Introduction to Ethical hacking
|Ethical Hacking Introduction|
Most people think hackers have extraordinary skill and knowledge that allow them to hack into computer systems and find valuable information. The term hacker conjures up images
of a young computer whiz who types a few commands at a computer screen—and poof! The computer spits out passwords, account numbers, or other confidential data. In reality, a good hacker, or security professional acting as an ethical hacker, just has to understand how a computer system works and know what tools to employ in order to find a security weakness. This book will teach you the same techniques and software tools that many hackers use to gather valuable data and attack computer systems.
The realm of hackers and how they operate is unknown to most computer and security professionals. Hackers use specialized computer software tools to gain access to information. By learning the same skills and employing the software tools used by hackers, you will be able to defend your computer networks and systems against malicious attacks.
The goal of this first chapter is to introduce you to the world of the hacker and to define the terminology used in discussing computer security. To be able to defend against malicious hackers, security professionals must first understand how to employ ethical hacking techniques. This book will detail the tools and techniques used by hackers so that you can use those tools to identify potential risks in your systems. This book will guide you through the hacking process as a good guy.
Most ethical hackers are in the business of hacking for profit, an activity known as penetration testing, or pen testing for short. Pen testing is usually conducted by a security professional to identify security risks and vulnerabilities in systems and networks. The purpose of identifying risks and vulnerabilities is so that a countermeasure can be put in place and the risk mitigated to some degree. Ethical hackers are in the business of hacking and as such need to conduct themselves in a professional manner.
Additionally, state, country, or international laws must be understood and carefully considered prior to using hacking software and techniques. Staying within the law is a must for the ethical hacker. An ethical hacker is acting as a security professional when performing pen tests and must always act in a professional manner.
Defining Ethical Hacking
The next section will explain the purpose of ethical hacking and exactly what ethical hackers do. As mentioned earlier, ethical hackers must always act in a professional manner to differentiate themselves from malicious hackers. Gaining the trust of the client and taking all precautions to do no harm to their systems during a pen test are critical to being a professional. Another key component of ethical hacking is to always gain permission from the data owner prior to accessing the computer system. This is one of the ways ethical hackers can overcome the stereotype of hackers and gain the trust of clients.