Ethical Hacking Introduction
Ethical Hacking Introduction : “It is an Art and science of determining the vulnerabilities of your information infrastructure to better defend them”.It is performed by high skilled ethical security professionals.is that:“It is an Art and science of determining the vulnerabilities of your information infrastructure to better defend them”.It is performed by high skilled ethical security professionals.
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Ethical hacking and ethical hacker are terms used to describe hacking performed by a company or individual to help identify potential threats on a computer or network. An ethical hacker attempts to bypass system security and search for any weak points that could be exploited by malicious hackers. This information is then used by the organization to improve the system security, in an effort to minimize or eliminate any potential attacks
What constitutes Ethical Hacking?
For hacking to be deemed ethical, the hacker must obey the following rules:
- Expressed (often written) permission to probe the network and attempt to identify potential security risks.
- You let the software developer or hardware manufacturer know of any security vulnerabilities you locate in their software or hardware, if not already known by the company.
- You respect the individual’s or company’s privacy.
- You close out your work, not leaving anything open for you or someone else to exploit at a later time.
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Ethical Hacking − Terminologies
Following is a list of important terms used in the field of Ethical Hacking.
- Adware: Adware is software designed to force pre-chosen ads to display on your system.
- Attack: An attack is an action that is done on a system to get its access and extract sensitive data.
- Back door: A back door, or trap door, is a hidden entry to a computing device or software that bypasses security measures, such as logins and password protections.
- Bot: A bot is a program that automates an action so that it can be done repeatedly at a much higher rate for a more sustained period than a human operator could do it. For example, sending HTTP, FTP or Telnet at a higher rate or calling script to create objects at a higher rate.
- Botnet: A botnet, also known as zombie army, is a group of computers controlled without their owners’ knowledge. Botnets are used to send spam or make denial of service attacks.
- Brute force attack: A brute force attack is an automated and the simplest kind of method to gain access to a system or website. It tries different combination of usernames and passwords, over and over again, until it gets in.
- Buffer Overflow: Buffer Overflow is a flaw that occurs when more data is written to a block of memory, or buffer, than the buffer is allocated to hold.
- Clone phishing: Clone phishing is the modification of an existing, legitimate email with a false link to trick the recipient into providing personal information.
- Cracker: A cracker is one who modifies the software to access the features which are considered undesirable by the person cracking the software, especially copy protection features.
- Denial of service attack (DoS): A denial of service (DoS) attack is a malicious attempt to make a server or a network resource unavailable to users, usually by temporarily interrupting or suspending the services of a host connected to the Internet.
- DDoS: Distributed denial of service attack.
- Exploit Kit: An exploit kit is software system designed to run on web servers, with the purpose of identifying software vulnerabilities in client machines communicating with it and exploiting discovered vulnerabilities to upload and execute malicious code on the client.
- Exploit: Exploit is a piece of software, a chunk of data, or a sequence of commands that takes advantage of a bug or vulnerability to compromise the security of a computer or network system.
- Firewall: A firewall is a filter designed to keep unwanted intruders outside a computer system or network while allowing safe communication between systems and users on the inside of the firewall.
- Keystroke logging: Keystroke logging is the process of tracking the keys which are pressed on a computer (and which touchscreen points are used). It is simply the map of a computer/human interface. It is used by gray and black hat hackers to record login IDs and passwords. Keyloggers are usually secreted onto a device using a Trojan delivered by a phishing email.
- Logic bomb: A virus secreted into a system that triggers a malicious action when certain conditions are met. The most common version is the time bomb.
- Malware: Malware is an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software, including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, scareware, and other malicious programs.
- Master Program: A master program is the program a black hat hacker uses to remotely transmit commands to infected zombie drones, normally to carry out Denial of Service attacks or spam attacks.
- Phishing: Phishing is an e-mail fraud method in which the perpetrator sends out legitimate-looking emails, in an attempt to gather personal and financial information from recipients.
- Phreaker: Phreakers are considered the original computer hackers and they are those who break into the telephone network illegally, typically to make free longdistance phone calls or to tap phone lines.
- Rootkit: Rootkit is a stealthy type of software, typically malicious, designed to hide the existence of certain processes or programs from normal methods of detection and enable continued privileged access to a computer.
- Shrink Wrap code: A Shrink Wrap code attack is an act of exploiting holes in unpatched or poorly configured software.
- Social engineering: Social engineering implies deceiving someone with the purpose of acquiring sensitive and personal information, like credit card details or user names and passwords.
- Spam: A Spam is simply an unsolicited email, also known as junk email, sent to a large number of recipients without their consent.
