Why Learn Ethical Hacking

Because Through Chaos We Find Innovation

Sebastian Gogola

By SEBASTIAN GOGOLA

There are many reasons one would want to learn how to hack and for different purposes. The reasons range from a 13 year old wishing to download games, music and movies for free to IT specialists wishing to better understand their systems, in order to keep them more secure. Other reasons can be for unethical profit as crackers collect database dumps to sell for carding. Whatever the purpose, most will agree that the first reason why others should learn how to hack is because it is fun & challenging!
 
Hacking in its clearest definition is related back to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Creative ways of interacting with code or solving a tech problem meant to hack away at a keyboard for hours on end producing desired results. The obsession to manipulate systems and programs has continued since and hackers have labeled themselves to be differentiated for their intent with names such as white hats, green hats, black hats, gray hats, hacktivists, crackers, etc. As we know the hackers who get most of the media attention are the black hats since there is usually public company humiliation or monetary losses involved when they penetrate a system.

“A vulnerability in an organization’s IoT microcosm is a “taunt” to exploit by malicious hackers” 

― James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology
Unfortunately, this is the perception the media gives to the label “hacker”, but there is a positive note to all of this. With the growing threat of cybercrime it is estimated that cybersecurity spending will exceed $1 trillion from the time of this writing to 2021 (more on this later). 
 
How do you perceive “hacker”?

As the tech industry continues to drive technology forward with projects such as IoT, AI, M2M, cloud services, etc. the gap between those who know how to use the technology and how the technology actually works is increasing. This leaves room for social engineering, vulnerabilities and inadequate administration of systems.

Many sites including Keypuncher.co are offering free courses & lessons to help raise security awareness to anyone wishing to learn, free of charge. Where Keypuncher.co differentiates itself is by allowing members of the community to learn & teach others through their course and lesson builder. This community-driven learning management system (LMS) also offers paid courses from the experts working in the field of security and enthusiasts who have ample knowledge into ethical hacking.

The list of benefits in learning to hack are numerous and can help you no matter what tech position you hold.
 
Learning how to hack helps information security professionals implement better security practices, stay up to date with the latest security vulnerabilities, anticipate & preemptively resolve threats. Exploring the methods hackers use to footprint & penetrate systems will help understand how black hat hackers think; after all, hacking is about thinking outside of the box.
 
Is Hacking For Everyone?
 
Unfortunately not, successful compromising of systems requires being a master of problem-solving. It is also essential that an individual has a keen interest in how computer systems and programming languages work. Knowledge is not a barrier, but hacking takes time and if someone is not motivated they will not spend hours hacking away at the keyboard.
 

So Is It All Just For Fun?

Absolutely not, for those wishing to pursue a career in information security there are plenty of positions open with even more being populated in the coming years. Ethical hacking will open the door to security positions such as: CISO, Security Architect, Security Director, Security Manager, Security Engineer, Malware Analyst, Computer Forensics, Security Consultant, Incident Responder, Social Engineering Awareness Training, etc.

According to Cybersecurity Venture’s 2017 annual crime report “cybercrime damages will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021”. This in effect will lead to cybersecurity spending to go above $1 trillion by 2021. This extra spending will go towards the number of unfilled positions estimated to be 3.5 million. It is even more important now to have a sense of hacking as every IT position is considered an information security position.

 

$
Cyber crime damage costs to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021
Human attack surface to reach 6 billion people by 2022
Unfilled cybersecurity jobs reaching 3.5 million by 2021

 

What Does It Take To Become A Security Expert?

For a hacker, understanding the internetworking of devices is crucial, but experience in related areas is equally important. Learning Unix/Linux commands and OS distributions is a must. Having working knowledge in programming for languages such as Python, SQL, Perl, etc. is also important. Ethical hacking involves learning how to create Trojan horses, backdoors, viruses, and worms. It also covers buffer overflows, session hijacking, denial of service (DoS) attacks, SQL injection, and system hacking.

Through the courses at Keypuncher.co you will discover how to hijack web servers, manipulate web applications, sniff networks, crack wireless encryption, and evade IDS’s, firewalls, & honeypots. Learning these skills in turn will make you more valuable and a great asset as you will gain a deeper understanding into information security.

Conclusion

It’s important never to engage in “black hat” hacking remaining ethical with newly acquired skills. Be sure to practice on networks or systems with full permission. Engaging in illegal activities will most likely kill your ethical hacking career as many of the positions are with government-related organizations requiring security clearance. 

Stay persistent!

Learning how to hack will not happen over night, but you will learn if you remain interested. As Earl Nightingale said many years ago that “one hour per day of study in your chosen field was all it takes. One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do.”