You may be thinking what on earth is an ethical hacker? A hacker is an adventurer for profit, they aim to use their skills to make money, and sometimes to create havoc for political and philosophical reasons. An ethical hacker has a mission to use their programming powers for good. Ethical hackers aim to make the world a safer place and make money at the same time.

According to one source, “The ethical hacker is an individual whose job it is to make computer systems secure and to provide this assurance to both computer users and their companies.”

Hacking and Ethical Hacking are not one and the same. If someone calls themselves a hacker then they most likely are acting unethically.

Hacking

Technically hacking is when people break into systems by using a wide variety of techniques, i.e. stealing passwords, manipulating systems, bypassing security systems and extracting data.

“Hacking is the process of breaking into a system illegally, usually through the use of malicious code, social engineering or the exploitation of technical vulnerabilities.” (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/hacking)

Hacking is illegal, it typically involves accessing systems that are meant to be kept private. In a few cases people have gone into businesses and removed sensitive data and then sell it on. The act of hacking is a criminal offence.

Ethical Hacking

In ethical hacking, the individual typically acts as part of a team and work for one of the companies that seeks to secure or audit their own systems. The hacker will go through the company’s systems and identify vulnerabilities. Once identified, the hacker will give advice on how the company can fix the issues.

Ethical hackers do not actually break into systems, instead they simulate the access and hack the systems from within.

No point in just reading about it if you’re a decent programmer, you can apply your skills directly. Getting into hacking is fun and educational. To get started you need to find a suitable hacker community, you need to find something which speaks to you. There are a number of communities online, most of which are very well organized. Once you have found one, look to join, fill in your application and go through the training program.

Becoming a hacker will open a lot of doors for you, you are able to make a lot of really good money. It also keeps you out of trouble. After all, you don’t have more money than you know what to do with now do you?

Online reading will help get you even more into the hacking scene, you will start to see some really interesting topics and many people share their knowledge. This is a great base to get started. Then you can look into things like bug bounties and the like to test your skills.

Hiring a hacker to get into your social media accounts, or to do other things, is a totally different matter, and doesn’t fall into the ethical hacker discussion. To find hackers like these, you’ll have to use the dark web.