Ethical Hacking – 15 Skills Required To Become A Hacker

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Skills Required To Become A Hacker

It’s amusing that some individuals believe technology is completely safe and problem-free. However, the number of cybercriminals is increasing, and they use their expertise to steal and harm people online.

On the other hand, cyber security is becoming increasingly important, and ethical hacking is a subordinate of this field. Many companies require individuals with these skills to safeguard their data and information. You will have excellent employment opportunities if you acquire the skills I will discuss in this article.

What Is Hacking?

Hacking refers to the unauthorized access of digital systems and networks to compromise the security of a computer system or account.

What Is Ethical Hacking?

Ethical hacking is a legitimate method of identifying application, network, or organization’s infrastructure weaknesses. Its purpose is to bypass system security to detect potential data breaches and threats in a network. Ethical hackers aim to investigate the system or network to discover weak points that malicious hackers can exploit or damage.

They can enhance the system’s security to make it more resilient against attacks or redirect them. Ethical hacking plays a vital role in maintaining system security, as it enables the identification and resolution of vulnerabilities before malevolent actors exploit them.

Ethical hackers usually have extensive computer networking, cryptography, and programming knowledge.

Ethical hacking

Ethical hackers specialize in information security and use their expertise to safeguard computer networks and systems against cyber-attacks. Unlike malicious hackers, ethical hackers are authorized to test systems for flaws and susceptibilities.

They achieve this by replicating real-life attacks and utilizing the same techniques and tools as malicious hackers. Many ethical hackers hold certifications such as the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) credential. This certification is highly regarded worldwide and confirms an individual’s ethical hacking skills.

To obtain the CEH certification, candidates must pass a demanding exam that covers various topics such as footprinting and reconnaissance, scanning and enumeration, social engineering, denial-of-service attacks, and session hijacking. The CEH exam evaluates candidates’ ability to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in virtual environments.

The ethical hacker’s primary objective is to determine the existence of loopholes, such as information, locations, or systems that an attacker can exploit. They also investigate what an attacker can access with this information, what actions the attacker may take, and whether anyone in the information systems is already reacting to such attempts.

15  Skills Required To Become An Ethical Hacker 

  1. Basics Computer Skills 

    To become an effective ethical hacker, one must possess excellent computer skills, including the ability to grasp and utilize new technologies quickly. Additionally, a creative mindset is necessary to identify potential vulnerabilities. Once a weakness is identified, it must be exploited to access the system.

    Proper work documentation is also essential to enable others to replicate the results. Without these fundamental ethical hacking skills, performing ethical hacking can be challenging.

  2. Programming 

    To perform ethical hacking effectively, one must have a solid grasp of programming skills. This is because ethical hackers use their programming language knowledge to identify systems’ weaknesses and propose solutions to address them.

    Without programming skills, it would be impossible to comprehend how systems function and how to detect vulnerabilities in them. Python, Java, and PHP are the most widely used programming languages among ethical hackers. However, any programming language that can write code can be used for hacking.

    The paramount factor is a thorough understanding of code and how it can be utilized to solve problems. Numerous online resources are available for learning coding skills, so there is no excuse for not having some basic coding knowledge before attempting ethical hacking.

  3. SQL 

    Ethical hacking is gaining popularity and demands a unique skill set. Among the crucial skills that an ethical hacker must possess, the ability to write and comprehend SQL queries is perhaps the most important. SQL, which stands for Structured Query Language, is a programming language specifically designed for working with databases.

    To identify sensitive information in a database, an ethical hacker must be capable of creating SQL queries that can extract the required data. This necessitates a thorough understanding of database structures and the usage of SQL to manipulate them. Without this fundamental skill, ethical hacking would be unattainable.

  4. Malware 

    Becoming an ethical hacker entails more than having technical skills to identify and exploit system vulnerabilities. It also requires thinking like a malicious hacker, which involves having a deep knowledge of malware and its role in accessing systems and data.

    Moreover, ethical hackers must be able to identify the objectives of malicious hackers and clearly understand the consequences of their actions. Without these essential ethical skills, detecting and addressing security weaknesses would be challenging.

  5. Database Skills 

    To be a successful ethical hacker, one must possess various skills. Among these, proficiency in working with databases is essential. To identify security weaknesses, hackers must deeply understand database structures and operations.

    You must also be skilled in using database management tools to access restricted data and manipulate information. Without this skill, ethical hackers would find it challenging to perform their tasks effectively.

