Ethical Hacking Tutorial

Hacking generally refers to technical effort for manipulating the behavior of the network connections and connected systems. At first, the hacking took place in the 1960s with MIT students coming up with some findings in the computing process. 
In this Ethical Hacking Tutorial, we are going to explore the below-mentioned topics related to Ethical Hacking: 

Learn defensive techniques to stop intruders from accessing secure networks with our Ethical Hacking Training.

Ethical Hacking Tutorial - Table of Content

  1. What is Ethical Hacking?
  2. Is Ethical Hacking a Cybercrime
  3. What is Cybercrime?
  4. Legal Issues of Ethical Hacking
  5. Code Of Ethics / Rules For Ethical Hacking?
  6. Types of Hackers
  7. Stages Of Hacking
  8. Platforms Used In Ethical Hacking
  9. Skills required to become an ethical hacker
  10. Basic Skills To Learn Ethical Hacking

Ethical Hacking Tutorial for Beginners

What is Ethical Hacking?

Hacking is carried out to gain access to the computer system or related computer network with the loopholes existing & read all the private data or sensitive data existing in it! Hacking a system to find the loopholes or weaknesses of the system or network used for computers with legal permissions is called “Ethical Hacking”.

Related Article: Ethical Hacking

Is Ethical Hacking a Cybercrime?

Ethical hacking cannot be considered a cybercrime unless the hacker disobeys the rules & does not follow the code of ethics agreement. Typically, hacking refers to gaining computer/network access without the permission of the concerned person or organization and leads to an unlawful review of data, theft & file destruction. The entire process violates both federal & state laws. At the federal level, the FBI investigates the hacker, and, at the state level, we have different law enforcement for investigating the hacker. The precise crime depends on the individual who commits the crime, based on

  • What system is Hacked?
  • What information is accessed?
  • For what purpose the information is used after accessing it.
  • Based on the threat to the host.

What is Cybercrime?

Cybercrime is defined as a crime wherein a computer system is used as a tool for committing the offense. Cybercrime includes accessing your personal information, confidential data, or disable your device. Below mentioned are a few category-based cybercrimes.


  • Property
  • Individual
  • Government

Types of Cybercrimes:

  • Botnets
  • DDoS Attacks
  • Identity Theft
  • Social Engineering
  • Cyberstalking
  • Phishing Attacks
  • PUPs
  • Online Scams
  • Illegal Content
  • Exploit Kits

Legal Issues of Ethical Hacking

The legal issues include the personal or confidential information of the firm or organization being revealed by the hacker to the competitor or outsider. In such cases, legal actions will be taken on the hacker, if proven guilty.

An ethical hacker can negatively affect a firm by committing errors at the organizational level. During this scenario, the company can sue the ethical hacker. He/she can be at legal risk if not properly taken care of or protected.

Code Of Ethics / Rules For Ethical Hacking

  • Before ethical hacking is carried out, the firm/organization needs to have a look & understand its work process business, network & system which helps in safeguarding sensitive information like confidential data, legal information.
  • Do follow the rules & regulations in handling sensitive financial, personal, organizational information & determine the sensitivity of the information.
  • During the process of ethical hacking, maintain transparency with the client. Let the clients know all the information related to the network & systems on their side. It enables the client to react accordingly to enable the security of the network or system.
  • Do follow the limits set by the clients during the process of ethical hacking. It is possible for an ethical hacker to access the data beyond the targeted areas. This helps in building trust between the ethical hacker and the client. Ensure all the information is led by a step-by-step process.
  • After the process of ethical hacking, never disclose information to any other clients. Ethical hacking is performed to ensure the security of network & system security flaws. It may also lead to legal issues.
Related Article: How to Learn Ethical Hacking

Types of Hackers

We have different types of Ethical Hackers. A few of them are discussed below:

White Hat Hacker :

These hackers are also called ethical hackers as they perform penetration testing at the organization level & identify the bugs in security. They work on various methods to ensure protection from black hat hackers & few malicious cybercrimes. 

Black Hat Hacker :

These hackers take a negative persona of hacking. They are the culprits. The agenda of a black hat hacker is money all over time. They look for loopholes in the network and systems. Using these loopholes, they can access the data and post viruses or worms in your systems.

