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Basic Ethical Hacking For Beginners | Tips And Tricks

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Basic Ethical Hacking Tutorial
 
The vast growth of Internet has brought many good things like electronic commerce, email, easy
access to vast stores of reference material etc. One of the more effective ways of testing network
security is penetration testing or ethical hacking. Activities focus on the identification and exploitation
of security vulnerabilities, and subsequent implementation of corrective measures (Using an Ethical
Hacking Technique). Organizations are increasingly evaluating the success or failure of their current
security measures through then use of ethical hacking processes. As, with most technological
advances, there is also other side: criminal hackers who will secretly steal the organization’s
information and transmit it to the open internet. These types of hackers are called black hat hackers.
So, to overcome from these major issues, another category of hackers came into existence and these
hackers are termed as ethical hackers or white hat hackers. So, this paper describes ethical hackers,
their skills and how they go about helping their customers. Ethical hackers perform the hacks as
security tests for their systems. This type of hacking is always legal and trustworthy. In other terms
ethical hacking is the testing of resources for the betterment of technology and is focussed on securing
and protecting IP systems. Ethical hacking is a way of doing a security assessment. Like all other
assessments an ethical hack is a random sample and passing an ethical hack doesn’t mean there are no
security issues.
What is Ethical Hacking?
Ethical hacking provides a way to determine the security of an information technology environment –
at least from a technical point of view. As the name ethical hacking already tells, the idea has
something to do with hacking. But what does “hacking” mean? “The word hacking has two
definitions. The first definition refers to the hobby/profession of working with computers. The second
definition refers to breaking into computer systems. While the first definition is older and is still used
by many computer enthusiasts (who refer to cyber-criminals as “crackers”), the second definition is much more commonly used.” In the context of “ethical hacking”, hacking refers to the second
definition – breaking into computer systems. It can be assumed that hacking is illegal, as breaking into
a house would be. At this point, “ethical” comes into play. Ethical has a very positive touch and
describes something noble which leads us to the following definition of ethical hacking: Ethical
hacking describes the process of attacking and penetrating computer systems and networks to discover
and point out potential security weaknesses for a client which is responsible for the attacked
information technology environment. An ethical hack’s results is a detailed report of the findings as
well as a testimony that a hacker with a certain amount of time and skills is or isn’t able to
successfully attack a system or get access to certain information. Ethical hacking can be categorized
as a security assessment, a kind of training, a test for the security of an information technology
environment. An ethical hack shows the risks an information technology environment is facing and
actions can be taken to reduce certain risks or to accept them. We can easily say that Ethical hacking
does perfectly fit into the security life cycle.
II. CATEGORIES OF HACKERS
White Hats
Ethical hacker is also known as White hat hacker, or white hat, they use programming skills to
determine the vulnerabilities in computer systems.
Black Hats
Non-ethical hacker or black hat exploits these vulnerabilities for mischief, personal gain or other
purposes. Ethical hacker introspect the weakness in computer security, points them out and may
suggest changes to system to secure the information.
Grey Hats
Gray Hats hack for different reasons either ethically or unethically depending on the situation and
circumstances at hand(Ethical Hacking: Student Courseware).
III. PENETRATION TESTING
Penetration testing also known as intrusion testing or red teaming is the method of examining the
weakness and vulnerabilities of Computer and network security. Penetration testing helps to measure
the effectiveness of system security or ineffectiveness of the system security.
Need of Penetration Testing: The main purpose of penetration testing is to identify the security
weakness under controlled circumstances so that the security flaws can be eliminated before hackers
exploit the system. Ethical hackers use their skills and apply penetration testing to discover the
vulnerability Assessment, give importance to high sensitive data. Penetration testing may be done
