CONTENT – Ethical Hacking
- What is ethical hacking?
- Types Of Hackers
- Phases of ethical hacking
- Benefits of ethical hacking
- Importance of ethical hacking
We humans highly tech savvy in today times with extensive rise of internet and modern technologies, there is a massive challenge in protecting all digital data such as net banking information, account credentials.
To deal with the situation cybersecurity is implemented it can be defined as a practice of protecting networks programs, computer system and their components from unauthorised digital attacks.
These illegal attacks are called hacking that is- exploiting computer system or a private network inside the computer to obtain unauthorized access to information.
This is a misconception that hacking is always wrong, there are hackers who work with different motives. There is a legal and valid hacking that is called ethical hacking.
WHAT IS ETHICAL HACKING?
Ethical Hacking sometimes called as Penetration Testing is an act of intruding/penetrating into system or networks to find out threats, vulnerabilities in those systems which a malicious attacker may find and exploit causing loss of data, financial loss or other major damages.
Businesses and government organizations hire cybersecurity professional to break past their online security systems so that they can recommend measures that help prevent data theft and fraud.
Also known as penetration testers or information security analysts, ethical hackers identify potential threats and help mitigate the risk of a real cyber attack.
The purpose of ethical hacking is to improve the security of the network or systems by fixing the vulnerabilities found during testing.
Ethical hackers may use the same methods and tools used by the malicious hackers but with the permission of the authorized person for the purpose of improving the security and defending the systems from attacks by malicious users.
Thus, unlike malicious hacking, this process is planned, approved, and more importantly, legal.
TYPES OF HACKERS
Hackers are of different types and are named based on their intent of the hacking system. Broadly, there are three main hackers – Black-Hat hacker, White-Hat hacker and Grey-Hat hacker.
The names are derived from old Spaghetti Westerns. Where the good guy wears a white hat and the bad guy wears a black hat.
The ones who find flaws, break into the system, exploit it with a malicious intent and a disregard for consequences that can be laid upon the victim.
They are the real hackers. The information is usually shared which leads to a disaster.
The ones who work for corporations or are hired to hack into a system with an intent to find its flaws and vulnerabilities, document and report it to the seniors and developers, and remediate it. This is known as Penetration Testing (pen testing).
The ones who can be either hackers or penetration testers, bend the rules and policies, but never exploit or share it.
They can be termed as black hats without a malicious intent.
So, the white hackers can be called ethical hackers.
PHASES OF ETHICAL HACKING
1) Planning and Reconnaissance:
This is the first phase in ethical hacking. It is a preparatory face where we collect and gather all the information about the organisation system that the hacker intends to target.
It also addresses intelligence to understand the potential vulnerabilities and how a target works.
The prospective foot printing is made through search engines, web services, social network sites, DNS, email, network, etc. by using foot printing tools.
In the second step, scanning is performed to spot the vulnerabilities and to understand how a target reacts to various intrusion attempts. The later is the most practical way to understand the application’s performance in real-time.
3) Gaining Access:
This phase is where an attacker breaks into the system/network using various tools or methods.
After entering into a system, he has to exploit them and increase his privilege to administrator level so he can install an application he needs or modify data or hide data.
4) Maintaining Access:
In this step of penetration testing, the vulnerability is used as a persistent presence for a long duration in the infected system in order to spread inside the network, quickly gaining access to the server.
Basically hacker maintain his access for future targeting by installing backdoors in target system.
5) Clearing track:
An intelligent hacker always clears all evidence so that in the later point of time, no one will find any traces leading to him.
This involves modifying/corrupting/deleting the values of Logs, modifying registry values and uninstalling all applications he used and deleting all folders he created.
The final stage of a penetration test is to compile the result by analyzing and commenting about the vulnerabilities exploited, access to the data, and the amount of time that the tester can remain unnoticed in the system.
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BENEFITS OF ETHICAL HACKING
- The primary benefit of ethical hacking is to prevent data from being stolen and misused by malicious attackers, as well as discovering vulnerabilities from an attacker’s POV so that weak points can be fixed.
- Helps in implementing a secure network that prevents security breaches.
- It helps to fight against cyber terrorism and defending national security by protecting data from terrorists.
- Gaining the trust of customers and investors by ensuring the security of their products and data. Helping protect networks with real-world assessments.
IMPORTANCE OF ETHICAL HACKING
In the era of international conflicts, terrorist organisations funding cyber criminals to breachha security systems, either to compromise national security features or to extort huge amounts by injecting malware and denying access therefore resulting in the steady rise of cybercrime.
New worms, malware, viruses, and ransom ware are multiplying every day and is creating a need for ethical hacking services to safeguard the networks of businesses, government agencies or defense.
Therefore the role of ethical hackers has become increasingly important across all sectors.
It has created a lot of opportunities for cyber security professionals and has inspired individuals to take up ethical hacking as their career.
In today’s world, cybersecurity has become a trending topic that of increasing interest among many businesses. While malicious hackers are finding newer ways to breach the defenses of networks almost every day.
Organizations face the challenge of updating hack-preventing tactics, installing several technologies to protect the system before falling victim to the hacker.
Therefore Ethical hacking is becoming more important in modern life and how to get started in the
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