Ethical Hacking – Expose Security Vulnerability
To start with a mission, there are two utmost important things one must have clarity about- One is the ‘Intention’ and the other is ‘road map to reach the goal’. ‘Intent’, whether benign or malicious, lies in the eyes of the beholder and other is the ‘road map’ that comes with a dedicated research.
The combination of both brings the concept behind ‘Ethical Hacking’. Intruding into a restricted zone is hacking. But as they say, to catch a criminal, think like a one. Ethical Hackers follow the similar psychology. Their motive is transparently simple. In order to test a security network, they use the same methods as a malicious attempt would do, but report the problems uncovered to their client, instead of taking advantage of them. They aim to target a particular network or a process, dig deeper about it, expose their vulnerabilities and then find their next target. The purpose is not to harm any organization but to draw attention towards the glitches a network or system contains.
In the era of IT security, the online ethical activities have taken the form of ‘penetration testing’ and ‘vulnerability assessments’. They are performed on realistic scenarios where we can judge the potential harm and the possibility for a malicious or unauthorized activity. It helps to figure out the absence of any functionality which might cause serious security breaches. For instance, there could be cases of insufficient encryption or a backdoor in the code (through hard coded passwords/usernames). So, it gets easier to fill the loop holes.
White Hat Hackers expertise in the same. They are the need of an immune security network. IT giants know this very well and thus, offer a motivating bounty for this job. For instance, Google offers rewards ranging $500- $20,000 depending upon the predefined vulnerability level that the hacker discovers. Microsoft has initiated a program that encourages individuals as well as organizations, which are capable in turning the normal mitigation bypass methods which can be used as attacks in the future. The rewards offered by them range from $11,000 to $100,000. This ensures that the users are actively engaged in their services and moreover help them refine their security system.
Ethical hacking is turning into an integral part for the security networks. As we know that, there is always somebody who has a better approach than somebody else, and thus, the way of handling a problem statement varies. This particular canopy of hacking gives a positive direction towards improvements and thus should be encouraged.