What is ethical hacking?
The legal method adopted to track vulnerabilities in the operating environments of information systems is known as ethical hacking. With the proliferation of Internet in departments of all organisations including governments, data security has become a major concern. Organisations have realised that the best way to evaluate their system security is to make independent computer security professionals try and gain access into their systems.
Methods adopted by an ethical hacker
Methods and techniques used by an ethical hacker are the same as a hacker, so the work, despite being legal, is still considered as hacking since it uses advanced knowledge of computer systems to penetrate or crash them. The goal of ethical hackers is to create mischief with different programs running on system, but only at the request of organisation owners.
When independent computer security professionals attempt to break in, there is no loss of data or damage to the system. These professionals are trustworthy and thus the entire operation is perfectly safe. This is the difference between ethical hacking and hacking, as the latter is illegal. In this manner, system security is evaluated and vulnerabilities are reported back to the owners.
Different types of hackers
- White hat hacker/Ethical hacker- These professionals hack computer systems to check the level of available security. They are the good guys and do not make use of their skills to destroy data or inject viruses.
- Black hat hacker- They are the bad guys who hack into systems with malicious intent. They like to cause damage to vulnerable data. Their work is illegal around the world.
- Grey hat hacker- They constitute of both white and black hat hackers. Their job is to provide national security.
Scope of ethical hacking
Today the ethical hacking profession is growing by leaps and bounds. Major corporations like Apple, Facebook and several top law enforcement agencies are employing white hat hackers to seal loopholes in computer security. For those who can protect against threats, these companies are offering big bounty programs.