To be very frank the word hacker till date has been altered in such a way that people only see the negative side of this, nobody wants to see the positive side of the picture. Let's take an example, when you hear the term hacker what do you start thinking? Hacking Social Accounts? Hacking Systems? Software Cracker? Hacking this that and everything!
You see we're obsessed with the term hacker so much that we only think the negative ways, this is because we only see negative things coming in front of us, let it be social media, newspapers, mouth publicity, group discussion, etc. Nobody says the positive side.
This is because from past 2 decade cyber crimes have kept on rising and because of this there has been a negative impact on the word hacker. Go to google and just type Who is hacker? you'll receive a negative statement. Whereas then a new terminology emerged of Security Hacker / Cyber Security Specialist / Ethical Hacker. At-least by these names hackers were started to classify into good hackers. Just Like people who loot / rob are called thieves and people who protect us from that are called police / cop.
It doesn't require a lot to become an Ethical Hacker, you don't need any extensive knowledge on programming, you need to have a fair knowledge how the logics are behind it though. You should have a very good analytical skill to trace how it caused and how can it be prevented. Moreover you should always think in a reverse engineering manner.
To become an Ethical Hacker you need to be a bad hacker first, not to breach data or create a trouble but, to understand how things work. Below my story would let you know how there was a turn in my career which made me move from a black hat to white hat.
I still remember when I started in 2013, i started learning about hacking and started posting on by thehackersmind.blogspot.com blog. This was the time when i had no one to guide me and i was on my own. I started moving into black-hat, I started doing phishing attacks, gaining illegal access to systems / accounts, cracking software's, moreover time to time I was doing things I shouldn't have done(you name it and I've done it) there's no hiding it here.
Then one fine day my Facebook account was hacked and misused in a pathetic manner which embarrassed me a lot. Suddenly something struck my mind that is it only me or there are others as well? Why people don't know about it, even if they knew why aren't they protecting themselves? A tide of questions started ticking in my mind every second. I learnt my lesson and stopped all black-hat work.
Like everyone says to clean a city, you need to start it from you own home. I had to start learning myself how to analyse, and then secure. What would be potential loop holes in applications / systems and then get it patched. Day by day and time by time i started becoming perfect in it. Now was the time to spread a word about it by not only blogs but by conduction training sessions / workshops. I started the same by conducting training sessions / workshops in my colleges / internships programmes and made people aware how this can impact you and how you can be safe from it.
You see it's not a rocket science to become an Ethical Hacker. You just need to have a tide of questions in your mind for everything and every time you see something work. Ex: When i put credentials to a website, where does it go? how is it processed? Is it sanitised or not? Is it stored in an encrypted way or not? All these questions should keep on arising and then you should start googling them. Trust me every question has an answer and also parallel my personal quote Nothing is too Secure.
To summarise the post in short below are the pointers you need to keep in mind to start thinking as an ethical hacker and becoming one
- Never hack for fun, rather try to fix it and aware others
- Always think in a reverse engineering way
- Google is the always available to answer your questions, so you need no go to someone and ask them to teach, you may ask for guidance though
- Always keep in mind that Nothing is too Secure
A change might take time to happen, but at-least i started it from my side, what about you? I have a very great career in this field, it's time for you :) share this amongst your friends circle so that we can start the change and look on the positive side.