The Roadmap to become an Ethical hacker

Ahmet Göker
7 min readNov 28, 2021

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INTRODUCTION

In your pursuit of a cybersecurity career, it is essential to embark on a structured educational journey. Let’s chart a course that not only initiates your journey but also delineates how to navigate and excel in this domain while continuously enhancing your expertise and acumen.

who is an ethical hacker? and what does an ethical hacker do in the real life.

In the realm of cybersecurity education, it’s imperative to understand the distinction between ethical hacking and unauthorized hacking. Unauthorized hackers, often referred to as “black hat hackers,” engage in illegal activities by gaining unauthorized access to computer systems, manipulating data, and accessing confidential information without permission. These actions are not only unethical but also illegal, potentially leading to legal consequences.

Thankfully, the evolving landscape of cybersecurity has given rise to a group of professionals known as “ethical hackers” or “white hat hackers.” These individuals undergo structured training to become proficient in the field of ethical hacking, allowing them to legally make a living in this domain. Ethical hackers are authorized by system owners to perform security assessments, which include attempting to penetrate computer systems and networks to identify and rectify vulnerabilities, potential security flaws, and malicious threats.

Now, let’s delve into the educational roadmap for aspiring ethical hackers, highlighting the key areas of knowledge and expertise required to become proficient in this field:

1. Fundamental IT Knowledge: Ethical hackers should have a strong foundation in information technology, including networking, operating systems, and computer architecture.

2. Security Fundamentals: Understanding the basics of cybersecurity, including security models, access control, encryption, and security policies, is crucial.

3. Programming and Scripting: Proficiency in programming languages such as Python, C, or Java, as well as scripting languages like Bash, is essential for writing custom tools and scripts.

4. Networking: A deep understanding of network protocols, topologies, and services is necessary to assess vulnerabilities in network infrastructure.

5. Operating Systems: Familiarity with various operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS, is vital for identifying system-specific vulnerabilities.

6. Web Application Security: Ethical hackers should be skilled in identifying and mitigating web application vulnerabilities, including SQL injection, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), and Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF).

7. Penetration Testing: Learning the methodologies and tools used in penetration testing, which involves simulating cyberattacks to discover weaknesses, is a core skill.

8. Malware Analysis: Understanding malware behavior, reverse engineering, and mitigating malware threats is essential.

9. Incident Response and Forensics: Knowledge of incident response procedures and digital forensics is crucial for handling security incidents and breaches.

10. Security Standards and Frameworks: Familiarity with industry standards such as NIST, ISO 27001, and cybersecurity frameworks like MITRE ATT&CK is necessary.

11. Certifications: Obtaining relevant certifications, such as Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), can validate one’s expertise.

By mastering these educational components, an aspiring ethical hacker can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in this field while maintaining a strong ethical foundation, ensuring that their actions contribute to the security of computer systems and networks rather than compromising them.

Roadmap of an Ethical Hacker

In the realm of educational terms, the provided sentence can be articulated as follows:

“There is an extensive array of concepts and processes that I aim to comprehensively address, with a strong emphasis on clarity and accessibility in explanation. The foundational areas we will delve into include:

1. Programming and Computer Science Fundamentals: This segment will provide the bedrock understanding of programming principles and the core tenets of computer science.

2. Networking and Operating System Fundamentals: We will explore the fundamental elements of networking and the essential workings of operating systems.

3. Application Security: A critical facet of our curriculum, this section will focus on safeguarding applications from vulnerabilities and threats.

4. Specialization Options: After establishing a solid foundation, students can choose a specialization path. These options include:

- Binary Security
— Web Application Security (such as bug bounty hunting)
— Mobile Forensics
— Penetration Testing
— Network Security
— Red Team Operations
— Blue Team Operations
— Purple Team (combining red and blue team skills)

Having introduced these concepts, it’s important to note that we’ve yet to delve into the fundamental aspects. Let’s proceed with a more detailed explanation of some of these foundational topics.”

In the realm of education and cybersecurity, it is crucial to emphasize the importance of a strong foundation in programming and computer science fundamentals. While some individuals may initially be drawn to cybersecurity for less savory reasons, such as hacking or phishing, it’s essential to stress that true expertise in this field arises from a solid grounding in these core areas.

Programming is the bedrock of cybersecurity, and the best hackers often have a background in programming. They understand programming syntax thoroughly, can dissect software to comprehend its inner workings, and are capable of crafting their own tools. This is invaluable because it enables them to experiment and develop various applications, including potentially malicious ones like Remote Access Trojans (RATs), worms, or viruses.

Regarding the question of which programming languages to learn, it depends on your specific goals and the area of cybersecurity you wish to specialize in. Here are some educational insights into the choice of programming languages for various purposes in the cybersecurity domain:

1. HTML (HyperText Markup Language): This language is particularly relevant for web hacking. Web applications often use HTML forms for data input, and understanding HTML is crucial for exploiting vulnerabilities in login forms and other web-based data entry methods.

2. JavaScript: JavaScript is a powerful language for web hacking. It can manipulate and retrieve cookies and execute code directly in a client’s browser, making it a valuable skill for various web-related exploits.

3. SQL (Structured Query Language): Learning SQL is essential for web hacking, as it is used to manipulate databases and can be used to inject malicious code to bypass security measures in web applications.

4. Python, Ruby, Bash, Perl: These languages are ideal for creating custom tools and scripts, which can be employed for tasks like brute force attacks and Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks. Understanding and customizing existing tools and scripts is essential in this domain.

5. C/C++: Mastery of C and C++ is essential for writing exploits, malware, and shellcode. These languages are more complex than high-level scripting languages like Python and require a deep understanding of computer architecture and operating systems.

In addition to programming skills, it’s crucial to explore other educational avenues in cybersecurity, including:

- Network Security: Delve into the intricacies of network security, understanding the OSI model, vulnerabilities, and Wi-Fi hacking techniques.
- Mobile Application Security: Learn about the security aspects of mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android, as well as hardware and software components.
- Communication Skills: Develop effective communication skills to report vulnerabilities, share technical knowledge, and collaborate with team members and clients.
- Cryptography: Comprehend the principles of encryption and various cryptographic algorithms, as encryption is a fundamental aspect of securing information.
- Web Application Security: Focus on identifying common security vulnerabilities affecting web applications, learn about CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures), and explore web security mechanisms, including the OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities.

Remember that theoretical knowledge is only a starting point; practical experience, collaboration with experienced professionals, and ethical hacking practice are essential components of a successful cybersecurity education. To begin your educational journey, you can explore various online resources and platforms.

https://overthewire.org/

There are much more resources and books which you can read and being put that in your practical process

Linux penetration testing OS

Kali Linux:

the most infamous distro from the folks

Parrot OS:

also a debian distro however it offers full portable lab for security

android tamer:

this virtual/live machine for android security professional

Blackarch:

arch linux based pentesting distro, compatible with arch installs

Lionsec:

linux pentesting for Ubuntu

Tail:

Anonymously browsing , TOR network

Costs of hacking

Millions of people around the world have been victimized by criminal hackers, leading to billions of dollars in financial loses

National security

Hackers and other cyber criminals attempt to break in to US government system, including defense operation

Stopping hacking

The FBI and other police organization around the world have for several years been arresting individual hackers and members of organized hacker rings on charges of stealing millions of dollars via malicious hacking

Many Thanks.

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