Anyone can write up an outlandish cyberpunk username and pose as a hacker. However, there is so much that goes into becoming a professional hacker. One must master many skills.
It requires extensive knowledge of hacking techniques, creative thinking skills and a reputation in the ethical hacking community.
There are two types of hacking: ethical and unethical hacking. While unethical hackers use their skills in dishonest ways, ethical hackers use their skills to create solutions in computer security and network systems.
Now that you know a few basics about hacking, here are credible tips to help you become a professional hacker.
1. Think Creatively
Hacking is all about creating solutions, and there is a whole load of problems out there waiting to be solved.
If you don’t think ahead of other hackers, you will not crack how others may break into your system. To nourish your creative thinking skills, read widely and exchange ideas with other professional hackers.
Subscribe to internet geek blogs and read articles, manuals and tutorials. They all offer unique and diverse ideas that you may find useful.
2. Learn to Program In C
Programming in C is a vital skill to have if you want to become a professional hacker. Mastering this language helps you to manage your tasks.
It enables you to divide tasks into smaller pieces that can be expressed by a sequence of commands to assess logic. To appreciate the importance of this program, start reading books and articles about C programming.
3. Learn Several Programming Languages
While programming in C is a wonderful starting point, it is essential to also acquire knowledge on modern computer programming languages such as Python, JAVA, PHP and Perl.
Most clients prefer modern languages especially for complex automation because they tend to be very secure.
Get a few codes and try to analyze them. Seek to understand what they are for and how they work. What is their output, and if you change something what will be the impact?
As a professional hacker, it is essential to understand how each programming language operates, as well as the security loopholes in every one of them.
4. Learn UNIX
You cannot be a hacker without learning UNIX. UNIX is multi-user, multi-tasking computer operating system designed to boost system security. A huge number of web servers are hosted on UNIX-based servers.
While learning a few essential commands is good enough to get you started, in-depth understanding of the internal frameworks of this operating system will be a big boost in your hacking skills.
5. Learn More Than One Operating System
Besides UNIX, familiarize yourself with other conventional operating systems such as Windows and Android.
Something worth noting about Microsoft systems is that they are closed-source systems with vast vulnerabilities. Therefore, learning how programs are written for Windows as well as how different applications behave on this operating system will help you a bunch.
6. Learn Networking Concepts
As a professional hacker, your networking concepts need to be sharp. To successfully control a network, you need to know as much about it as possible.
Collect the fundamentals of your network, find how it is set up and figure out an attack vector, and note what you will do for every attack vector.
Having in-depth knowledge of various networks such as TCP/IP and UDP protocol, subnet, LAN, WAN and VPN will significantly enable you to exploit the vulnerabilities.
7. Learn Cryptography
Cryptography is the technology used to secure communication in the presence of third parties such as in SSL-based internet communication. This technique is used extensively in computer passwords, ATM cards and e-commerce platforms.
As a professional hacker, you need to master the art of cryptography.
Learn techniques that can be used for password-cracking, and try to crack a few passwords. Try out various encryption algorithms and establish why they are hard to decrypt.
Partake in challenges for decrypting a powerful encryption. A great hacker should be able to point out weaknesses in an encryption algorithm and develop a program that can demonstrate how decryption is achievable without much information about keys.
8. Experiment A Lot
Nothing beats practical application. Experimenting is a crucial step in establishing yourself as an expert hacker. Starting off is as simple as downloading a virtual lab application like Oracle VirtualBox to carry out your hacking experiments.
Some of the essentials you will need to remember as you experiment include: creating a backup before starting an experiment, starting small, having checkpoints as you proceed, documenting your progress, knowing when to stop, and iterating and automating repetitive tasks.
9. Write Open Source Software
Write useful computer security software and give the program sources away to the public. Organizations such as Mozilla are more than willing to sponsor these types of projects.
Contributing to open source security projects such as anti-virus, anti-spam, firewall and data removals come in handy in augmenting your dexterity as a hacker.
Hackerdom’s most respected hackers are individuals who have written programs that meet a widespread need, and given them away for everyone to use.
10. Write Open Source Software
Most of the time, you will be hacking for clients. And they would probably want to see a breakdown of exactly what you did. It can be frustrating for the client if your report does not give enough information on how you carried out your testing or how to reproduce an issue.
As a professional hacker, notes and screenshots should be your best friend. Save everything—starting from your tools’ output, logs, and network traffic to and from the target. While this might appear like a lot of work, it’s a smart move that will help you verify your hard work.
Thinking outside the box and going an extra mile is what separates a good hacker from a great hacker. Professional hacking requires a skill set that expands past the ordinary script. It requires continuous learning.
While the tips above are not an exhaustive guide, they are fantastic in helping you walk down the road of being a professional hacker. Try them out and share your experience.
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