How to become an ethical hacker

Monday, January 19, 2015

An essential guide to becoming an ethical hacker

I often get a number of people ask for guidance  about how they can become an ethical hacker. I also receive even more requests about how to become a black hat hacker. The latter requests are ignored. below is a definition of an ethical hacker
Ethical hacker
  1. a person who hacks into a computer network in order to test or evaluate its security, rather than with malicious or criminal intent.
So if you want to be an ethical hacker the truth is there is no easy method to become a skilled hacker…… it’s easy to be a script kiddie and load up Armitage or Fast-track and fire every exploit known to man at a target. But what’s the point at firing Linux exploits at a Windows box!.
You need essential prerequisite knowledge
If you want to get into the IT  security world as a white hat you must be competent in the following areas:
  • Networking
  • Programming
  • Databases
Once you have a fairly good knowledge of the above points THEN it would a good idea to learn about hacking. So now you have a good understanding of the fundamentals of IT, you can now understand how to break some of the underlying vulnerabilities within computer architecture. The following activities should help you with this:

What areas to concentrate on in order to build a foundation
Networking – Cisco courses seem to be really good. I undertook all the CCNA courses available.
Programming – Focus on learning C++, Python/Ruby and PHP.
Databases – Play around with MySQL and MSSQL and make your own database to understand how it works.
Read books about hacking (Here are some good examples of some) -
  • Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition
  • The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing: Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Made Easy
  • Metasploit: The Penetration Tester’s Guide
  • BackTrack 5 Wireless Penetration Testing Beginner’s Guide
  • CEH Certified Ethical Hacker All-in-One Exam Guide
  • Google Hacking for Penetration Testers
  • The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws
Undertake various online courses
  • CEH
  • OSCP
Communicate and follow other fellow IT security enthusiasts through the following mediums
  • Facebook ( )
  • Google+
  • Twitter
Self learn by reading and watching online tutorials
Download practice environments to practice and hone newly learned skills
  • DVWA (Dam Vulnerable Web Application)
  • Metasploitable
  • Samurai WTF

Final note: Hacking is something that takes A LOT of your time!, be prepared to sacrifice friendships, relationships and that awesome social life you used to have! ;)

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