Is there really such a thing as Ethical Hacking?

Gone are the days when ‘hacking’ was something your Mom used to pray you’d never do when you told her you were going to be a Developer. Hackers (in the bad sense) still exist of course, but Ethical Hackers now play a crucial role in the IT space, turning hacking into a more positive and crime-free occupation.

What is Ethical Hacking?

An ethical hacker is employed by a company to hack into a computer network, effectively detecting the weak spots in a network or in security software.  By detecting these kinks in the armour, companies are able to increase the security and better their processes in the event of an actual hacker’s attack.

In a nutshell, ethical hacking is hacking, only without the worry that the FBI might burst in the door, and with an income you actually can declare to SARS.

How do you become an Ethical Hacker?

Becoming an Ethical Hacker requires that you come to the table with a few years’ worth of good credentials in security systems like CISSP, CISA, CISM and Security+.  Programming experience is pretty important as well, so knowing your LISP from your Java is integral and having some database experience such as SQL wouldn’t hurt either.

The cherry on the top of your ethical hacking credentials is to gain certification as a Certified Ethical Hacker or CEH.  This qualification is accredited through the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants and requires that you participate in five online, live classes over a few weeks or choose the self-study option.  The CEH qualification involves mastering the following:

  • Penetration testing, foot-printing, reconnaissance and social engineering
  • Creating Trojan horses, backdoor, viruses and worms
  • Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, SQL injection, buffer overflow, session hijacking and system hacking
  • Scan and sniff networks, crack wireless encryption, evade IDSs, firewalls and honeypots

This sounds hellava similar to what they learn at the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ School for Detectives’ we know, but these are all necessities needed to master in order to ethically hack.  Important to keep in mind though, is that like the oath taken by most superheroes, Ethical Hackers also have to promise to use their skills and qualifications for good only.

Interested in finding out about what Ethical Hacking jobs might be available in the industry, contact e-Merge now, your IT Recruitment Specialists.


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