Hacking generally refers to technical effort for manipulating the behaviour of the network connections and connected systems. At first, the hacking took place in 1960’s with MIT students coming up with some findings in the computing process.
In this article, we are going to explore the below-mentioned topics related to 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 weakness of the system or network used for computer with legal permissions is called as “Ethical Hacking”.
Ethical hacking cannot be considered as 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 lead to unlawful review of data, theft & file destruction. The entire process violates both federal & state laws. At the federal level, FBI investigates the hacker, and, at state level, we have several law enforcements for investigating the hacker. The precise crime depends on the individual who commits the crime, based on
Cybercrime is defined as a crime where in a computer system is used as tool for committing the offence. Cybercrime includes accessing your personal information, confidential data or disabling your device. Below mentioned are few category based cybercrimes.
Types of Cybercrimes:
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 organization level. During this scenario, the company can sue the ethical hacker. He/she can be at legal risk if not properly taken care or protection.
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 the sensitive information like confidential data, legal information.
Do follow the rules & regulations in handling the sensitive financial, personal, organization 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 network & systems on their side. It enables the client to react accordingly to enable 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 lead 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.
We have different types of Ethical Hackers. Few of them are discussed below:
White Hat Hacker - These hackers are also called as ethical hackers as they perform penetration testing at 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 negative persona of hacking. They are the culprits. The agenda of a black hat hacker is money all over the time. They look for loopholes in the network and systems. Using these loopholes, they can access the data and post virus or worms in your systems.
Grey Hat Hacker - These hackers are as a thin line between 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 black hat hacker. Where as he can not hack organizations data as he is not authorised as ethical hacker.
Script Kiddies - They are the hackers who don’t have much coding skills. They usually use tools or predefined codes by the developers and hackers. Their intention is to impress others or friends. They do not bother about the nature of attack and use off the shelves code for hacking. They often involve mostly in DDoS and DoS attacks.
Green Hat Hacker - These hackers are very curious to learn. We consider themselves as script kiddies, as the thin line which separates them is the desire of learning. These newbies has full desire to become one of the full-brown hackers. You can identify them within hacking communities as they engross the fellow member in 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 (Dick Operating System) attacks. Blue hat hacker is considered as script kiddie, who has revenge nature.
Red Hat Hacker - These hackers are same as white hat hackers in performance and ethics. They halt black hat hackers in performing their duties. There is lot of difference in their operation. They will be ruthless when they trade with black hat hackers. They think in attacking black hat hackers and take them down completely instead of reporting. They implement a pack of attacks on black hat hackers which, in return, leads to whole system recovery.
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 as telecommunication hackers. They are very active in cloning the phone, network mimicry, blue hacking, and other forms of cellular hacks.
The below steps explain the different 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 attack in a better way. It can be carried out either actively or passively(Network, IP address, DNS records). Hacker will be spending his most of time in this stage.
Stage 2 - Scanning: It is a prior stage to 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 network of the targeted system will be ready from stages 1 & 2. At this stage we gain access for the targeted system by accessing one/more network devices to extract the data from target.
Stage 4 - Maintain Access: At this stage, the hacker will be in stealth mode to avoid getting caught while working in host environment. Once the hacker gains access, he lays 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).
In the cyber world, security-focused OS is the hackers’ best friend as it leads them to detect weakness in the systems or networks. The basic tool for hacking a system for hacker is the OS. Usually, the specializations in hacking are dependent on Linux Kernel and are regarded as the advanced working systems. Below compiled are few top platforms for Ethical Hacking.
Latest Version: Kali Linux 2016.2(32/64 bit).
Latest Version: 4.7
It depends on the target system and platforms. Few programs are used to develop only specific platforms.
Below mentioned are few languages that are useful for hackers:
|HTML||Used to build Web Pages||Used to fetch data in HTML forms.|
|PHP||Used for Server Side Scripting||To process HTML forms and customised tasks this language is used.|
|SQL||Used to connect with DataBase.||Used for SQL Injection, delete data, override the application login credentials.|
|Used as High Level Programming languages||They are used to develop automation scripts and tools.|
|C & C++||Used as High Level Programming languages||They are used in writing your own code to extend the existing.|
|Programming languages||Depending on the purpose, we use these languages for coding.|
Encryption helps in accessing unauthorised 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 other person as lengthy code by making it unreadable who ever tries to access it.
