Career as a Hacker – In today’s interconnected world, cybersecurity is of utmost importance. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the demand for skilled professionals who can safeguard systems and networks is on the rise. Ethical hacking, also known as penetration testing or white-hat hacking, is a crucial field that focuses on identifying vulnerabilities and securing digital infrastructures. If you possess a curious mind, a passion for problem-solving, and an ethical mindset, this comprehensive guide will provide you with the knowledge and steps to becoming a hacker.
What is Hacker?
A hacker is an individual who possesses advanced computer and networking skills and uses them to gain unauthorized access to systems, networks, or data. The term “hacker” can have different connotations, and it’s essential to distinguish between various types of hackers based on their intentions and motivations.
Types of Hackers
Mainly, there are only 06 types of hackers and the list are following.
White Hat Hackers (Ethical Hackers)
They work within legal boundaries to identify vulnerabilities and secure systems, networks, and applications. They often perform penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, and security audits to help organizations strengthen their cybersecurity defences. White hat hackers are hired or contracted by companies to improve their security posture.
Black Hat Hackers
Black hat hackers are individuals who engage in malicious activities and use their skills for personal gain or to cause harm. They exploit vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, or applications to steal sensitive information, commit financial fraud, distribute malware, or disrupt digital infrastructures. Black hat hackers operate illegally and are a significant threat to individuals, organizations, and governments.
Grey Hat Hackers
Grey hat hackers fall somewhere between white hat and black hat hackers. They may identify vulnerabilities in systems without proper authorization, but their intentions are not malicious. They often notify organizations about the vulnerabilities they discover, sometimes demanding payment in return for providing details about the weaknesses. While their actions are not legal, their motivations are not strictly malicious.
Script kiddies are individuals who lack advanced hacking skills but use pre-written hacking scripts or tools to conduct basic attacks. They typically rely on existing exploits and do not possess in-depth knowledge of the underlying concepts. Script kiddies often engage in hacking activities for attention or to prove their skills, but they pose a minimal threat compared to more sophisticated hackers.
They are hackers who carry out cyber attacks for political, social, or ideological reasons. They target organizations or governments to promote their cause, raise awareness, or protest against specific issues. Hacktivism often involves defacing websites, leaking sensitive information, or disrupting online services. While their motivations may be driven by activism, their actions are typically illegal.
State-sponsored hackers, also known as nation-state actors or advanced persistent threats (APTs), are hackers backed by governments or state entities. They possess significant resources and advanced capabilities. State-sponsored hackers engage in cyber espionage, sabotage, or cyber warfare to gain intelligence, disrupt critical infrastructure, or advance their political agendas. Their attacks are highly sophisticated and can have severe consequences.
Eligibility to become a hacker
To become a hacker, there are no strict eligibility criteria in terms of educational qualifications or specific certifications. However, certain skills, knowledge, and personal qualities are essential for a successful career in ethical hacking.
The salary in the field of hacking can vary significantly depending on various factors such as location, experience, skill set, industry, and employer. Ethical hackers, also known as penetration testers or security analysts, are highly sought after, and their salaries tend to reflect the demand for their skills. Here are some approximate salary ranges based on different levels of experience.
|Entry-Level||At the entry-level, ethical hackers can expect salaries ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 75,000 per year. These positions typically require foundational knowledge in cybersecurity, networking, and programming, along with some practical experience or certifications.|
|Mid-Level||With a few years of experience and expertise in specific hacking domains, mid-level ethical hackers can earn between Rs. 75,000 and Rs. 125,000 per year. This level often includes professionals who have obtained relevant certifications and have successfully performed penetration testing and vulnerability assessments.|
|Senior-Level/Experienced||Senior-level ethical hackers with significant experience and a track record of successfully securing systems can earn salaries exceeding Rs. 125,000 per year. These professionals may also hold leadership positions, oversee teams, and provide strategic guidance to organizations in matters of cybersecurity.|
How to Become a Hacker?
There are many types of hackers. So anyone can choose the type as per their interest. The following are the stages that you have to clear to become a hacker.
Understanding Ethical Hacking
Before diving into the intricacies of becoming a hacker, it is vital to understand the concept and purpose of ethical hacking. Ethical hackers, also known as security analysts or penetration testers, use their skills to simulate real-world attacks and identify vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, and applications. Their primary objective is to proactively enhance cybersecurity by identifying weaknesses before malicious hackers can exploit them.
Develop a Strong Foundation
To become a successful hacker, it is essential to build a solid foundation in computing and networking. Familiarize yourself with operating systems such as Linux and Windows, and gain knowledge about computer networks, protocols (e.g., TCP/IP), and programming languages like Python, C++, and Java. This foundation will serve as the backbone for your journey into the world of hacking.
Pursue Formal Education and Certifications
While formal education is not a strict requirement to become a hacker, pursuing a degree in cybersecurity, computer science, or a related field can provide you with valuable knowledge and credentials. Universities and online platforms offer specialized courses and programs in ethical hacking and cybersecurity. Additionally, industry-recognized certifications like Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) can boost your credibility and open doors to professional opportunities.
Master the Tools of the Trade
To become an effective hacker, you must familiarize yourself with the tools commonly used in the field. Tools like Nmap, Metasploit, Wireshark, Burp Suite, and John the Ripper are widely utilized for reconnaissance, vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and password cracking. Understand how these tools work, learn their functionalities, and practice using them in various scenarios.
Acquire Hacking Techniques and Knowledge
Ethical hacking encompasses various techniques and domains. Gain knowledge and experience in areas such as network security, web application security, wireless security, social engineering, cryptography, and exploit development. Explore different hacking methodologies and understand how they can be applied in real-world scenarios. Stay updated with the latest hacking trends, vulnerabilities, and attack vectors by following reputable security blogs, and forums, and attending conferences.
Practice in a Controlled Environment
To enhance your hacking skills, it is crucial to practice in a safe and controlled environment. Set up a virtual lab using virtualization software or utilize dedicated lab setups. Create simulated scenarios and test your skills without causing any harm or breaching any legal boundaries. Participate in Capture the Flag (CTF) competitions, which provide practical challenges and allow you to test your hacking abilities in a controlled setting.
Embrace an Ethical Mindset
Ethical hacking is built upon a strong ethical foundation. Understand the legal and ethical boundaries surrounding hacking activities in your jurisdiction. Always obtain proper authorization before conducting any security assessments or penetration tests. Adhere to ethical guidelines and standards, ensuring that your actions are focused on protecting and securing systems, rather than causing