Ethical Hackers (White Hats Hackers – Penetration Testers)

Ethical Hacker - White Hat Hacker Job Description
Ethical Hacker - White Hat Hacker Job Description

Ethical Hackers Definition

Ethical hacking is a legal attempt to gain unauthorized access to a computer system, application, or data that the user authorizes. Performing an ethical hack entails reproducing the strategies and actions of malicious attackers in a safe environment. As a result, this method helps to identify security flaws that can be fixed before they may be exploited by a malevolent attacker.

What are the Ethical Hackers?

Experts in the field of cybersecurity, known as “white hats,” carry out these examinations. They make a difference to an organization’s security because of the proactive work they do. Ethical hacking differs from harmful hacking in that it necessitates permission from the organization or person who owns the IT asset in question.

Penetration Testers – White Hats Hacker

Every day, the manufacturing company employees went to work under the watchful and protective gaze of the security cameras that had been strategically placed throughout their offices. The majority of the staff was completely unaware of their presence. They were installed to protect the office after hours as a standard precaution against thieves and vandals. They were hidden black orbs hidden in corners. However, the cameras were hiding a secret: they were no longer under the company’s control.

The off-the-shelf camera modules had been installed without any updates to their system software. They had been configured with a default username and password that could be obtained from the manufacturer’s website at no cost to the investigators. A web-based interface was included in their standard installation, allowing users to log in and control the devices. And now they were under the control of the hackers.

The hackers searched for angles that would allow them to see the keyboards of employees logging into their workstations and onto sensitive systems throughout the workday, panning and zooming as they went. The hackers could see exactly what credentials the users were typing in by using freeze-frame and slow-motion techniques.

The fact that I didn’t have to step foot inside the company’s offices made it easy to log in and compromise the network once I had those credentials in hand.

What Is a White Hat Hacker and How Does He Work?

A White Hat hacker is a person who tests systems and networks by attempting to gain access to them. Their skills as hackers are being used to help improve cyber security in the process. Due to their background as hackers, they are familiar with the techniques used by malicious hackers to compromise systems; White Hat hackers work to identify vulnerabilities in systems before the bad guys do so.

When comparing Black Hat and White Hat hackers, the most significant difference is that Companies permit white Hat hackers to attempt to breach their Cyber Security systems.

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White Hat hackers are also referred to as “Ethical Hackers” or “Certified Ethical Hackers,” depending on their level of certification. In some cases, white Hat hackers have been known to take on additional Cyber Security roles within organizations.

  1. Analyst in the field of cyber security
  2. An information security analyst is someone who studies information security.
  3. Analyst for intrusion detection systems
  4. Engineer in information technology security
  5. IT security manager is a position that requires a bachelor’s degree in information technology.
  6. Analyst for network security
  7. A penetration tester is a device that measures the depth of penetration.

It should be noted that a White Hat hacker may find themselves responsible not only for the digital aspect of Cyber Security but also for the hardware aspect of the same. You may be held responsible for the integrity of hardware such as keypad controls and badge readers as a result of this responsibility. You may even be required to train your coworkers on Cyber Security best practices about the handling, transportation, and storage of their electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

Duties of an Ethical Hacker

As a cybersecurity professional, working as an ethical hacker can be one of the most creative and rewarding jobs available in the field. White hat hackers are unique among industry professionals in that they are given the same degree of latitude in their work and are encouraged to break their workplace constraints.

Generally speaking, the role of a white hat hacker is to identify and exploit vulnerabilities before the black hats have the opportunity to do so. The ethical hacker employs many of the same tools and follows many of the same procedures as the criminal hacker:

  1. Open-source and dark-web sources are used to gather information about the intended target.
  2. Target networks and systems are scanned for vulnerabilities using commercial, open-source, or custom vulnerability scanners.
  3. Creating an attack strategy may include exploiting software vulnerabilities, systemic vulnerabilities, social manipulation, or any combination of these factors.

Many of these activities may occur at odd hours when the target is least monitored and most vulnerable to exploitation. Work is performed on-site at the client company occasionally, and it is also performed remotely via the Internet on other occasions.

However, it is not all good times and games. A job, not a thrill ride through other people’s networks, is what ethical hacking is all about.