from business perspective to safeguard the organization against failure through preventing financial
loss, as well as operational perspective to identify the risk and vulnerabilities.
Types of Penetration Test: Generally there are two type of penetration testing namely
1) Black Box Test
2) White Box Test
IV. WORKING OF AN ETHICAL HACKER
The working of an ethical hacker involves the under mentioned steps:
1) Obeying the Ethical Hacking Commandments: Every Ethical Hacker must follow few basic
principles. If he does not follow, bad things can happen. Most of the time these principles get
ignored or forgotten when planning or executing ethical hacking tests. The results are even
very dangerous.
2) Working ethically: The word ethical can be defined as working with high professional morals
and principles. Whether you’re performing ethical hacking tests against your own systems or
for someone who has hired you, everything you do as an ethical Hacker must be approved
and must support the company’s goals. No hidden agendas are allowed. Trustworthiness is
the ultimate objective. The misuse of information is absolutely not allowed.
3) Respecting Privacy: Treat the information you gather with complete respect. All information
you obtain during your testing from Web application log files to clear-text passwords —
must be kept private.
4) Not crashing your systems: One of the biggest mistakes is when people try to hack their own
systems; they come up with crashing their systems. The main reason for this is poor
planning. These testers have not read the documentation or misunderstand the usage and
power of the security tools and techniques. You can easily create miserable conditions on
your systems when testing. Running too many tests too quickly on a system causes many
system lockups. Many security assessment tools can control how many tests are performed
on a system at the same time. These tools are especially handy if you need to run the tests on
production systems during regular business hours.
5) Executing the plan: In Ethical hacking, Time and patience are important. Be careful when
you’re performing your ethical hacking tests.
V. ETHICAL HACKING METHODOLOGY
An ethical hacking methodology is quite similar to a hacking methodology as there are more or less
the same goals. Anyhow, some differences exist. An ethical hacker doesn’t need to take that much
care in hiding his traces and tracks. He can chose a more aggressive way and doesn’t need to bother
with slowing down portscans (to avoid detection) or evading intrusion detection systems – at least
most of the time unless it is specially desired by the client. Mostly, an ethical hacker just hasn’t the
time to be that careful in blurring his traces and tracks unless the customer pays for. Nevertheless, a
lot of similarities can be found to a hacking methodology. An ethical hacking methodology overview
can be seen in figure 2. A similar setup could be used by a hacker for his attacks. The ethical hacking
methodology described is based on eight possible phases where interactions between the phases are possible, even required as hacking is an iterative process; going back to an earlier phase is absolutely
possible (and needed).
VII. HACKING TOOLS
There are various characteristics for the use of tools for ethical hacking which are as follows:
1. Adequate documentation
2. Detailed reports on the discovered vulnerabilities, including how they can be fixed
3. Updates and support when needed
4. High level reports that can be presented to managers .
The list and description of various tools used in the ethical hacking process are as follows:
Scanning tools: The Scanning tools are quite helpful in the ethical hacking process. In technical detail,
a scanner sends a message requesting to open a connection with a computer on a particular port. (A
port is an interface where different layers of software exchanges information).
Port Scanners:
 Nmap
 Superscan
 Angry IP Scanner
 Nikto
 Unicornscan
 Autoscan
Packet Sniffers: They allow you to capture and visualise the traffic that is coming on your website.
 Wireshark
 TCPdump
 Ethercap
 Dsniff
 EtherApe
Vulnerability Exploitation: These are the tools you would use in order to gain access to various
places.
 Metasploit
 Sqlmap
 Sqlninja
 Social Engineer Toolkit
 Netsparker
 BeEF
 Dradis
Vulnerability Scanners: These are designed to access a computer or network’s vulnerability to attacks.
The functionaility of these tools varies from one to the other, but they all present a detailed analysis of
how vulnerable your system is.
 Nessus
 OpenVAS
 Nipper
 Retina
 QualysGuard
 Nexpose
Hacking Operating System: These are OS that have been designed specifically for hackers.
 Backtrack5r3
 Kalilinux
 SE Linux
 Knoppix
 Backbox linux
 Pentoo
 Matriux Krypton
 NodeZero
 Blackbuntu
 CAINE
 DEFT
 Helix

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