Ethical Hacking

Ethical Hacking

Ethical hacking refers to a specific type of computer activity that is performed in order to bring awareness to unethical behaviour within organisations. The motive behind such activity is not to bring harm to the target organisation, but to bring attention to issues at hand. This type of activity may consist of writing infected code, or planting a virus into the target organisation’s computer network. It may also refer to the use of a hacker in order to gain access to company confidential data.

The primary motivation for ethical hacking, therefore, is usually to draw attention to a lack of corporate responsibility on the part of a company or organisation. It is also used to draw attention to the activities of certain individuals or teams who have been involved in criminal activity. In computer parlance however, ethical hacking can also refer to the penetration of a computer system by a non-permitted party. These parties are normally corporate security contractors hired by large corporations to carry out hacking activities against their competitors or other companies they feel may be at a competitive advantage. However, as the term implies, an attacker must first have the consent of the target organisation before proceeding with the operation. More traditional computer crime involving computers does not need a victim in order for it to occur.

Is ethical hacking illegal?

They are also known as ethical hackers or penetration testers. Ethical hacking is completely legal and is one of the highest paid, fastest growing professions in information technology today. Often, an ethical hacker would work as an employee in an organisation, a security firm or as an independent security consultant.


There are several subtypes of ethical hackers. One subtype is the practitioner who penetrates a computer system without seeking permission from the user in order to do so. The hacker could choose to obtain physical access to a system, or they might hope to infiltrate the computer systems of a number of systems so that they can discover the source codes. There are even people who engage in the practice of “spousal hacking,” whereby one spouse hacks into a computer system belonging to another partner. This form of ethical hacking can lead to severe legal problems for the spouses if it is discovered that one of them obtained illicit intellectual property.

6 Types

  • Black Hat
  • What Hat
  • Grey Hat
  • Red Hat
  • Blue Hat
  • Green Hat

Other ethically questionable techniques include scanning a system for vulnerabilities and listening in on conversations. In the case of scanning, ethical hackers use scanning technology to search for vulnerabilities within a computer network. They might compile a list of possible attacks and if they identify a vulnerability, they perform penetration tests on the computer systems to see whether it is possible to gain access to a secret or important information. If successful, they attempt to locate the software and then infect it with viruses or other malware in order to sabotage the targeted system.

In the case of listening in, ethical hackers record conversations in order to use it for malicious purposes later. For example, they might use the recording to remotely control a computer by gaining access to the microphone or camera. Then they can listen to the conversation and use it to steal information. Some security weaknesses exist that allow any information that can be obtained during ethical hacking to be transferred to the attacker or tester.

Security vulnerabilities can be exploited using either manual or automated tools. The former involves finding ways of circumventing existing security measures, while the latter refers to discovering and testing for flaws in networks, software, and applications. A number of tools used by hackers to carry out penetration testing can be found online. For instance, some security testing tools can be downloaded for free, while others have to be purchased.

5 Types Of Ethical Hacking

  • Web application hacking.
  • Social engineering.
  • System hacking.
  • Hacking wireless networks.
  • Web server hacking.

A majority of penetration testing tools are targeted at hunting down security flaws in network infrastructure. Some examples of these tools include payload sniffers, code injectors, and password crackers. However, there are also tools that specifically target confidential information like credit card numbers, social security numbers, and bank account information.

These days, there are many people who consider themselves ethical hackers. There are even special hacker training courses to train individuals on how to identify, analyze, and work around vulnerabilities. However, some people choose to remain anonymous and engage in criminal activities. Whatever the case may be, ethical hackers play a vital role in the fight against malicious software, or any other vulnerability that may be discovered.

Penetration Testing

Blue hat hackers are security professionals that work outside of the organization. Companies often invite them to test the new software and find security vulnerabilities before releasing it.

Blue hat hackers perform penetration testing and deploy various cyber attacks without causing damage

If you want to know more about the penetration testing, you will find that there are many books, articles, magazines and even on the Internet that will give you more information about this subject. The penetration testing professionals need to have a thorough knowledge about computer software and its vulnerabilities before they carry out the penetration testing process. If the penetration testing is carried out by the wrong person or group of people, they may open many holes in the system thereby exposing the important data and information to the unauthorised users. Thus, it is very necessary for the penetration testers to be well versed about the security issues in computer software. If you want to work as a Penetration Testing Professional, you need to be very careful while carrying out the various activities involved in the Penetration Testing. Here are some of the things that a Penetration Testing professional needs to do.

A professional who is into the field of penetration testing must know the ethical hacker techniques and methods. He must be able to carry out ethical hacker attacks if he or she finds a hole or vulnerability in the software and how to use these to gather vital information and put an end to a particular operation. For instance, if a network is going to be attacked by the attackers, a professional who has thorough knowledge about the security flaws in a network will be able to stop the attack before any damage is caused to the computers or the networks.

It has been observed that there is a difference between the normal, blue hat hackers and the red hats, which are considered to be the cyber terrorists. The normal hackers try to make computer systems vulnerable so that they can gain access to confidential and personal information of an organization. The red hats, on the other hand, use these methods to try to obtain physical data from computer systems. Thus, before a person starts using his computer system for online transactions or for his own personal use, he must make sure that the system he is using is free from all the malicious programs and files.

Matthew Giannelis

Secondary editor and executive officer at Tech Business News. Contracting as an IT support engineer for 20 years Matthew has a passion for sharing his knowledge of the technology industry.

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