In the data encryption the receiver and the sender parties only can Decrypt the data scrambled into a readable content. This can be achieved by “Keys”, which provides access to make the data Readable and Unreadable.
Today, criminals and hackers find new ways in “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 the plain text.
There are other ways in earlier days where they simply test with all the possible keys provided. But, now a days, it is performed by the computers which are capable of calculating billions of keys/second, and this method is called as “Brute Force.”
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 few cases, hacker can bypass the encryption for stealing the data. By few ways, we can encounter these techniques. The ways are stated below.
The perfect way to bypass encryption is to steal the key simply. If a hacker can insert a keylogger in our system, he will read all necessary activities by recording. The best way to protect ourselves by updating the anti-malware programs regularly.
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 type 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 which provides unique string for each input. For example, when creating an account and password, server stores hash version of the data, and when logging in, it hashes the stored data and checks whether both of them are same or not for validation.
In few cases, cryptographic security is also capable of securing brute force violation. Brute force violation needs to try every possible way to break into encrypted scheme and this takes a lot of time for succeeding. Probably, in many customer forms, encryptions use 128/256 bit keys.
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 opensource as well.
|Netsparker||It is a web app security scanner which automatically identifies SQL, XSS and other loops in web apps and services.|
|Probe.ly||It continuously scans the web apps for loops.|
|Acunetix||It is fully automated hacking solution which mimics ethical hacker to keep ahead of malicious attacks.|
|Burp Suite||It is a Security Testing tool for web apps.|
|Aircrack||It is used to crack wireless connections and powered by WPA 2 and WEP WPA.|
|Ettercap||It helps in dissection of network and host analysis of active and passives modes devices.|
|GFI LanGuard||It can be as a “Virtual Consultant” which scans network for vulnerabilities.|
|Angry IP Scanner||It is used to scan ports and IP addresses as it is a cross platform and open source tool.|
|QualysGuard||It helps to build security to digital transformations. It also helps in identifying cloud system vulnerabilities.|
|WebInspect||It is a dynamic app security testing tool.|
|Savvius||It identifies issues and decrease security risk along deep analysis provided through Omnipeek.|
|Hashcat||It is a password cracking tool for ethical hackers.|
|IKECrack||It is an authentication cracking tool.|
|SQLMap||It detects and exploits the SQL injection loopholes in the system.|
|Medusa||It is used to crack password. It is speedy and the best online ethical hacking tool.|
|NetStumbler||It is the tool to detect wireless router networks for Windows OS.|
|Cain and Abel||It is a password recovery tool for Microsoft OS.|
|RainbowCrack||It is the password hacking tool used by most of the ethical hackers.|
|L0phtCrack||It is the tool used to recover and audit the password for the systems.|
|IronWASP||It is fortware available online for free for ethical hacking and it is open source.|
Hackers use different types of techniques. The familiar ones are mentioned below.
|Pros||Experience||Requires experience to find the loopholes and log to security sys.|
|Focus on Security||Need to find loopholes in the security sys and report.|
|Consult To Make Improvements||Need to improvise and fight back on current threats.|
|Updated Security Sys||Need to make latest updates on security systems.|
|Cons||Illegal Background||Chances of making damages to the security system.|
|Unhappy Clients||Leads to termination if the clients are not satisfied with the hacker background.|
|Absence Of Faith||Absence of faith is another factor on former hacker to deal with our security systems.|
|Direct Approach To Security System||Need to have a look over the hacker who access your system as you are providing direct access to him/her.|
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 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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Arogyalokesh takes complex technical ideas and distills them into user-friendly visuals to improve digital marketing campaigns for companies. He is a Content Writer at Mindmajix spreading nuggets of content related to Technology. Proceeded to work in a fast upscale environment, assuring client delight in content writings