Shh… do you hear that? You don’t need to listen closely to hear the buzz around the world of coding. Everyone wants to know how to become an ethical hacker as well as about the geniuses known as ethical hackers. But what makes Ethical hacking different from hacking? How is Ethical hacking not illegal like hacking? What is the difference between hacking and ethical hacking?
Not to mention the people asking about ethical hacking as a career (straight to the money talk huh?)
But one simply cannot do a proper introduction to ethical hacking without telling the difference between hacking and ethical hacking.
So what is the difference and is there even a difference?
Short answer: Technically yes
Long answer: Let’s start by understanding the basics of both
What is Hacking?
Hacking isn’t typically related to hijacking Google with just a press of a button. There’s much more to it than that.
Hacking is related to the legal or illegal practice of breaking into a system and access the data stored in them. Hacking is performed by experts and professionals known as hackers.
Hackers are firstly highly trained in programming languages. Secondly, they possess knowledge about the concepts of hacking. And finally, they are experts in finding the vulnerabilities in a system. They especially look for the mistakes left unchecked while developing.
Hackers use these loopholes to disrupt the security framework of a system and gain access.
Introduction to Ethical Hacking
If there was only one sentence for introduction to ethical hacking, it would be:
“Ethical hacking is hacking but completely legal”
Ethical hacking is conducted by hackers as well but without any malicious intent. Furthermore, it is usually performed with the consent of the authorities. So technically, ethical hackers are hackers just without the goal relating to spying on someone’s browsing history.
One of the major job roles of an ethical hacker is to break into a system’s security software, report the vulnerabilities and improve the security. This results in the prevention of any possible security threats to the system in the future.
Also known as white hat hackers, ethical hackers are responsible to defend the system against unethical hackers or black hat hackers.
Why is ethical hacking legal?
The major difference is the intent behind each. It is also the major reason behind the former typically considered illegal and the latter as legal.
The reason why ethical hacking is considered legal is that it is done to improve the security of a system. The logic behind it being, if a white hat hacker can hack into a system then even a black hat can.
This makes almost every organisation hire ethical hackers. As a result, it makes ethical hacking as a career an amazing choice.
Common methods used in hacking
If you wish to become an ethical hacker, you need to know the three most common hacking techniques:
- Phishing : Refers to gaining passwords of emails or websites to gain unauthorized access. First, the hacker sends a “phishing” email to people. Then the hacker cleverly asks the user to log in using their mail ID which redirects them to a made-up website.
- Botnets : Botnets refer to hackers setting up robots to do their dirty work.
- Keyloggers : This new technique involves connecting a device to the motherboard port. It can be used for stealing information typed on the keyboard.
Why are ethical hackers important?
The above video taken at the AIBC Summit will help you understand the importance of ethical hackers. Not only are they required in the financial industries but also in Artificial Intelligence, gaming, block chain, and many more.
As per the research conducted by Microsoft, an average company loses about $3.8 million. Moreover, cybercrime has the potential to cost global communities a whopping $500 billion!
In addition to the above statement, the digital world has been on a rise. As a result, more and more devices surround us. Each of those devices is a potential target for black hat hackers.
A good look around you is enough to know about the importance of ethical hacking. And whether or not you wish to become an ethical hacker.
Ethical hackers also play a vital in maintaining the security of an organisation in the cyber-space. They detect and prevent breaches that can leak valuable information like financials. They are even responsible for protection against security threats.
For this reason, ethical hackers have a lot of importance in today’s world.
Types of black hat hackers
By now you know that black hat hackers are the pirates sailing in the world of codes. But there are many types of black hat hackers that you should be aware of.
- Phreakers : Hackers who go after telephone networks.
- Crackers : Experts who use software patches to remove the security wall/s of software.
- Carders : Pirates that goes directly after the treasure by attacking electronic cards like ATM and credit cards to gain the user’s information.
- Script Kiddies : These are the hackers that hack simply for fun. They mainly use software programs that make the whole hacking process super simple.
Black hat hackers vs white hat hackers
Finally, let us now take a look at the objectives of a black hat and a white hat hacker. This will help you better understand the difference between hacking and ethical hacking.
Black Hat Hacker
- Stealing information that is valuable to a user
- Gain benefits through transactions and accounts
- gaining access to free music and videos
- Free download hacking software (talk about irony)
- Steal classified and valuable information from government, organisations, etc
- Get access to restricted networking spaces
White Hat Hacker
- Improving the security and the framework of a system.
- Develop various security software for an organisation.
- Constantly check and update the security of software.
- Create suggestions for security upgrades.
- Compile penetration test reports for the client.
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