Ethical hackers are expected to meticulously document the steps they took to discover vulnerabilities and explain in detail how they could compromise the security systems of their target organizations. Creating reports in clear and concise language for corporate executives can take a significant amount of time and effort. And, following a successful breach of a target, the ethical hacker may be expected to spend time with the unfortunate IT group that has been compromised, assisting them in advising and training them on how to avoid future breaches.

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Penetration testing, on the other hand, is not the only form of ethical hacking. In order to find and exploit security holes, many ethical hackers write or examine computer code extensively. System and device makers may not have intended for these systems and gadgets to be used in a certain way. Hackers uncovered a vulnerability in his insulin pump that may have allowed attackers to order a deadly dose via a wireless network in 2011, for example.

What kinds of issues does hacking bring to light?

To assess the security of an organization’s information technology asset(s), ethical hacking attempts to simulate the actions of an attacker. They are doing this to find attack vectors against the target. The initial objective is to survey to gather as much information as possible.

Having gathered sufficient information, the ethical hacker can search for vulnerabilities in the asset under consideration. They carry out this evaluation using a combination of automated and manual testing methods. Even sophisticated systems may be equipped with complex countermeasure technologies that are susceptible to compromise.

They don’t stop there in terms of identifying vulnerabilities. Ethical hackers use exploits against vulnerabilities to demonstrate how a malicious attacker could take advantage of them.

The following are some of the most frequently discovered vulnerabilities by ethical hackers:

  1. Injection attacks are a type of attack.
  2. Authentication has failed.
  3. Misconfigured security settings
  4. The use of components that have known security flaws
  5. Exposed to highly sensitive data

Ethical hackers write a detailed report on their findings following the testing period. This document includes instructions on how to compromise the vulnerabilities that have been discovered and instructions on how to patch or mitigate them.

What are some of the restrictions placed on ethical hacking?

There is a limited scope. Ethical hackers cannot progress beyond a defined scope to carry out a successful attack. However, it is not unreasonable to discuss the possibility of an attack outside of the organization’s scope.

There are limitations in terms of resources. The time constraints do not restrict malicious hackers to which ethical hackers are frequently subjected. Ethical hackers must also contend with the limitations of computing power and financial resources.

Methods that are restricted. Some organizations request that experts steer clear of test cases that cause the servers to crash (Denial of Service (DoS) attacks) to save time.

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Ethical hacking training begins with obtaining the appropriate degree and certification.

There are a variety of routes to obtaining employment in ethical hacking, all of which are commensurate with the unique nature of the position. Some of the world’s most accomplished hackers possessed only rudimentary technical abilities, relying on social engineering and widely available software tools to accomplish their goals.

Kevin Mitnick, an ethical hacker and security consultant, was perhaps one of the most well-known black hat hackers in history before becoming an ethical hacker himself. Because Mitnick possessed only rudimentary technical abilities, gaining access to secure systems was accomplished primarily by convincing people to change their passwords or software.

In the case of those who aren’t naturally gregarious, a strong technical background and education would be the best way to prepare for a career in ethical hacking, according to the experts.

The majority of ethical hackers can identify flaws in systems because they are intimately familiar with the low-level operations of the hardware and software that make up the systems in which they operate. Because of this, most businesses seeking white hat hackers seek candidates with extensive coding or networking experience as well as advanced technical certifications, such as those in the following areas:

  1. Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) from Cisco Systems (CCIE)
  2. CompTIA Network+ is a certification program.
  3. Wireshark Certified Network Analyst is a network analyst who is certified in Wireshark.

An undergraduate degree in computer science or computer engineering is typically considered advantageous, but graduate degrees in cybersecurity are becoming increasingly sought after. Regardless of the degree, a thorough and demonstrable understanding of the fundamental building blocks of modern networks is required. To be considered for this position, candidates must have extensive knowledge of the Unix and Windows operating systems, the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model, and the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet) stack.

What are some of the restrictions placed on ethical hacking?

There is a limited scope. Ethical hackers cannot progress beyond a defined scope to carry out a successful attack. However, it is not unreasonable to discuss the possibility of an attack outside of the organization’s scope.

There are limitations in terms of resources. The time constraints do not restrict malicious hackers to which ethical hackers are frequently subjected. Ethical hackers must also contend with the limitations of computing power and financial resources.

Methods that are restricted. Some organizations request that experts steer clear of test cases that cause the servers to crash (Denial of Service (DoS) attacks) to save time.