A hacker is a skilled computer expert that fully understands network infrastructure and how to exploit networks, websites and mobile devices to gain data, encrypted files, deploy trojans, unleash viruses and utilize ransomware. Like any technology, hacking knowledge can be used for good reasons or by those with bad intentions. In an effort to thwart, what is known as a black hat hacker, the ethical hacker has risen to the occasion to counter the hacker that is looking to harm an organization, individual or network.
Hackers have different motives, from making money by stealing credit card numbers or administering ransomware attacks, to ego hacking, an effort to increase their reputation in the hacking world. There are also hackers that partake in government or corporate espionage. So, what kind of hackers exist?
What Kind of Hackers Exist?
Based on the many movies and televisions shows, you might perceive hackers as dark characters looking to exploit organizations for cryptocurrency and data to use as black mail. While there is some truth to this portrayal, many ethical hackers are just like you and me. However, there are crime syndicates in Russia, China and even the United States that are actively hacking infrastructure, government agencies and business organizations. Fortunately, a new crop of hacker has risen, like a phoenix from the ashes. What is known as an ethical hacker. Hackers are classified based on the term white hat, which spawned the terms black hat, gray heat, blue hat, red hat and green hat hacker. Each with an individual meaning based on the type of hacking they perform and their intent, whether malicious or not.
White Hat Hacker
This type of hacker has a motive to thwart the black hat hacker and stop them from penetrating a website or finding vulnerabilities before they do. White hat hackers have the express permission of the agency, corporation or individual to find the exploits that a black hat hacker may take advantage of. White hat hackers can even make a bounty for identifying these exploits, the bigger the possible breach the more the white hat hacker can be rewarded. There are many bug bounty organizations that match up white hat hackers with corporations that want to secure their infrastructure, from BugCrowd and HackerOne, to individual bounties that are offered by large organizations directly to white hat hackers.
Black Hat Hacker
These hackers are the ones that are hacking for nefarious reasons, whether to steal money, use email phishing to capture login information, execute ransomware or just identify a vulnerability in the network code that can open up a world of malicious intent.
Gray Hat Hacker
These hackers are not always sanctioned by an organization to identify exploits and vulnerabilities but will make public datasets of information that can benefit everyone. The hackers that support Wikileaks for example. They may be good guys doing unsanctioned hacking for the good of the people.
Blue Hat Hacker
This is an amateur hacker that is usually trying to get revenge on someone, whether a personal vendetta or business slight. They may not be aware of the illegal acts that they are waging, or they may feel they are small potatoes compared to real hackers and no one will care.
Red Hat Hacker
A red hat hacker is white hat with the intent of playing offense, rather than defensive hacking. The red hat hacker is looking to intercept and destroy the schemes of black hat hackers. For example, the governmental agency that recovered ransom from the hacker syndicate that exploited colonial pipeline with ransomware. They actively used their hacking skills to thwart the syndicate and retrieve ill-gotten gains.
Green Hat Hacker
This is a term for those that are passive bystanders that want to learn about hacking but not actively engaging in the hacking world. They may watch YouTube or reading tutorials in an effort to understand how hacking works, so they can understand what the white hacker does and how they can employ their services.
This is term for new hackers, that really don’t know how to inflict any major damage but are interested in learning the trade. They may have purchased scripts to bombard a network using the Internet of Things (IoT) or downloaded some hacking software in an effort to learn how to hack.
What is an Ethical Hacker?
Hackers can be either ethical or unethical. The ethical hacker is a cyber security expert that employs their hacking skills to thwart black hat hackers from penetrating networks or injecting viruses that can harm systems and information. These ethical hackers are employed by organizations, governmental agencies and individuals to help secure networks and devices from those that want to cause harm. From identifying faulty code that can be exploited to implementing firewalls and educating employees about proper password protection, these ethical hackers are the front-line defense against the ever-evolving computer hacking underground that seems to always be one step ahead. So, you want to become an ethical hacker?
How Do You Become a Certified Ethical Hacker (C/EH)?
The EC-Council administers a credentialing exam to become a certified ethical hacker. The Ethical Hacker exam is administered by both the ECC Exam Centre and Pearson Vue testing centers. The certification exam can take up to 4 hours and include 125 questions. Depending on the difficulty rating of individual tests, a passing grade can range from 60% to 85%. Do you need to prepare for this certification exam? The best way to prepare is to take an ethical hacker exam prep course at Florida Technical College.
Ethical Hacker (CE/H) Exam Preparation
The Ethical Hacker CEH exam prep course provides you with knowledge of hacking tools and techniques for legally administering penetration tests for accepted security testing purposes. This continuing education course prepares you to become a certified ethical hacker. The preparation curriculum is created to prepare you for the EC-Council exam to test you on the knowledge that is represented as industry standards of cyber security. In this CE/H exam prep course, you will learn the principles and concepts required to build and manage an organization’s networking and security operations and to effectively utilize various resources to achieve operational excellence.
Now that you are interested in being a hacker, we recommend preparing for your new career by taking the ethical hacker exam prep course. This course prepares you to take the ethical hacker exam administered by the EC-Council to help you progress in your job, find a new cyber security position or become a bug bounty expert. Taking the time to prepare for this exam will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to excel as an ethical hacker. Identify your own knowledge vulnerabilities by completing the ethical hacker exam preparation course at Florida Technical College.
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Ready to move from a job to a career? Florida Technical College Continuing Education is here to help. Contact us to learn more about the Ethical Hacker certification exam preparation courses at Florida Technical College.
*These examples are intended to serve only as a general guide of possible employment opportunities. There are many factors that determine the job an individual may obtain and Florida Technical College cannot guarantee its graduate any particular job. Some positions may require license or other certifications. We encourage you to research the requirements for the particular position you desire.