Grey Hat Hacker :

These hackers are a thin line between the Black hat and White hat Hackers as they do not work for their personal profit. They hack into organizations and find vulnerabilities and a leak over the internet or intimate the same to the firm owners. Let me explain this. A grey hat hacker may not use his hacking expertise for personal profit and can not be defined as a black hat hacker. Whereas he can not hack organizations' data as he is not authorized as an ethical hacker.

Script Kiddies:

 They are hackers who don’t have any coding skills. They usually use tools or predefined codes by developers and hackers. Their intention is to impress others or friends. They do not bother about the nature of the attack and use off-the-shelves' code for hacking. They are often involved mostly in DDoS and DoS attacks.

Green Hat Hacker:

These hackers are very curious to learn. We consider themselves script kiddies, as the thin line which separates them is the desire of learning. These newbies have a full desire to become full-brown hackers. You can identify them within hacking communities as they engross fellow members of the community. We can easily identify one of those by their zeal to learn the latest hacking trades.

Blue Hat Hacker :

These hackers' aim is to take revenge on people who make them angry. These are to be considered as script kiddies and their intention will be taking revenge with no desire to learn hacking by using simple attacks like IP overload with packets, which leads to (Disk Operating System) attacks. Blue hat hacker is considered as a script kiddie, who has a revenge nature.

Red Hat Hacker :

These hackers are the same as white hat hackers in performance and ethics. They halt black hat hackers from performing their duties. There is a lot of difference in their operation. They will be ruthless when they trade with black hat hackers. They think of attacking black hat hackers and taking them down completely instead of reporting. They implement a pack of attacks on black hat hackers which, in return, leads to whole system recovery.

Related Article: Tools for Ethical Hacking

Hacktivist :

These are a group of hackers with an intention to make social changes, and they believe it strongly. They often hack govt organizations to prove that they exist and share their intentions and thoughts.

Phreaker :

These hackers are mostly called telecommunication hackers. They are very active in cloning the phone, network mimicry, blue hacking, and other forms of cellular hacks.

Stages Of Hacking

The below steps explain the different stages of hacking.

stages of hacking

Stage 1 - Reconnaissance: It is the act of gathering information related to intelligence and preliminary data of your target to plan for an attack in a better way. It can be carried out either actively or passively(Network, IP address, DNS records). Hacker will be spending most of his time in this stage.

Stage 2 - Scanning: It is a prior stage of launching the attack. At this stage, we scan for open ports, services, etc. The tools collectively used by the hacker during the scanning would be port scanners, sweepers, dialers, and vulnerability scanners. 

Stage 3 - Gaining Access: The blueprint of the network of the targeted system will be ready from stages 1 & 2. At this stage, we gain access to the targeted system by accessing one/more network devices to extract the data from the target.

Stage 4 - Maintain Access: At this stage, the hacker will be in stealth mode to avoid getting caught while working in the host environment. Once the hacker gains access, he lays the path for future attacks and exploitations by making the target hardened. Hacker also secures the path by any other bypass accessing with rootkits, backdoors, and trojans.

Stage 5 - Covering Tracks: At this stage, the hacker covers his track in order to get caught & detected by cyber personnel. Removes evidence of hacking, to avoid legal actions. Hacker removes all log files, IDS(tunneling protocols, steganography, alter log files).

Platforms Used In Ethical Hacking

In the cyber world, security-focused OS is the hackers’ best friend as it leads them to detect weaknesses in the systems or networks. The basic tool for hacking a system for the hacker is the OS. Usually, the specializations in hacking are dependent on the Linux Kernel and are regarded as advanced working systems. Below compiled are a few top platforms for Ethical Hacking.

Kali Linux

  • It is based on Debian-Linux Distribution. 
  • Designed for forensic and penetration testing.
  • It comes with 300 pre-installed penetration programs.
  • Supports both 32 and 64 bit.

Key Features:

  • Combines with 600+ penetration testing tools.
  • Free and Open Source.
  • Kali Linux as FHS.
  • Every package of it was GPG signed.

Latest Version: Kali Linux 2016.2(32/64 bit).

