What is Ethical Hacking? - Hacking: A 101 Hacking Guide (2015)

Hacking: A 101 Hacking Guide (2015)

Chapter 1: What is Ethical Hacking?

An ethical hacker is one that builds, fortifies, secures, and strengthens. To do that, the ethical hacker must get into the mindset of whoever is trying to break into their system. They will thoroughly check their system for weaknesses, and figure out how they can be exploited. Then, they seek to eliminate those weaknesses.

This book is aimed at the ethical hacker, not a destructive hacker (also known in some circles as crackers). The purpose of this book is to provide you with a basic understanding of how to start testing your system to make it as safe and impenetrable as possible.

A white hat hacker is another word for an ethical hacker, and goes back to the image of the old western movies where the good guy would wear a white hat, and the bad guy would wear a black hat. You can guess what a black hat hacker is!

Black hat hackers have many different motivations: some enjoy causing chaos and disruption, others might attack out of revenge or out of sheer malice, still others merely do what they do to show the world that the can, and some may be hired by outside entities and see themselves are merely providing a service, and still others are trying to make a point. They see vulnerabilities as potential points of attack, like unsecured windows on a home, unlocked doors, or faulty alarm systems–that they can use to their own advantage.

White hat hackers are motivated by a concern for security, whether it is for their own system, their company’s system, or that of a client. When they see vulnerabilities, they investigate them just as thoroughly–and, better yet, even more thoroughly–as the black hat hackers. However, the goal is not to discover how to use them to their own advantage, but how to secure them.

White hat and black hat hackers will probably use the same tools–just like a locksmith and a professional thief may have the same tools in their bags. It’s not the tool that is evil, but how it is being used. A white hat hacker might use a password hacking tool to test how strong a company’s authentication is, whereas a black hat hacker may use the exact same tool to gain entrance to a server to steal data.

Data shows that the job market for white hat hackers is good. Companies are quickly learning that it is better to invest in the skills of an ethical hacker before anything happens than deal with the financial damage, loss of trust, and loss of reputation. According to Statista.com, the average cost of cybercrime in the US for 2014 was 12.69 million per company.

Remember: white hat hackers never intrude where they don’t have permission, and never use what they learn about a system for anything but strengthening its defenses.

Online Resources:

How to Get a Job as an Ethical Hacker:

Occupational Outlook Handbook for Information Security Specialists: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm

The Role of White Hat Hackers:

Cost of Cybercrime in the US: http://www.statista.com/statistics/193444/financial-damage-caused-by-cyber-attacks-in-the-us/

Cost of Cybercrime in Selected Countries: