So, you like to be a hacker but don’t know how to be a hacker? How to become an ethical hacker? First of all, you need to understand what hacking is. Hacker is one of the most misinterpreted and overused terms in society. The public looks at anyone with the label hacker as up to no good. In many cases, hackers are viewed as operating in the shadows and antisocial.
So, what is a hacker exactly?
A hacker is a person who reveals the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of a system and gains access to it. A hacker gets unauthorized access to a network. In contrast, ethical hackers perform the same task but with permission from the system owner to carry out their attack against the system.
Types of Hackers
Following are some types of hackers:
White-Hat Hackers: This type of hackers attacks a system with the system’s owner’s permission. These are also recognized as ethical hackers or pen-testers.
Black-Hat Hackers: These are the bad guys. They operate on the opposite side of the law. They get unauthorized access to a system and steals the information.
Script Kiddies: These hackers have little or no training. They know how to use only basic techniques and pre-made tools.
Hacktivists: These are the guys who hack some ideas and leave some messages.
Ethical hackers reveal the system’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities for the system’s owner to fix them. Ethical hackers are employed either through agreements or direct hire. They use the same hacking techniques as a hacker but with permission from the owner. They do not divulge the weaknesses of an assessed system to anyone except the system’s owner. Now that we have disscussed what is a hacker exactly, let’s jump into how to be a hacker.
Basic skills to become an ethical hacker
To turn into an ethical hacker, you need to have the passion and proper motivation to learn new things. You also need to be patient and keep learning. Nothing happens in one night. You have to give time, effort, and proper practice to this skill.
You need to have a strong knowledge of at least one programming or scripting language and networking.
Follow the following steps to start from now,
1. Learn Programming Skill
If someone asks me how to be a hacker, my first answer is always “Learn programming skills”. The programming skill is the most crucial skill to become an ethical hacker. Programming is a process of writing code that is understood by computers to perform any task. Before learning to code, you need to choose a language to get started. So, which programming language should you start with. So, the following are the languages that are used by ethical hackers.
Which Programming Language to learn
If you want to work on web applications, you need to learn HTML, PHP, ASP, and JSP. Learn Java(For Android), Swift(For iOS), and C#(For Windows) for mobile applications. For Desktop-based applications, you need to learn Java, C++, and C#.
I recommend you to learn Python first. Because Python is considered the most user-friendly language. Its syntax is clear, simple, and mostly like English. It is straightforward to learn. It will help you to understand the basic concepts of programming fast and easy. After that, you will only need to know the syntax of other programming languages.
Learn programming for free here.
2. Computer Networking
Another most essential skill to learn ethical hacking is Computer Networking. A network is nothing but two or more devices connected to each other for exchanging information, such as e-mail messages or documents. Learning networking will help understand the attacks and defences.
Understanding networking will provide ethical hackers to observe the different computers interconnected in a network and security threats that can be created and handle those threats. To become an ethical hacker, it is mandatory to learn computer networking. You must know about network models, network topologies, IP addresses, and network protocols, etc.
3. Basic understanding of Operating Systems
The operating system (OS) is an interface between user and computer. An OS is a software used for data processing, file management, memory management, handling input/output, etc. An operating system allows us to connect to other computers on the network, share files, provide security, and so on. Therefore, an ethical hacker must know how an operating system works.
4. Learn Linux
Linux is a multi-user, multi-tasking operating system. That means Linux can allow multiple users to log in and run more than one program simultaneously. The reason behind learning Linux for ethical hacking is, it is more secure than any other operating system. However, it has malware for it but is less vulnerable than others. Most ethical hackers use Linux because it is safe and flexible. Learning Linux is another solution to the question “how to be a hacker?”.
5. Basic Hardware understanding
Hardware is described as physical components of a computer such as central processing unit (CPU), keyboard, mouse, monitor, speaker, graphics card, motherboard, etc. Without hardware, you cannot communicate with a computer or interact with any software.
To interact with a computer, you must have a basic understanding of hardware. Similarly, you cannot perform any ethical hacking task without understanding hardware. If one does not know about hardware, then how can one know how motherboards work, how USBs transfer data or how CMOS or BIOS work? Therefore you must have basic knowledge of hardware.
The word Cryptography has derived from two Greek words “Crypto” means “hidden or secret” and “Graphy” means “to write or to study”. Cryptography deals with the security and preservation of information. It helps you keep the information away from snooping eyes and provides you with a way of keeping the same information unharmed from alteration.
Cryptography deals with the encryption of regular text or message by converting it into a non-readable form. You can keep the confidentiality and maintain integrity, nonrepudiation and authentication by the application of Cryptography.
You can learn Cryptography by clicking here.
7. Learn Database Management System (DBMS)
A database management system is a software system that allows user to define, create, maintain and control access to the database. If someone accesses the database where all the information stored, then it can put a tremendous threat. So, it essential to secure the database against threats. Being an ethical hacker, it is mandatory to have a good understanding of the database software to build a robust DBMS for the organization.
Learn DBMS here.
Learning how to be a hacker is not that easy. To become an ethical hacker, you must give time and effort towards learning. In this post, I have tried my best to enlist all the essential steps to become an ethical hacker. Now, stop wasting your time playing games or watching movies. Practice for at least 90 minutes daily and take three breaks in between. Hope this post will be helpful for you. If you liked my article, then share this with your friends because sharing is caring. Happy Learning!