How to Become a Professional Hacker

An Ultimate Guide on How to Become a Professional Hacker

Within the realm of hacking, there is so much potential. You may keep studying for as long as you want and never grow bored, or you can perform the same thing repeatedly while making some good money. So, how exactly do you go about being a hacker? How do you get started? What are the actions you should take, and what should you avoid?

We’ll respond to these queries in this article, but first, let’s define a hacker to know what we’re up against.

What Exactly is a Hacker?

What Exactly is a Hacker

Hacking is detecting and exploiting a system’s flaws and vulnerabilities to obtain access

The hacker gains unlawful access to the target system, whereas the ethical hacker has official authority to analyze the target system’s security posture lawfully and legitimately.

Hackers are professionals at breaching and breaking down computer systems’ defenses to gain illegal access to different electronic devices such as laptops, computers, phones, IoT devices, networks, and even whole computer systems. They take advantage of holes and flaws in a network’s security mechanisms.

While we sometimes portray hackers as young people proficient in changing computer systems and programs, today’s hacker community comprises a diverse group of people with their motivations and objectives.

Types of Hackers

Types of Hackers

As previously stated, the hacking community comprises people with various motivations and objectives. The following are the numerous categories of hackers:

1. White Hat Hackers

White Hats or ethical hackers are professional hackers that do not want to destroy computer systems or programs. They collaborate closely with businesses to discover and plug gaps and weaknesses in their security systems to defend them from cyber-attacks.

2. Black Hat Hackers 

Professional hackers with hostile objectives who attempt to destroy computer systems and programs are black hat hackers or crackers. They break into computer systems and networks to access personal and financial information for their gain.

3. Grey Hat Hackers

Grey hat hackers’ main goal is to get unauthorized access to computer systems and networks without any hostile intent. For enjoyment, these hackers like breaking systems and exploiting flaws in them.

4. Script Kiddies

A script kiddie is a novice hacker with just rudimentary hacking skills. They frequently use pre-written scripts or programs authored by others to get into computer systems and networks. They don’t know everything there is to know about hacking.

5. Hactivist

Hacktivists are activists who seek to hack government websites and networks to get access to and reveal official secrets to the public. DoS (Denial of Service) attacks or website defacement are common examples.

6. Green Hat Hackers

Green hat hackers, also known as Neophytes, are new to the subject of hacking. They are novices who have little to no experience with hacking and want to learn more about it.

7. Red Hat Hackers

Red hat hackers are identical to White Hat Hackers, except for their methods. Red Hat Hackers aim to safeguard computer systems and networks; however, they are more merciless when dealing with Black Hat Hackers.

8. Blue Hat Hackers

These are similar to Script Kiddies. Their goal is to utilize their expertise to exact revenge on an organization or a person. They are also new to hacking, and when they first discover how to hack, they typically have vindictive intentions.

How to Become a Hacker in a Generalized Approach

How to Become a Hacker in a Generalized Approach

So now that you know what kind of hacker you’ll be dealing with, let’s figure out what skills you’ll require. If you choose to be a hacker, you must first decide on your area of expertise. Even though each hacker’s specialization varies, they all have specific basic skills in common. To become a covert hacker, you’ll need to learn the following fundamental skills:

1. Learn to Program in C

C programming is among the most sophisticated programming languages available, and it is essential to grasp it truly. An AT&T Bell Labs programmer, Denise Ritchie, created this programming language between 1969 and 1973. 

C programming will essentially assist you in breaking down the work into smaller chunks that you may state using a series of instructions. Try developing your program and analyzing the reasoning.

There are hundreds of free C programming PDFs and tutorials accessible on the internet to learn from. Still, We recommend starting with a simple and well-written c programming book of your preference and then reading this book (C Programming Language By Brian W. Kernighan).

2. Learn a Few Different Programming Languages

It is critical to master other current computer programming languages such as Java, Perl, PHP, and Python if you want to become a hacker. Reading books written by specialists is one of the most acceptable methods to learn these things. 

Knowing markup languages like XML and HTML and data formats like JSON, Protobuf, and others, which are standard ways to move data between client and server, can be beneficial.

One of the most widely used programming languages is Java. It has also been reported that it is incredibly safe. Understanding the Java security model will help you comprehend how the language accomplishes security. Learn about security flaws in the Java programming language and related technologies.

Python is the most incredible language for web development and a favorite of many programmers because of its ease of use and rapid turnaround. Many individuals use Python to automate both simple and sophisticated tasks.

3. Learn How to Use UNIX.

UNIX is a multi-tasking, multi-user computer operating system meant to keep computers secure. AT&T’s Bell Labs personnel created this operating system.

The easiest learning method is to start with an open-source version (such as centos) and install and operate it independently. You can use the internet without knowing UNIX, but you won’t be able to be an online hacker until you know UNIX.

If you’ve never used a Unix operating system before, a few basic Linux commands will quickly help you get up and running.

Arnold Robbins’ Unix, in a Nutshell, is an excellent place to start. This book will show you how to utilize the Unix operating system.

The internals of this operating system is the next item you should learn. For a thorough explanation of the Unix operating system, we recommend Maurice J. Bach’s The Design of the UNIX Operating System.

Unix-based servers run many web servers; therefore, understanding this operating system’s inner workings will benefit your career.

4. Understanding Networking Concepts

Your networking notion must be razor-sharp when you want to be a hacker. Understanding how networks are is critical, but you also need to understand the variations between different types of networks. 

To exploit vulnerabilities on the internet, you must have a thorough grasp of the TCP/IP and UDP protocols.

Learn about subnets, LANs, WANs, and VPNs.

The networking instructions required to make an HTTP request must be readily available. The HTTP protocol is the portal via which one accesses the world of the internet.

5. Learn How to Use Cryptography

You must comprehend and master the art of cryptography to be a skilled hacker. Cryptography and encryption technology are critical for the internet and networking. It is the practice and study of ways for safe communication while third parties are present. 

Hackers use encryption for various reasons in information security, including data secrecy, data integrity, and authentication. Cryptography technology is also widely utilized in ATM cards, computer passwords, and e-commerce. You must crack these encrypted codes during hacking, known as decryption.

6. Read Articles on Hacking

Because of pop media, whatever idea of hacking you have in your brain is almost certainly incorrect. We think that hacking resembles keyboard thrashing. So, reading from genuine hackers to understand how they utilize their skills in the real world will help you uncover the link between what you’ve been practicing on your own and what’s real. 

However, don’t be put off by the intricacy. Things will seem confusing at first, but as you read more, you will notice that you will begin to grasp things that you previously did not.

7. Take it Further and Write Vulnerability

The Vulnerability of software is the program’s weakness. Looking out for a weakness in an existing application and sharing it with others is a solid strategy. In this manner, you’ll be able to get a variety of viewpoints from other sources, allowing you to improve your current skill set.

Memory safety violations, input validation errors, privilege confusion flaws, and user interface failure are all instances of computer vulnerabilities. For example, a security flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 11’s preview version was exploited by many hackers.

8. Contribute to Open Source Security Projects

Contributing to the open-source computer security project is an excellent way to put your abilities to the test. That may not be to everyone’s taste. These open-source projects are available from various organizations, including Mozilla and Apache. 

Make an effort to participate in these initiatives and make a valuable contribution to the community’s benefit.

Participating in open source security projects like anti-spam, anti-virus, firewall, and data removal can help you improve your hacking skills.

Give back to the community by contributing your vulnerability discoveries to worldwide vulnerability databases.

Remember that it makes no difference how tiny your contribution is as long as you engage and offer value.