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  • It is Ubuntu-based Linux Distribution.
  • The objective of this is fast, easily operable, and using a minimal environment.
  • Its repositories are updated at regular intervals.
  • It consists of 70+ tools for tasks ranging from network and web analysis.

Key Features:

  • It supports the cloud for penetration testing.
  • Fully automated and non-intrusive.
  • Supports XFCE desktop.
  • It is completely hacker-friendly.

Latest Version: 4.7

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Parrot Security OS

  • It is based on Debian GNU/Linux.
  • It uses kali repositories for package updates.
  • is highly customizable.

Key Features:

  • Highly customizable for the kernel version 4.5.
  • Have custom anti-forensic tools for it.
  • It supports Falcon 1 PL.
  • Special cloud designed for servers contains less-weight OS.
Latest Version: 3.3

DEFT Linux

  • It is based on GNU Linux and DART.
  • It is specially designed for forensics tasks.
  • It consists of 100+ forensic and hacking tools.
  • It is actively used by EH.

Key Features:

  • It is based on lubuntu distribution.
  • It supports Bitlocker scripts, iOS, and Android.
  • Contains Digital Forensic Applications. 
Latest Version: 8.2

Samurai Web Testing Framework

  • It comprises web apps and exploitation tools.
  • It provides a Live Linux Platform to run VMs for penetration testing.
  • It is based on Ubuntu 9.04.

Key Features:

  • It contains several tools for discovery, mapping, etc.
  • It is equipped with SVN for providing security tools.
Latest Version: 3.3.2

Network Security Toolkit(NST)

  • It is a live bootable DVD/USB Flash drive based on Fedora.
  • It provides network/sys administrators with a set of open-source security tools.
  • It maintains its repositories to additional packages.

Key Features:

  • It provides visualisation of ntop, ntopng, Kismet data.
  • It has a JS console that helps in developing dynamic web pages.
  • It contains a network seg ARP scanner, network intrusion detection, web-based IDS integration.
Latest Version: 24-7977

BlackArch Linux

  • It is an Arch Linux-based distribution for security and penetration testing.
  • It supports 1600+ tools for security researchers.
  • It is an alternative for backbox and Kali Linux.
  • It is installed on both 32/64 bit machines.

Key Features:

  • Fluxbox-powered GUI.
  • It has modular package groups.
  • Source installation can be performed.
Latest Version: 2016.12.29

Cyborg Hawk Linux

  • It is Ubuntu-based Linux Distribution for penetration testing.
  • It contains 700+ tools for penetration testing.
  • It is open-source, free for use.
  • It is highly reliable and stable in terms of ethical hacking.

Key Features:

  • It supports wireless devices.
  • It can be installed as a VM.
  • It has a secured and well-patched kernel.
  • It is capable to run full OS lively.
Latest Version: V 1.1


  • It is an Ubuntu-based Linux Distribution.
  • It has a GENOME Based GUI.
  • It is open-source.
  • It contains various tools for penetration testing.

Key Features:

  • It supports both 32/64 bit platforms.
  • It has a standard boot for booting live DVD OS.
  • It is a choice for starters to learn and perform R&D on penetration testing.
Latest Version: V R6


  • It is an Ubuntu-based Linux Distro.
  • It contains 300+ tools as a basic set of services.
  • It supports both 32/64 bit computing.

Key Features:

  • It supports all features i.e hard disk booting, text mode, safe mode booting, debugs mode, etc. 
Latest Version: 2010-10-06

Pentoo Linux

  • It is based on Gentoo Linux.
  • It is a pen testing OS.
  • It supports both 32/64 bit installable live CD.

Key Features:

  • It comes with a variety of tools with different categories like cracker, scanner, exploit, database, etc.
  • It brings the Gentoo derivative which inherits the Gentoo hardened feature.
Latest Version: Pentoo 2018.0 RC7.1
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  • It is an Ubuntu-based, security-focused distribution. It also runs from a hard disk after installation.
  • It comes with several tools which support system forensics.