- Spoofing: Spoofing is a technique used to gain unauthorized access to computers, whereby the intruder sends messages to a computer with an IP address indicating that the message is coming from a trusted host. Ethical Hacking 11
- Spyware: Spyware is software that aims to gather information about a person or organization without their knowledge and that may send such information to another entity without the consumer’s consent, or that asserts control over a computer without the consumer’s knowledge.
- SQL Injection: SQL injection is an SQL code injection technique, used to attack data-driven applications, in which malicious SQL statements are inserted into an entry field for execution (e.g. to dump the database contents to the attacker).
- Threat: A threat is a possible danger that can exploit an existing bug or vulnerability to compromise the security of a computer or network system.
- Trojan: A Trojan, or Trojan Horse, is a malicious program disguised to look like a valid program, making it difficult to distinguish from programs that are supposed to be there designed with an intention to destroy files, alter information, steal passwords or other information.
- Virus: A virus is a malicious program or a piece of code which is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data.
- Vulnerability: A vulnerability is a weakness which allows a hacker to compromise the security of a computer or network system.
- Worms: A worm is a self-replicating virus that does not alter files but resides in active memory and duplicates itself.
- Cross-site Scripting: Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of computer security vulnerability typically found in web applications. XSS enables attackers to inject client-side script into web pages viewed by other users.
- Zombie Drone: A Zombie Drone is defined as a hi-jacked computer that is being used anonymously as a soldier or ‘drone’ for malicious activity, for example, distributing unwanted spam e-mails.
Ethical Hacking – Pen Testing
Penetration Testing is a method that many companies follow in order to minimize their security breaches. This is a controlled way of hiring a professional who will try to hack your system and show you the loopholes that you should fix. Before doing a penetration test, it is mandatory to have an agreement that will explicitly mention the following parameters:
- what will be the time of penetration test,
- where will be the IP source of the attack, and
- what will be the penetration fields of the system.
Penetration testing is conducted by professional ethical hackers who mainly use commercial, open-source tools, automate tools and manual checks. There are no restrictions; the most important objective here is to uncover as many security flaws as possible.
Types of Penetration Testing used in Ethical Hacking
We have five types of penetration testing:
- Black Box – Here, the ethical hacker doesn’t have any information regarding the infrastructure or the network of the organization that he is trying to penetrate. In black-box penetration testing, the hacker tries to find the information by his own means.
- Grey Box – It is a type of penetration testing where the ethical hacker has a partial knowledge of the infrastructure, like its domain name server.
- White Box – In white-box penetration testing, the ethical hacker is provided with all the necessary information about the infrastructure and the network of the organization that he needs to penetrate.
- External Penetration Testing: This type of penetration testing mainly focuses on network infrastructure or servers and their software operating under the infrastructure. In this case, the ethical hacker tries the attack using public networks through the Internet. The hacker attempts to hack the company infrastructure by attacking their webpages, webservers, public DNS servers, etc.
- Internal Penetration Testing: In this type of penetration testing, the ethical hacker is inside the network of the company and conducts his tests from there.
Penetration testing can also cause problems such as system malfunctioning, system crashing, or data loss. Therefore, a company should take calculated risks before going ahead with penetration testing. The risk is calculated as follows and it is a management risk.
RISK = Threat × Vulnerability
You have an online e-commerce website that is in production. You want to do penetration testing before making it live. Here, you have to weigh the pros and cons first. If you go ahead with penetration testing, it might cause interruption of service. On the contrary, if you do not wish to perform a penetration testing, then you can run the risk of having an unpatched vulnerability that will remain as a threat all the time.
Before doing a penetration test, it is recommended that you put down the scope of the project in writing. You should be clear about what is going to be tested. For example:
- Your company has a VPN or any other remote access techniques and you want to test that particular point.
- Your application has web servers with databases, so you might want to get it tested for SQL injection attacks which is one of the most crucial tests on a web server. In addition, you can check if your web server is immune to DoS attacks.
Quick Tips for Ethical Hacking
Before going ahead with a penetration test, you should keep the following points in mind:
- First understand your requirements and evaluate all the risks.
- Hire a certified person to conduct penetration test because they are trained to apply all the possible methods and techniques to uncover possible loopholes in a network or web application.
- Always sign an agreement before doing a penetration test.
Final Note for Ethical Hacking
You need to stay as a White Hat Hacker which means you need to work within given boundaries. Never intrude or attack any computer or network without a required permission from the authorities. As a final note, it is highly recommended that you refrain from engaging yourself in black hat hacking which may spoil your entire carrier.
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