This Ethical Hacking Interview Questions blog features the most frequently asked questions by interviewers. These questions are formulated after consulting with top industry experts in the field of Ethical hacking. This blog will be a perfect guide for you to master all the concepts required to clear an Ethical hacking interview. If you want to brush up on Ethical hacking basics, you can take a look at the Ethical hacking tutorial.
But before we start with the Ethical Hacking interview questions, let’s understand what the job prospects for ethical hacking professionals are:
For your better understanding, these Ethical hacking interview questions are divided into the following parts:
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Let’s start with the Beginner level questions.
2. What are the different types of hacking?
3. What are the tools used for ethical hacking?
4. What is the difference between IP address and Mac address?
5. What is MIB?
7. What are the best sniffing tools?
8. What is DNS Cache Poisoning?
10. What are the types of password cracking techniques?
Hacking refers to unauthorized intrusion in a system or a network. The person involved in this process is called a hacker. They use the computer to commit non-malicious activities such as privacy invasion, stealing personal/corporate data, and more.
Ethical hacking is also known as penetration testing or intrusion testing where the person systematically attempts to penetrate/intrude into a computer system, application, network, or some other computing resources on behalf of its owner and finds out threats and vulnerabilities that a malicious hacker could potentially exploit.
The main objective of ethical hacking is to improve the security of the system or network and fix the vulnerabilities found during the testing. Ethical hackers employ the same tools and techniques adopted by malicious hackers to improve security and protect the system from attacks by malicious users with the permission of an authorized entity.
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Based on the hacker’s motive and legality of actions, they are divided into three types:
Apart from the above well-known hackers, there are miscellaneous hackers based on what they hack and how they do it:
Based on the category of being hacked, hacking is divided into different types as follows:
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The most popular ethical hacking tools are listed below:
There are mainly five stages in hacking:
A firewall is a network security system that allows or blocks network traffic as per predetermined security rules. These are placed on the boundary of trusted and untrusted networks.
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Hashing is used to validate the integrity of the content, while encryption ensures data confidentiality and security. Encryption is a two-way function that includes encryption and decryption, while hashing is a one-way function that changes a plain text to a unique digest that is irreversible.
IP address: For every device, an IP address is assigned. The IP address is a number allocated to a connection of a network.
MAC address: A MAC address is a unique serial number assigned to every network interface on every device.
The major difference is MAC address uniquely identifies a device that wants to take part in a network while the IP address uniquely defines a connection of a network with an interface of a device.
Virus: It is a type of malware that spreads by embedding a copy of itself and becomes a part of other programs. Viruses spread from one computer to another while sharing the software or document they are attached to using a network, file sharing, disk, or infected email attachments.
Worm: These are similar to viruses and cause the same type of damage. They replicate functional copies of themselves and do not require a host program or human help to propagate. Advanced worms leverage encryption, ransomware, and wipers to harm their targets.
Keystroke logging is also known as keylogging or keyboard capturing. It is a type of surveillance software that records every keystroke made on the keyboard. Every action made on the keyboard is monitored, and data is retrieved by operating through the logging program.
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A Trojan is a type of malware that is often developed by hackers or attackers to gain access to target systems. Users are manipulated by some attractive social media ads and then directed towards malicious sites into loading and performing Trojans on their systems.
Cowpatty is the implementation of the offline dictionary attack against WPA/WPA2 networks using PSK-based authentication.
Most of the enterprises employ PSK-based authentication for WPA/WPA2 networks.
Exploitation is a part of programmed software or script that allows hackers to gain control over the targeted system/network and exploit its vulnerabilities. Most hackers use scanners like OpenVAS, Nessus, etc., to find these vulnerabilities.
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Enumeration is the primary phase of ethical hacking that is information gathering. In this phase, the attacker builds an active connection with the victim and tries to gain as much information as possible to find out the weaknesses or vulnerabilities in the system, and tries to exploit the system further.
Enumeration collects information about:
The different enumerations available in ethical hacking are listed below:
Defacement is an attack in which the hacker changes the visual appearance of a web page or website. The attacker replaces the firm’s site with an alternate page or sometimes opposite to the text of the website.
Management Information Base (MIB) is a virtual database of network objects. It contains all the formal descriptions of the network objects being monitored by a network management system. The MIB database of objects is used as a reference to a complete collection of management information on an entity like a computer network.
MAC flooding is an attacking method that is used to compromise the security of the network switches. These switches maintain a table structure called a MAC table that consists of each MAC address of the host computer on the networks which are connected to the ports of the switch.
To prevent MAC flooding, use the following methods:
Footprinting is a technique used for collecting as much information as possible about the targeted network/system/victim to execute a successful cyber attack. It also finds out the security posture of the target. During this phase, a hacker can collect data about a domain name, IP address, namespace, employee information, phone numbers, emails, and job information.
Footprinting is divided into two types:
Passive footprinting: It collects data of the target system located at a remote distance from the attacker.
Active footprinting: It is performed directly by getting in touch with the target machine.
Fingerprinting is a technique used for determining which operating system is running on a remote computer.
Active fingerprinting: In this, we send the specially crafted packets to the target machine, and based on its response and gathered data, we determine the target OS.
Passive fingerprinting: In this, based on the sniffer traces of the packets, we can find out the OS of the remote host.