Key Features:

  • It comes with huge memory, DB, network, and forensics analysis.
  • It also features common apps, i.e., email clients, doc editors, web browsers, etc.
Latest Version:  2018-03-24 02:02 UTC


  • It is available in Ubuntu, Debian, and OpenSuse.
  • It is famous for its electronic mailing.
  • It covers issues like security-related info, vulnerability discussions, etc.

Key Features:

  • It comes with tons of pen testing tools, malware testing, and forensic testing tools.
Latest Version: Zobacz po polsku, April 28 - 2013

ArchStrike Linux

  • It is based on  Linux distribution.
  • It is the best tool for testing the security layer and penetration testing.
  • It follows arch Linux philosophy.

Key Features:

  • Unlike other Linux-based distributions on the list.
  • It is a repository for Linux-based security professionals.
Latest Version: Openbox Release: 2016.07.21
ISO Size (x86_64): 4.0GISO Size (i686): 3.8G

Fedora Security Spin

  • It is the safest test environment for security auditing.
  • It is maintained by a community of test and dev teams.

Key Features:

  • It has all network analyzers, firewalls, password tools, forensics, etc.
  • It has featured apps like Nmap, Wireshark, Medusa, etc.
Also Read: Hacking Questions and Answers

Skills required to become an ethical hacker

Skills required to become ethical hacker

As an Ethical Hacker, one needs to know about the various hacking techniques:

  • Session Hijacking.
  • SQL injection.
  • Password Cracking.
  • Session Spoofing.
  • Denial of service attacks

Basic Skills To Learn Ethical Hacking:

How to program?

  • Hackers are tool builders and problem solvers. Learning programming will help the hacker to solve the problems.
  • It will help hackers to automate so many tasks which take a lot of time.
  • Writing programs helps in identifying program errors that he/she is targeting.
  • Hackers can use predefined codes, either implementing new code or customizing the old ones.

What Language Should an Ethical Hacker Learn?

It depends on the target system and platforms. Few programs are used to develop only specific platforms.

Useful Languages For Hackers?

Below mentioned are a few languages that are useful for hackers:

HTMLUsed to build Web PagesUsed to fetch data in HTML forms.
JavaScriptUsed for Client-Side ScriptingIt is used to execute on the client-side.
PHPUsed for Server Side ScriptingTo process HTML forms and customized tasks this language is used.
SQLUsed to connect with DataBase.Used for SQL Injection, delete data, override the application login credentials.
Used as High-Level Programming languagesThey are used to develop automation scripts and tools.
C & C++Used as High-Level Programming languagesThey are used in writing your own code to extend the existing.
VB Script
C Sharp
Programming languagesDepending on the purpose, we use these languages for coding.

What is Encryption Hacking?

Encryption helps in accessing unauthorized data with emails, bank details, etc, as keeping secure communication between the two parties involved. This can be done via “Scrambling” the data sent from one to another person as lengthy code by making it unreadable to whoever tries to access it.

In the data encryption, the receiver and the sender parties only can Decrypt the data scrambled into readable content. This can be achieved by “Keys”, which provides access to make the data  Readable and Unreadable.

How To Break Encryptions?

Today, criminals and hackers find new ways to “Cracking” encrypted documents by finding loops in encrypted algorithms. That is how they can find out the necessary key used for reading the information in plain text.

There are other ways in earlier days where they simply test with all the possible keys provided. But, nowadays, it is performed by computers that are capable of calculating billions of keys/second, and this method is called “Brute Force.”

Related Article: Should I Learn Hacking

How To Bypass Encryption?

In encryption, we use complicated mathematical equations for hiding the information. In general, encrypted files require a key to decrypt the data or information. But, in a few cases, a hacker can bypass the encryption for stealing the data. In a few ways, we can encounter these techniques. The ways are stated below.

  • Key Theft
  • Password Security
  • Hashing
  • Weak Encryption

Key Theft

The perfect way to bypass encryption is to steal the key simply. If a hacker can insert a keylogger into our system, he will read all the necessary activities by recording. The best way to protect ourselves by updating anti-malware programs regularly.

Password Security

A hacker can hash common passwords and look for matches in DB. The algorithms that convert these passwords are easier to identify. For preventing these types of attacks, we need to use complex passwords that are not available in the dictionary.


