Hacking For Good
It seems like hacking’s never off the news, and there’s some kind of moral panic about the practice, whether its teenagers breaching security systems from their bedrooms, or Russian operatives launching cyber attacks on the West. But did you know that some hackers work for good, the so-called white hat or ethical hackers?
An ethical hacker essentially carries out the same activity as a regular hacker, but they’re working for good, not evil. Indeed, the ethical hacker could be regarded as the ultimate security professional. Ethical hackers locate and exploit vulnerabilities and weak points in systems—just like a malicious or black hat hacker – but inform the organisation of the flaws in their system to improve them, rather than stealing or blackmailing corporations for data
This is basically the difference between ethical hackers and real hackers— so you get all the illicit thrill of breaking into someone else’s system, without the threat of jail!
The role of the ethical hacker is becoming increasingly important since hackers are continually developing more sophisticated systems to breach networks. Ethical hackers’ responsibilities are now so recognised that you can even get a certificate in the practice, possibly with an online course at Udemy. Groupon are offering many great deals on this cutting edge online learning service.
Apart from testing duties, ethical hackers are tasked with other responsibilities. The main rationale is to get inside the mindset of a malicious hacker at work, and anticipate how to circumvent them. An ethical hacker could employ any of these strategies to penetrate a system:
- Scanning ports and seeking vulnerabilities: An ethical hacker uses port scanning tools like Nmap or Nessus to scan a company’s systems and find open ports. The vulnerabilities of each port can be examined and their security improved.
- An ethical hacker will examine patch installations so that they cannot be exploited.
- The ethical hacker could find themselves engaged in social engineering concepts such as dumpster diving—rummaging through trash bins for passwords, charts, sticky notes, or anything with critical information that could generate an attack.
- As with any profession, passion for the industry is key to success. This, combined with a good working knowledge of networking and programming, will help you get ahead in the field.
Did we almost forget to mention that it’s a very well paid job to boot? So, if you think you could hack being a hacker, why don’t you log on and find a course today.