Skills Required to Be an 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?

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.

 

Learn everything about ethical hacking tools and skills

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

SR NO. COMPUTER

LANGUAGES

DESCRIPTION PLATFORM PURPOSE
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.

2 JavaScript Client side scripting language *Cross platform Web Hacking

JavaScript code is executed on 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 database, etc.

5 Python

Ruby

Bash

Perl

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 available tools.

6 C & C++ High level programming *Cross platform Writing exploits, shell codes, etc.

They come in handy when you need to write your own shell codes, exploits, root kits or understanding and expanding on existing ones.

7 Java

CSharp

Visual Basic

VBScript

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.

Other skills

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.
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