Ethical Hacking-An improved way to prevent malicious activity

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Ethical hacking
Bearded old hacker wearing a hoodie talking with young hacker about new cyber attack.

To gain information about the security measures in place at a target organization.

What does the term Ethical Hacking mean?

An example of ethical hacking would be when your company’s IT department hires you to test the security of their network systems to find vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to break into the system. You may also use this term for testing how to secure applications like web browsers work. For instance, if you wanted to see what information can be accessed on Facebook without
logging in, you might try accessing it from different computers using various methods.

Ethical hacking involves an authorized attempt to gain unauthorized access to a computer system, application, or data. Carrying out an ethical hack involves duplicating strategies and actions of malicious attackers. This practice helps to identify security vulnerabilities that can then be resolved before a malicious attacker has the opportunity to exploit them. Ethical hackers are known as ‘White hats’.

Origins of Ethical Hacking

The term “ethical” was first used by Bruce Schneider, author of Applied Cryptography: Protocols for  Dealing With Data Security Problems. In his book he defined it as follows: ” An ‘ethically hacking program will not do anything illegal; it won’t steal your credit card number, sell you out to advertisers, or otherwise harm anyone.” He added that such programs should be distinguished from those which break into computers without permission, known as black hats.

How are ethical hackers different than malicious hackers?

Malicious hackers use their skills to break into systems with no regard for the consequences. They often target organizations because it provides easy money. Ethical hackers take great care when performing any penetration test. Their goal is not financial gain but rather to help secure networks against future attacks. Malicious hackers will usually try to steal information while ethical hackers focus more on identifying weaknesses and providing solutions.

The five phases of Ethical Hacking:

1. Information gathering Phase.

2. Analyzing the method to reach the target.

3. Unauthorized access to target systems.

4. Maintaining the Access.

5. Clearing track.

What are the Skills required by Ethical Hackers?

Technical Skills

Ethical hackers must have strong command over security areas, related issues, and technical domains. They must have detailed knowledge of older, advanced, sophisticated attacks.

Non-Technical Skills

1. Learning ability

2. Problem-solving skills

3. Communication skills

4. Committed to security policies

5. Awareness of laws, standards, and regulations.

What problems does Ethical hacking identify?

The most common problem identified through ethical hacking is weak passwords. Passwords should contain at least eight characters, including numbers, letters, and special symbols. A password must also include upper case and lowercase letters, but not both. It cannot repeat itself nor contain any dictionary words. Finally, users shouldn’t reuse passwords across multiple accounts. Another commonly reported vulnerability is insecure web applications. These applications allow unauthenticated users to view information about another user without proper authorization.

What are the benefits of hiring an Ethical Hacker?

1. Reduced risk of being hacked.

2. Improved security posture.

3. Increased confidence in the integrity of the company’s infrastructure.

4. Decreased cost associated with mitigating risks.

What are the Disadvantages of hiring an Ethical Hacker?

1. This may corrupt the files of an organization.

2. Ethical hackers might use information gained for malicious use.

3. Hiring such professionals will increase costs to the company.

4. The technique can harm someone’s privacy.

Conclusion

Thus ethical hacking is a good knowledge where illegal activities are prevented. It is a great career option too.

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