• What is Hacking?
Hacking is the process of accessing digital information without the owner’s permission. In most cases,hackers attack computers or networks to obtain confidential data. These people use the collected information to earn money (i.e. by blackmailing the victims or selling the data to interested parties). Some hackers also use their skills just to render their targets inoperable. Obviously, hacking is an illegal activity.
• Malicious Programs
Malicious computer programs, also known as “malware”, are programs that are designed to harm computers or networks. If you want to know more about malware go to Here
• Penetration Testing
A penetration test (also called “security testing”, “network testing”, or “pen testing”) is a process of hacking a target in order to find vulnerabilities. This is a form of “ethical hacking” where the hacker assists his “client” (e.g. a business) to improve the latter’s digital defenses. These days, businesses and other organizations are more than willing to pay just to protect themselves from malicious attacks.
What makes penetration testing different from malicious hacking is the permission from the target. Thus, pen testing is still illegal if you don’t have your target’s permission. You can have all the goodintentions in the world and still get incarcerated for hacking a network.
Here’s an important principle: always get a written permission from the target before conducting any hacking attack. It would be best if the permission will be signed by the owner, CEO, or IT manager of your target organization.
• Programming Skills
Most hackers are willing to share their tools with others. You can create a comprehensive hacking toolkit just by downloading ready-made tools from hacking websites. That means you can be a full-fledged hacker even without programming anything. This is great, especially to people who don’t have the timeto learn programming languages. Unfortunately, relying on other’s programs and tools can limit your growth as a hacker.
If you want to become a successful hacker, you must learn one or two programming languages. This knowledge will help you create your own tools and improve the works of others. Once you know how to program, you will evolve from being a “novice” into a “skilled” hacker.
• Setting up a Laboratory
Hacking can be dangerous. If you aren’t careful, you might disable your targets permanently. This is the reason why beginners are advised to practice their skills in a “laboratory”. Basically, a hacking lab consists of various virtual machines. A single computer may hold multiple virtual machines (and various operating systems). Hacking labs allow hackers to polish their skills without endangering systems. If you mess up, you can just restart a virtual machine. There will be no permanent damages, regardless of how epic your failure is.
There are many virtual machine programs out there. The most popular ones are QEMU, VMware, and VirtualBox. These programs are available for free. QEMU is designed for Linux systems. VMware, meanwhile, is available for Linux and Windows computers. If you are working with different systems, however, VirtualBox is your best option. You can use this virtual machine on a Linux, Macintosh, or Windows computer.