Skills Required to Become a Ethical Hacker
Skills allow you to achieve your desired goals within the available time and resources. As a hacker, you will need to develop skills that will help you get the job done. These skills include learning how to program, use the internet, good at solving problems, and taking advantage of existing security tools.
In this article, we will introduce you to the common programming languages and skills that you must know as a hacker.
Topics covered in this tutorial
- What is a programming language?
- Why should you learn how to program?
- What languages should you learn?
- Other skills
What is a programming language?
A programming language is a language that is used to develop computer programs. The programs developed can range from operating systems; data based applications through to networking solutions.
Why should you learn how to program?
- Hackers are the problem solver and tool builders, learning how to program will help you implement solutions to problems. It also differentiates you from script kiddies.
- Writing programs as a hacker will help you to automate many tasks which would usually take lots of time to complete.
- Writing programs can also help you identify and exploit programming errors in applications that you will be targeting.
- You don’t have to reinvent the wheel all the time, and there are a number of open source programs that are readily usable. You can customize the already existing applications and add your methods to suit your needs.
What languages should I learn?
The answer to this question depends on your target computer systems and platforms. Some programming languages are used to develop for only specific platforms. As an example, Visual Basic Classic (3, 4, 5, and 6.0) is used to write applications that run on Windows operating system. It would, therefore, be illogical for you to learn how to program in Visual Basic 6.0 when your target is hacking Linux based systems.
Programming languages that are useful to hackers
|1||HTML||Language used to write web pages.||*Cross platform||Web hacking|
Login forms and other data entry
methods on the web use HTML
forms to get data. Been able to
write and interpret HTML, makes
it easy for you to identify and
exploit weaknesses in the code.
the client browse. You can use
it to read saved cookies and
perform cross site scripting etc.
|3||PHP||Server side scripting language||*Cross platform||Web Hacking|
PHP is one of the most used
web programming languages.
It is used to process HTML
forms and performs other
custom tasks. You could
write a custom application
in PHP that modifies settings
on a web server and makes
the server vulnerable to attacks.
|4||SQL||Language used to communicate with database||*Cross platform||Web Hacking|
Using SQL injection, to
by-pass web application
login algorithms that are
weak, delete data from the
|High level programming languages||*Cross platform||Building tools & scripts|
They come in handy when
you need to develop
automation tools and
scripts. The knowledge
gained can also be used
in understand and
customization the already
|6||C & C++||High level programming||*Cross platform||Writing exploits, shell codes|
They come in handy when
you need to write your
own shell codes, exploits,
root kits or understanding
and expanding on existing ones.
|Other languages||Java & CSharp are *cross platform. Visual Basic is specific to Windows||Other uses|
The usefulness of these languages depends on your scenario.
* Cross platform means programs developed using the particular language can be deployed on different operating systems such as Windows, Linux based, MAC etc.
In addition to programming skills, a good hacker should also have the following skills:
- Know how to use the internet and search engines effectively to gather information.
- Get a Linux-based operating system and the know the basics commands that every Linux user should know.
- Practice makes perfect, a good hacker should be hard working and positively contribute to the hacker community. He/she can contribute by developing open source programs, answering questions in hacking forums, etc.
- Programming skills are essential to becoming an effective hacker.
- Network skills are essential to becoming an effective hacker
- SQL skills are essential to becoming an effective hacker.
- Hacking tools are programs that simplify the process of identifying and exploiting weaknesses in computer systems.