbudeke christmas May 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm

i need to learn this ethical hacking were can i get start.

lex September 20, 2011 at 11:33 pm

I find this very interesting. What Masters should i graduate with to become an ethical hacker.? Should i study computer programing.?

b April 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm

the hacking part of this is a skill and a passion and cannot be learned overnight. you are literally learning the infrastructure of data transmission (wired, wireless, cellphone and different formats and operating systems) as well how to get into systems that do not want you to get into them. You are using utilities the average person would not understand, mostly in command prompt. You are often doing things without being seen and sometimes using password cracking utilities and resources that are custom to the individual job. You may be using stenography to imbed/retrieve files and programs hidden within other files or programs.

The ethical part of this refers to how you use this technology and knowledge. White hat are the security professionals this article refers to and are hired by companies to test their security. Grey Hat hackers may voluntarily find vulnerabilities and offer to fix them at a small charge. Black Hat hackers are what gets the media’s attention. They are the ones with malicious intent. They destroy systems and/or steal information and they are the opposing force to the “ethical hacker”.

My father was in charge of com-sec in the military for 22 years. He got out, did it on the side in the civilian world. He updates a local company’s server security for about $60 an hour, and it usually takes him about 45 minutes. The reason the company pays him this much is because he does things that, if they didn’t have done, they could potentially lose a lot more than that.

So yes, there is money. But would you pay your babysitter $100 an hour? Would you pay $100 for a car wash? No. It must be earned. This lifestyle is not for the faint of heart but is very rewarding if programming, networks, security and laptops are your passion.

I personally recommend going to youtube and checking out the hak5 channel and see what this educational series has to offer. The host (Darren Kitchen) is a professional White Hat “ethical hacker”.

dankass June 4, 2012 at 8:15 am

awesome…cant wait to be a white hat hacker

Alex June 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

What qualifications do you need to be an ethical hacker?

Silly Sally Spanker Sprinkler Showers-Johnson IV June 20, 2012 at 9:39 pm

@ Eve. If you have to ask, you’re not ready. I would suggest becoming a hooker. @ Lex. You’re not going to college. MAYBE ITT Tech. Maybe. You should study Environmental Science. That way you can play with some animal feces and call it a day. Or a research paper. Kidding, you should study computer science. Let me know if you get into college.

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