“Hacking involves a different way of looking at problems that no one’s thought of. “-Walter O’Brien
Cybersecurity has become one of the major concerns in the recent few years. There has been a startling rise in the number of cyber crimes throughout the world and this needed immediate attention.
Ethical hacking or often referred to as ‘White Hat’ is in demand career option in today’s world. Ethical hackers penetrate into the system, find vulnerabilities and loopholes and provide with solutions. All of this is done with legal permission. Ethical hackers are technically skilled IT professionals, appointed by corporate companies to ensure the security of their data.
So if you’re a computer savvy and have a zeal for programming, ethical hacking just might be the thing for you. It’s an unconventional, unusual career option but at the same time, it is amusing and fulfilling.
About the Job – Ethical Hacking
Ethical hackers are skilled in the knowledge of programming, web applications, operating systems, assembly language, internet security systems etc. They work on the computer network, find areas susceptible to attack. They also make the required modifications to protect the network from illegal hackers.
Their main concern is with encryptions, security protocols and firewalls.
Career Paths for an Ethical Hacker
Some of the career options for an ethical hacker are:
- Financial Institutions
- IT and ITES companies
- All online businesses and organizations
- Diplomatic setups
- Security Installations
- Security agencies
- Defence organizations
- Telecommunication sector
- Immigration services
- Aviation industry
- Forensic Laboratories
Skills Required to become an Ethical Hacker
To become an ethical hacking aficionado a lot of effort is required to acquire the skills and knowledge.
- An ethical hacker has to be a computer system expert.
- An ethical hacker needs to have strong programming and networking skills.
- An ethical hacker needs to have patience, persistence and perseverance to keep trying and wait for the required result.
There are various hacking techniques an ethical hacker should be familiar with to be an expert-
- Password guessing and cracking
- Session hijacking
- Session spoofing
- Network traffic sniffing
- Denial of Service attacks
- Exploiting buffer overflow vulnerabilities
- SQL injection
- Programming languages such as C, C++, Perl, Python, Ruby
- Web applications such as Microsoft.Net, PHP
- Operating systems such as Windows, Linux
- Assembly language
- TCP/IP protocols such as SMTP, ICMP, HTTP
Some famous Ethical Hackers of all time
As famous he is today for his hacking skills, Mitnick hat was not always white. During his black hat days, he breached the security of the Digital Equipment Corporation, gained entry to Pacific Bell voice mail computers and many other crimes among them. He served his jail time and was released in 1989. In the year 2000, Mitnick took on the white hat and started working as a paid consultant. He had proved his skills to the world and was hired by Fortune 500 and also FBI to learn from his experience, expertise and ideas. He also conducts penetration test for some world-renowned corporations.
2. Charlie Miller
He is best known for his work on figuring out the vulnerabilities in Apple products. He was first to detect the MacBook Air bug at the Pwn2own contest in 2008 for which he received $10,000 prize money. He continued proving his worth by tracking down the acclaimed security of Apple devices(iPhone and iPad). Currently, he is working at Cruise Automation as a security researcher.
He is one of the famous, well-known personalities in this profession. He has written over 10 books on computer engineering and hacking which are valued by professionals all over the world. His first book ‘Unofficial guide to Ethical hacking’ was written by him when he was 15 years old. He currently works as an independent computer security consultant.