Why and How to Become an Ethical Hacker? Prerequisite, Benefits & Books

How to become an Ethical Hacker?… Hmmm, sounds interesting right? Well, damn sure! From childhood, we all were interested in this. So, for those who are interested in problem solving, networking & communication, here I will tell you how to become an ethical hacker.

Data has always been the most important wealth mankind has ever possessed. It has always been an issue to keep this data safe whether be it in the physical form or digital form. Hence, the need to secure data has given rise to one of the most modern ranges of professional opportunities – Ethical Hacking.

Who are Ethical Hackers?

An ethical hacker is a computer security expert who specializes in penetration testing and other methodologies to secure the system networks of an organization. Ethical hackers also are known as White hat hackers, they use the same skill as that of a black hat hacker, but with a different motive.

Ethical Hacker

A black hat hacker uses his cyber skills to penetrate into a system network to steal data and misuse it, while at the same time an ethical hacker uses the same skill to find loopholes in a network and conceal it before someone else could exploit it.

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A professional must follow many guidelines to be an ethical hacker.

  • One needs to get complete acceptance of an organization before he starts working on their networks.
  • It is the duty of the person to report each and every step of his operation to the organization and keep them informed about his mode of operation.
  • Any flaw detected must be rightly informed to the higher officials and must be rectified with almost care.
  • Every bit of data associated with the network is the responsibility of the hired professional.
  • Violation of any of these guidelines will put the hacker under a different colored hat and will lead to legal action against him.

Pre-requisites to Become an Ethical Hacker

  • Knowledge in programming languages: This is one of the fundamental requirement for an ethical hacker.
  • Scripting knowledge: Required for professional working with network-based attacks.
  • Networking: To find the flaws in networks one needs to understand a network to it’s fullest.
  • Understanding of database:  Attacks are carried out on databases, so one needs to understand database concepts to secure it.
  • Knowledge of different operating systems: Linux, Unix, Windows etc.
  • Knowledge of search engines and servers.

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Benefits of Becoming an Ethical Hacker

There are a huge number of opportunity in every organisation. Due to the lack of qualified professionals, the available one’s are paid a huge salary.

Job satisfaction in this field is said to be heart whelming.

Every day is a new challenge. The black hat hackers on the other side are coming up with different ways to penetrate into a network and this makes it interesting for a professional to work on diffusing these plans.

A professional hacker develops many related soft skills on their journey. These includes problem-solving and social confidence.

Threats are never going to end and so are cybercriminals never going to stop and hence, every organization will need to have someone to protect them against this. Hence one can always expect job security.

The fun of doing something legally which others do at the risk of lifelong imprisonment.

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Path Towards Becoming an Ethical Hacker

Any person who has in-depth knowledge in the above-listed sections can aspire to be an Ethical Hacker. And to do so

  • Learn Linux and Unix:
    • Almost every good hacking operating system is based on the Linux kernel and hence Linux is considered the favourite operation system of hackers.
      Linux distro for hacking purposes: Kali Linux, Parrot Security OS, BackBox, BlackArch Linux, Fedora Security Spin, Cain’s
  • Master cryptography:
    • To be a successful hacker one needs to master the art of encryption and decryption
  • Participate in different local and international hacking conferences.

Take up professional coaching or training programs likes

  • CEH — (Certified Ethical Hacker)
  • CHFI — (Computer Hacking and Forensic investigator)
  • OSCP — (Offensive Security Certified Professional)
  • OSCE — (Offensive Security CertifiedCertified Expert)
  • OSWP — (Offensive SecurityWireless Professional).

These can equip one to be a professional ethical hacker.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that information security analysts, which includes ethical hackers, can expect to see job increase by 28% from 2016 to 2026. Hackers can find a job in government as well as in private sectors. Having proper contact with the hacker’s community can help one to find a job easily.

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Reference Books Suggestion

Here are some books that could come handy on your path

  1. Ghost In The Wire: My Adventure As The Worlds Most Wanted Hacker.
  2. Hacking: The Art Of Exploitation
  3. Social Engineering: The Art Of Human Hacking
  4. The Codebook.
  5. Metasploit: The Penetration Tester’s Guide.

Being an Ethical hacker is not one time learning it’s an ever-ongoing process. Only a really interested person can remain and survive to achieve excellence. Hence if you are one such person, then never give up on your hunger to learn.

If you have friends who aspire to take up hacking as a career do share this article with them and let us know your cyber experiences in the comment section.

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