What is Ethical Hacking?
Hacking is the process of finding vulnerabilities in a system and using these found vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access into the system to perform malicious activities ranging from deleting system files to stealing sensitive information. Hacking is illegal and can lead to extreme consequences if you are caught in the act. People have been sentenced to years of imprisonment because of hacking. Nonetheless, hacking can be legal if done with permission. Computer experts are often hired by companies to hack into their system to find vulnerabilities and weak endpoints so that they can be fixed. This is done as a precautionary measure against legitimate hackers who have malicious intent. Such people, who hack into a system with permission, without any malicious intent, are known as ethical hackers and the process is known as ethical hacking. So now that we know what exactly ethical hacking is, and who ethical hackers are, let’s go over the different types of hackers.
The types of Hackers
White Hat Hacker
It is another name for an Ethical Hacker. They hack into a system with prior permission to find out vulnerabilities so that they can be fixed before a person with malicious intent finds them.
Black Hat Hacker
They are also known as crackers, who hack in order to gain unauthorized access to a system & harm its operations or steal sensitive information. It’s always illegal because of its malicious intent which includes stealing corporate data, violating privacy, damaging the system etc.
Grey Hat Hacker
They are a blend of both black hat and white hat hackers. They mostly hack for fun and exploit a security weakness in a computer system or network without the owner’s permission or knowledge. Their intent is to bring the weakness to the attention of the owners & earning some bug bounty.
A suicide hacker is a person who works with the intent to bring down major corporations and infrastructure. These kinds of hackers are not scared of the consequences of their actions as they mostly work with a vengeance in their mind. These people are also known as hacktivists.
The different types of hacking
Now that we have discussed the various types of Hackers, let’s go over the different types of hacking. We can segregate hacking into different types depending on what the hacker is trying to achieve.
Hacking a website means taking unauthorized control over a web server and its associated software such as databases and other interfaces.
Hacking a network means gathering information about a network by using tools like Telnet, NS lookup, Ping, Tracert, Netstat, etc. with the intent to harm the network system and hamper its operation.
This includes gaining unauthorized access to an Email account and using it without taking the consent of its owner for sending out spam links, third-party threats, and other such harmful activities.
This is the process of recovering secret passwords from data that has been stored in or transmitted by a computer system.
This is the process of stealing computer ID and password by applying hacking methods and getting unauthorized access to a computer system.
Phases of Ethical Hacking
Like every discipline out there in the world, ethical hacking is divided into distinct phases. Ethical hacking has 6 distinct phases.
- Gaining Access
- Maintaining Access
- Clearing Tracks