Hashing is commonly used by DB-servers and is a cryptographic method. It is a straight cryptographic algorithm that provides a unique string for each input. For example, when creating an account and password, the server stores a hash version of the data, and when logging in, it hashes the stored data and checks whether both of them are the same or not for validation.

Weak Encryption: 

In a few cases, cryptographic security is also capable of securing brute force violations. Brute force violation needs to try every possible way to break into the encrypted scheme and this takes a lot of time for succeeding. Probably, in many customer forms, encryptions use 128/256-bit keys. 

Ethical Hacking Tools List

Few of the below-mentioned tools are effective and some of them are free of cost. These tools help in finding the loopholes of the software or computer systems or networks. Few of these are open-source as well.

NetsparkerIt is a web app security scanner that automatically identifies SQL, XSS, and other loops in web apps and services.
Probe.lyIt continuously scans the web apps for loops.
AcunetixIt is a fully automated hacking solution that mimics ethical hackers to keep ahead of malicious attacks.
Burp SuiteIt is a Security Testing tool for web apps.
AircrackIt is used to crack wireless connections and is powered by WPA 2 and WEP WPA.
EttercapIt helps in the dissection of network and host analysis of active and passives modes devices.
GFI LanGuardIt can be as a “Virtual Consultant” which scans the network for vulnerabilities.
Angry IP ScannerIt is used to scan ports and IP addresses as it is a cross-platform and open-source tool.
QualysGuardIt helps to build security for digital transformations. It also helps in identifying cloud system vulnerabilities.
WebInspectIt is a dynamic app security testing tool.
SavviusIt identifies issues and decreases security risk along with deep analysis provided through Omnipeek.
HashcatIt is a password-cracking tool for ethical hackers.
IKECrackIt is an authentication cracking tool.
SQLMapIt detects and exploits the SQL injection loopholes in the system.
MedusaIt is used to crack the password. It is a speedy and the best online ethical hacking tool.
NetStumblerIt is the tool to detect wireless router networks for Windows OS.
Cain and AbelIt is a password recovery tool for Microsoft OS.
RainbowCrackIt is the password hacking tool used by most ethical hackers.
L0phtCrackIt is the tool used to recover and audit the password for the systems.
IronWASPIt is footwear available online for free for ethical hacking and it is open source.

Pros and Cons Of Ethical Hacking

ProsExperienceRequires experience to find the loopholes and log to security sys.
Focus on SecurityNeed to find loopholes in the security sys and report.
Consult To Make ImprovementsNeed to improvise and fight back on current threats.
Updated Security SysNeed to make the latest updates on security systems.
ConsIllegal BackgroundChances of making damages to the security system.
Unhappy ClientsThis leads to termination if the clients are not satisfied with the hacker's background.
Absence Of FaithThe absence of faith is another factor in former hackers dealing with our security systems.
Direct Approach To Security SystemNeed to have a look over the hacker who accesses your system as you are providing direct access to him/her.

Hackers use different types of techniques. The familiar ones are mentioned below.

 Top Ethical Hacking Techniques, What Are They?

  • Password Cracking - Recovering passwords transmitted via computers.
  • Vulnerability Scanner - Network checking for known weakness.
  • Spoofing Attack - Involves false sites, to be trusted by users for data breaching.
  • Packet Sniffer - Apps that identify data packs for data/passwords view in transit via networks.
  • Trojan Horse -  It acts as a backdoor for an intruder to gain access to the system.
  • Rootkit - It provides a set of programs to have control over OS with legitimate operators.
  • Keyloggers - Used to record each keystroke in the machine for collecting later.
  • Viruses - These are self-replicating executable programs by themselves into different files.


The persons who possess skills in “Ethical Hacking” are approached by big firms/organizations and will be provided with an opportunity to prove themselves as “Ethical Hackers”. Getting trained on “Ethical Hacking” improves your chances of getting job opportunities in the top and leading firms/organizations. You can enroll for Mindmajix Ethical Hacking Training and acquire expertise in this field. This course will also enable you to get certified in Ethical Hacking. Happy reading!

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Last updated: 09 Nov 2023
About Author

Ravindra Savaram is a Technical Lead at His passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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