  6. Cryptography Skills

    Cryptography refers to the process of encrypting and decrypting information. Ethical hackers use cryptography to safeguard data from unauthorized access. They also use it to create “backdoors” into systems, which enables them to access sensitive data without raising alarms. Therefore, cryptography is a key tool for any ethical hacker.

  7. Computer Forensics Skills

    Ethical hacking constantly evolves, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques can be challenging. Consequently, many ethical hackers specialize in a specific area, such as computer forensics. Forensic experts are highly valued members of any ethical hacking team, as they are trained to identify and analyze digital evidence.

    To become a forensic specialist, you must possess strong analytical and problem-solving abilities. Additionally, you must stay current with the latest forensic tools and techniques. With the appropriate ethical hacking skills and training, you can become an indispensable asset to any ethical hacking team.

  8. Linux

    Linux is a powerful operating system that offers a wide range of features and tools, well-known to anyone in the IT field. For ethical hackers, having Linux skills is crucial as it enables them to access the internal workings of a system and identify potential weaknesses.

    Furthermore, Linux abilities allow them to create personalized scripts and programs to automate various tasks. There are several ways to acquire Linux skills, but the most effective method is to get practical experience by working with different distributions.

    This hands-on experience provides a better understanding of how Linux functions and enables the customization of tools and techniques to meet specific needs.

  9. Web Applications 

    Ethical hackers can utilize various methods, such as examining the code, analyzing networks, and performing black-box tests to discover vulnerabilities. Once a vulnerability is identified, the hacker can manipulate it to access confidential data or gain control over the application.

    To be effective, ethical hackers need to possess a comprehensive knowledge of the functioning of web applications and the ability to identify and exploit their vulnerabilities.

  10. Reverse Engineering 

    Reverse engineering refers to breaking down an object or system to comprehend its functioning and determine how to manipulate it. This expertise is required for ethical hacking since it enables the hacker to dissect applications and devices to detect potential weaknesses.

    Without the ability to reverse engineer, it would be challenging for ethical hackers to identify vulnerabilities in systems because they would lack an understanding of the system’s inner workings and intended purpose.

  11. Wireless Technologies 

    To be a competent, ethical hacker, one must profoundly comprehend wireless technologies. In the current era, wireless networks are most businesses’ and organisations’ primary means of communication and transactions. Unauthorized access to these networks by hackers could lead to disastrous consequences for companies.

    Therefore, ethical hackers should thoroughly understand the mechanisms of wireless technologies to recognize and take advantage of security gaps. With this knowledge, they can assist organizations in strengthening their security measures and safeguarding against malicious cyber-attacks.

  12. Logical Reasoning & Innovative Solutions

    To become a proficient ethical hacker, it is essential to possess exceptional analytical and problem-solving abilities. You should be able to visualize the entire system and comprehend how each component interacts. Once you identify a potential security loophole, you must devise innovative solutions.

    Furthermore, you must have excellent communication skills to explain your findings to non-technical personnel. Although ethical hacking is a demanding field, the rewards can be significant for those up to the challenge.

  13. Social Engineering Skills 

    To excel in ethical hacking, one needs to possess a combination of technical and social skills. On the technical front, ethical hackers must have comprehensive knowledge of cybersecurity tools and techniques and a deep understanding of the functioning of computer systems.

    However, technical expertise alone does not suffice to become a successful ethical hacker. In addition to technical skills, ethical hackers must also possess strong social engineering abilities. This involves gathering information about targets through various means, including conversation, research, and observation.

    Ethical hackers leverage this information to exploit vulnerabilities in security systems. Moreover, seeking online cybersecurity training courses to enhance one’s ethical hacking skills is essential.

  14. Hardware Knowledge 

    To become an ethical hacker, it is necessary to possess PC hardware skills. This includes working with various computers and operating systems such as Linux, Windows, and macOS. It is also crucial to have experience working with different types of computers, such as desktop PCs, laptops, servers, and mobile devices.

    Also, ethical hackers should be proficient in using various network equipment and protocols, including switches, firewalls, web servers, and email servers.

    Furthermore, employing at least one scripting or programming language to automate daily tasks or develop new tools is essential. It is desirable to have some familiarity with digital forensics and network security. By possessing these abilities, you will be on the right path towards becoming an ethical hacker.

  15. Networking 

    To pursue ethical hacking, you must have a comprehensive grasp of networking principles, encompassing aspects such as IP addresses, DNS servers, and routing protocols. Ethical hackers must be capable of comprehending how networks are constructed to identify potential vulnerabilities to exploit.

    Since numerous ethical hacking methodologies and tools involve working with network traffic, possessing a solid foundation in networking is crucial before delving into hacking.

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