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Ethical Hacking – Its Types and Phases

Ethical Hacking is a process of accessing and finding, the crack in a digital system that a malicious hacker can take an advantage of. Ethical hackers are trained professionals hired to provide top-notch cyber security to individuals, firms, and governments by legally hacking into their systems and identifying their vulnerable spots.

The Key Concepts of Ethical Hacking:

  • Legality: Hackers should get due permission and legal approval.
  • Scope: Depending on the client’s requirement the scope of work can be very extensive. 
  • Report: Upon completion of the process or work all the security issues identified should be duly reported to the concerned teams promptly.
  • Data Privacy: As ethical hackers are bound to come across sensitive data and confidential information, signing a contract before the work begins becomes especially important.

Types of Hackers:

  • Black Hat:
    This type of hacker tries to gain unauthorised access to security systems and data systems. They may steal the information, halt the operations, damage the systems, or cause other similar issues.
  • White Hat:
    This form of hacking is legal. It is performed by expert individuals for big and small firms even the government, to test and find the weaknesses in the system. They work with the mindset of malicious hackers but with a good trial. They perform penetration testing, conduct vulnerability assessments, etc.
  • Grey Hat:
    They are in-between of Black-hat and White-hat Hackers. They access the systems and devices without users’ permission. After getting access to the intended system, the owner of the system is informed about the weakness and vulnerabilities in their systems. It is an offense.

Types of Hacking:

  1. System Hacking:
    In this type of Illegal access to the systems within the network. Its purpose is to steal information from a network of computers. It helps hackers to find weak points in the system.
  1. Network Hacking:
    It is also known as Wireless Network Hacking. It is a process of capturing and monitoring the wireless packets within a particular network. Activities and data such as passwords, chats, user history and more, can be easily accessed.
  1. Email Hacking:
    Emails may contain sensitive data related to your private or business information, which is interesting for hackers. The type of hacking includes getting into the network to get email passwords and gaining unauthorised access to the email of an individual or company.
  1. Website Hacking:
    The website is your virtual address for the world. Based on the purpose of the website, a few hundred to a few million people may visit it on a daily basis. Hackers can bring down your website and may display incorrect or irrelevant information which gives a negative impact on the organization. They may also steal sensitive user data, prevent visitors from logging in, steal the software, damage the software or more. Here, the ethical hackers take permission from the owners and find out the vulnerabilities, also suggestions on how to address the vulnerabilities.
  1. Password Hacking:
    This is a part of computer hacking. Hackers utilize the information stored on computers and servers to gain access or crack passwords. These passwords can help them access any website, computer, email, or other accounts. Then they use this information for malicious purposes such as ransom demands. Ethical hackers help identify the security measures to prevent such malicious hacking.

Phases of Ethical Hacking:

There are 5 phases of Ethical Hacking, these are the bases of CYBER SECURITY and are covered while ethical hackers test an organization’s network.

  • Reconnaissance:
    This is the first phase of Ethical Hacking and is often known as the preparatory phase. Here, the ethical hacker will gather sufficient information, create a plan, and prepare for the attack. In this too there will be a few steps, among them first is Dumpster Diving and next is Foot Printing.
    In Dumpster Diving, the Ethical Hacker finds information such as old passwords, databases of employees, clients, archived information and more. And in Foot Printing the hacker will collect the relevant information such as security frameworks, IP Addresses, etc.
  • Scanning:
    It is a process of getting quick access to the outer level of the security framework of any network or system. Once again, hackers look for relevant information. This also has two steps in it. The first step is pre-attack scanning, and the second step is sniffing or port scanning.

In Pre-Attack Scanning, the information from reconnaissance is used to gather more information. In Port Scanning the hacker uses tools like port scanners, diallers, etc. to survey the network.

  • Gaining Access:
    After all relevant info is collected the hacker must access the system. In this step, the hacker successfully gets access to the system and starts to get to know about sensitive details.
  • Maintaining Access:
    After gaining access, the hacker must continue to maintain the access and allow sufficient time to gather the required and complete information.
  • Covering Tracks:
    Escaping the security personnel and security framework built into the system is as important as gaining access. This stage includes deleting logs, closing open ports, clearing cookies, etc.,

Skills an Ethical Hacker must Possess:

  • Programming knowledge is required while working in the field.
  • Scripting knowledge to deal with attacks.
  • Operating systems knowledge.
  • Basic knowledge about – updated tools, hacking methods and more.
  • Networking skills.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Getting permission from the organization.
  • Understanding the reasons and requirements of hacking.
  • Report issues to the teams.
  • To find a solution.
  • Keeping the sensitive information confidential.
  • Shouldn’t leave any traces of hacking openly to the malicious hackers.


  • The system may be prone to long-term or permanent damage if ethical hacking is not done carefully.
  • In the process of hacking the team is exposed to sensitive data and confidential information, therefore there is a slight chance of malpractice occurrence in the future.
  • If all the stakeholders are not informed, and prior approval was taken then, their privacy rights can be questioned.


  • Aids in creating secure networking, systems, and processes.
  • Is critical for safeguarding data associated with national security.
  • In digital terrorist attacks, malicious hackers can be defended before they can cause any harm.
  • Helps in identifying the loopholes and takes necessary measures to avoid and protect such data security concerns.

The Offensive Defence is one of India’s best cyber security certification providers. The ODCP-B certification is a 100% practical course with 3 months of apprenticeship, which trains you to become an industry-ready cyber security professional and job-ready. To know more and talk to the academic counsellor visit us at https://offdef.com/

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