Techniques used in Ethical Hacking

Cybercrime is proving akin to a migraine headache that refuses to go away!

Techniques used in Ethical Hacking

Cybercrime is proving akin to a migraine headache that refuses to go away! No one knows the when, where, and how of the next security breach that will take place! Hackers continue to experiment with novel types of spyware, malware, ransomware, and viruses. Perforce, business establishments have to remain eternally vigilant. Even newer technologies do not seem capable of handling cybersecurity issues, on their own. Therefore, organizations are always on the lookout for certified ethical hackers. And professionals willing to apply in such companies prefer taking a certified ethical hacker certification to upskill themselves.

Now, let us suppose that you have already certified. What will you do?


This is the first job for cybersecurity professionals. You must garner information about various things. Towards this end, you may take recourse to different tools. These tools are compatible with all browsers, including Google Chrome. They covertly obtain information. The target system does not know about it.

What kind of information do you seek?

The first hunt is for the basics. For instance, who is the host hacker? Similarly, it is essential to identify the location of the network and its range. You must also know the concerned organization and the active machines involved. Once you have the requisite information, it should prove secure to find the access points and open ports. Next is the fingerprinting process. You should be able to discover the services available on these ports. Finally, you can map the network.

There are two types of reconnaissance. One is an active reconnaissance. Here, you get to communicate with the hacker system directly. You should be able to access accurate and relevant information. An example of an active reconnaissance is social engineering. However, there is a risk. They may catch you! Then, the blame will come on you for spying on them without permission! They may even take serious action against you. They will also be able to take note of your future activities. Therefore, unless you are confident, do not go in for this technique. As an alternative, you might go in for passive reconnaissance. Here, the target system will have no inkling of your presence. An example of this procedure is reviewing the website of the concerned company. Whatever you do, you are following in the footsteps of the original hacker. Therefore, the IT world refers to the process of footprinting.

One of the tools you will apply for reconnaissance is Firebug. It will help you discover the vulnerabilities of the 'enemy' system. Another popular tool is Web Data Extractor.


This is an essential strategy. Here, you will engage yourself in observing the host, as if you are sitting next to the hacker's system. You will also find activities connected to the port/ports involved. The assessment of vulnerabilities will continue. Finally, you will be able to grab the banners on display at the hacker's site. This refers to how you have collected information. Have you brought technology into play? Alternatively, you wonder if this knowledge will help you comprehend the enemy's operating system. Will you be able to intrude into it or not? Note that every bit of data that you obtain is vital for success. It will aid you in constructing the target's network topology. While building it, you will attempt intrusions. You will try to step in when the web application is in functioning mode. You will also decide the same when the application is in a static method. It all depends upon your expertise, on what your final thoughts will be!


You have been using all the tools at your disposal to check out vulnerabilities. The target is the web application that has donned the role of an unwanted intruder. For example, you could opt for cross-site scripting. Then again, you may feel that SQL injections are better. Oh, there is all manner of strategies that you may use. Once you have sufficient information about the application's vulnerabilities, get down to work. Steal data from the hacker's system. Strive to intercept visitors moving towards it. Resort to different ways of interfering with gaining information. Such tactics will help you comprehend the damage that can ensue if this criminal accesses your organization's systems.

Maintaining Access

True, you are a legitimate penetration tester. Regardless, you cannot be helpful. You have to think like a criminal! You are welcome to label the target as a launchpad. With this pad, you will be able to scan, exploit, and destroy other systems connected with the hacker. Alternatively, you may prefer continuous exploitation. A tool titled Sniffer should prove to be of immense help.

It is reasonable that you want your presence to remain undetected. Well, use a Trojan or a back door. Otherwise, make use of a rootkit. The former will grant you entry to the web application. The latter will take you to the operating system. Whatever you do, you have been smart enough to take up a dual role. You are an attacker for the enemy. You are a protector for your organization.


When everything is in order, you will have to prepare a report. This is possible through a compilation of data and its detailed analysis. You will also have to comment upon the vulnerabilities that exist in organizational servers too. The hacker has discovered them and taken full advantage. Mention how you will repay his/her debt in full. If there are future attacks, you may refer to this report.

Indeed, technological advancements are never stagnant. Newer methodologies will always arrive on the scene. Intelligent minds will ever devise new ways to trouble people. Nevertheless, with practice, you should find it easy to recognize and control hackers and hacking methodologies.

Updated Date: 25 September 2019, 07:21

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