What is ethical hacking and how to learn it

a close up of a computer keyboard: What is ethical hacking and how to learn it

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What is ethical hacking and how to learn it

Last year, Cosmos Bank in Pune was attacked by cybercriminals. Hackers broke into the ATM server of the bank and stole the details of Visa and Rupay debit card owners. This attack resulted in a loss of Rs 94 crore for the bank as well as a major privacy breach for the users. Hackers are not always as cool as V from V for Vendetta with his Guy Fawkes mask and cool daggers, single handedly destroying fascism. Attacks like the one at Cosmos Bank are a threat not just to businesses but also to folks who use those businesses. How was it possible for hackers to pull off something as huge as the theft of INR 94 crores without even being physically present? Can it be stopped? Where does ethical hacking come into play? Let’s learn about this a little more.

What is hacking?

When we read the word hacking, we may instantly think of a black screen running endless lines of bright green code like Matrix, but really, what is hacking? To put it simply, hacking is using computer skills to find the weaknesses in a computer or a network and then, exploiting those weaknesses by gaining unauthorised access to the system or network.

Think of a computer or a network as a room. A hacker would survey the room from the outside, identify all the weaknesses in that room such as breakable windows, weak locks, etc., and find out ways to break into that room without raising any alarms.

Types of hacking

Based on the kind of target, hacking is divided mainly into five types.

1. Web application hacking: This type of hacking targets applications that require the use of the internet on your browser. It includes email programs, Google apps, shopping carts, online forms, etc.

2. System hacking: This type of hacking seeks access to individual computers on a network by cracking passwords, installing spyware into the system, etc.

3. Web server hacking: A web server is a computer that displays web content. Attacks on a web server can affect websites and the users as they are hosted on web servers.

4. Wireless network hacking: This kind of hacking involves intercepting wireless connection and traffic from non-secure networks. Hackers can…