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Sniffing is referred to as a process of monitoring and capturing the data packets passing through a given network. It is mostly used by system/network administrators to monitor and troubleshoot network traffic. Sniffing allows you to see all sorts of traffic, both protected and unprotected. Attackers use this to capture data packets having sensitive information such as email traffic, FTP password, web traffic, router configuration, DNS traffic, and more.
Sniffing is divided into two types:
In this, traffic is not only locked and monitored but it may be altered in some way determined by the attack. It is used to sniff a switch-based network. It involves injecting the address resolution packets into a target network to switch on the content addressable memory table.
In this, traffic is locked but not at all altered in any way. It works with hub devices, and traffic is sent to all the ports. Any traffic that is passing through the unbridged or non-switched network segment can be seen by all the machines on the segment.
The best sniffing tools are listed below:
ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) poisoning is also known as ARP spoofing or ARP Poison routing. It is a form of attack where the attacker changes the MAC (Media Access Control) address and attacks the ethernet LAN network by changing the target computer’s ARP cache with forged requests and reply packets.
ARP poisoning can be prevented by the following methods:
These help in reducing the chances of attacks being successful. These filters analyses each packet that has been sent over a network and filter out and blocks malicious packets that are suspicious.
Protocols such as SSH and HTTPS will also help you to reduce ARP poisoning attacks.
These are not suitable for larger organizations as each VPN connection needs to be placed between each computer and each server. If it is only a single person trying to attack using public wifi, then VPN will encrypt all the data that has been transmitted between the exit server and the client.
This is suitable for smaller networks. This ARP is added for every machine on a network into a single individual computer.
DNS cache poisoning is a technique that exploits vulnerabilities in the DNS (domain name system) to divert internet traffic away from legitimate servers and towards false ones. It is also known as DNS spoofing.
SQL injection is a type of injection attack that executes malicious SQL statements and controls the database server behind a web application.
These attacks mostly take place on the web pages developed using ASP.NET or PHP.
These attacks can be made with the following intentions:
The only way to prevent the SQL injection attack is input validation and parameterized queries including prepared statements. The application code should never use the input directly.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) is also referred to as a client-side code injection attack. In this, the attacker intends to execute malicious scripts on the victim’s web browser by including malicious code in a legitimate page or web application. The actual attack occurs when the victim visits the page and executes malicious code, and this web application actually becomes a vehicle to deliver the malicious script to the user’s browser. Forums, web pages, and message boards that allow comments support cross-site scripting attacks.
To fix these attacks, apply context-dependent output encoding.
DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack is a type of DoS attack, where several compromised systems are often infected with a trojan and are used to target a single system causing a DoS (Denial of Service) attack.
Here is how DDoS work:
It is an attempt to make a webpage or online service inaccessible by overloading it with huge floods of traffic from various sources.
DDoS attacks are categorized into three types:
These are also known as Layer3 & 4 attacks. In this, the attacker tries to saturate the bandwidth of the target site.
These attacks include actual server resources and others like load balancers and firewalls, and they are measured in Packets per Second.
It includes the zero-day DDoS attacks, Slowloris, etc., that attack the Windows, Apache, or OpenBSD vulnerabilities and more. This is measured in Requests per Second.
Pharming attack is one of the various cyber-attacks practiced by the attackers. It is a fraudulent practice in which legitimate website traffic is manipulated to direct users to the fake look-alikes that will steal personal data such as passwords or financial details or install malicious software on the visitor's computer.
Pharming attacks can be prevented by the following methods:
Install the power antivirus software that will detect and remove the malware that is directed to the malicious sites on your computer.
Check the URLs on the sites that you visit are trustworthy.
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Phishing is an attempt to steal sensitive information such as user data, credit card numbers, etc. These attacks occur mostly while using personal email accounts or social networking sites, online transactions, and more.
Spoofing is a fraudulent practice in which communication is sent from an unauthorized source and disguised as a known source to the receiver. It is used to gain access to targets' personal information and spread malware and redistribute traffic to execute a denial-of-service attack.
The below listed are the most popular spoofing attacks:
There are five types of penetration testing:
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The most popular password cracking techniques used by hackers are listed below:
Social engineering is referred to like a broad range of methods majorly intended by the people who want to hack other people’s data or make them do a specific task to benefit the hacker.
The attacker first collects the victim’s information like security protocols required to proceed with the attack, and gains the victim's trust, and breaks security practices, such as granting access to critical resources or stealing sensitive information.
Different types of social engineering attacks include:
A rogue DHCP server is a DHCP server set up on a network by an attacker which is not under the control of network administrators. It can be either a modem or a router.
Rogue DHCP servers are primarily used by hackers for the purpose of network attacks such as Sniffing, Reconnaissance, and Man in the Middle attacks.
Burp Suite is an integrated platform used for executing a security test of web applications. It consists of various tools that work seamlessly together to manage the entire testing process from initial mapping to security vulnerabilities.
In case you have attended any ethical hacking interview in the recent past and unable to find out the best answers for it, do mention those interview questions in the comments section below and we’ll answer them ASAP.
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Madhuri is a Senior Content Creator at MindMajix. She has written about a range of different topics on various technologies, which include, Splunk, Tensorflow, Selenium, and CEH. She spends most of her time researching on technology, and startups. Connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter .
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