How to become an ethical hacker

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An essential guide to becoming an ethical hacker

I often get a number of people ask for guidance  about how they can become an ethical hacker. I also receive even more requests about how to become a black hat hacker. The latter requests are ignored. below is a definition of an ethical hacker

Ethical hacker

  1. A person who hacks into a computer network in order to test or evaluate its security, rather than with malicious or criminal intent.

So if you want to be an ethical hacker the truth is there is no easy method to become a skilled hacker…… it’s easy to be a script kiddie and load up Armitage or Fast-track and fire every exploit known to man at a target. But what’s the point at firing Linux exploits at a Windows box!.


You need essential prerequisite knowledge

If you want to get into the IT  security world as a white hat you must be competent in the following areas:

  • Networking
  • Programming
  • Databases
  • Operating systems (Linux and Windows)

Once you have a fairly good knowledge of the above points THEN it would a good idea to learn about hacking. So now you have a good understanding of the fundamentals of IT, you can now understand how to break some of the underlying vulnerabilities within computer architecture. The following activities should help you with this:


What areas to concentrate on in order to build a foundation

Networking – Cisco courses seem to be really good. I undertook all the CCNA courses available.
Programming – Focus on learning C++, Python/Ruby and PHP.
Databases – Play around with MySQL and MSSQL and make your own database to understand how it works.
Operating systems – Most flavours of Linux are the similar to one another, I use Debian on a lot of servers and of course Kali. Additionally it is worth understanding the more obscure areas of Windows such as the registry.

Read books about hacking (Here are some good examples of some)

  • The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws
  • Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition
  • The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing: Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Made Easy
  • Metasploit: The Penetration Tester’s Guide
  • CEH Certified Ethical Hacker All-in-One Exam Guide
  • Google Hacking for Penetration Testers


Undertake Cheap Ethical Hacking courses.

These are very good for learning but won’t give you an industry recognized qualification, however they will teach you a lot about different areas of ethical hacking which will help towards recognized qualifications.

There are some big discounts on ethical hacking and foundation based courses:


Undertake Recognized Online courses

These course are all paid for, however they are industry recognised and will help you find a job in the IT security sector.

  • CEH
  • OSCP


Communicate and follow other fellow IT security enthusiasts through the following mediums

  • Facebook ( )
  • Google+
  • Twitter


Self learn by watching online tutorials



Download practice environments to practice and hone newly learned skills

  • DVWA (Dam Vulnerable Web Application)
  • Metasploitable2
  • Samurai WTF


Final note: Hacking is something that takes A LOT of your time!, be prepared to sacrifice friendships, relationships and that awesome social life you used to have! 😉

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15 thoughts on “How to become an ethical hacker

  • Avatar
    April 3, 2016 at 9:59 am

    very good post

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    October 7, 2015 at 4:14 am

    It was very useful. I most appreciate the note at the end. That helped me not to take this direction, while I was thinking about it serously.

  • Avatar
    October 6, 2015 at 6:24 am

    Great work bro

  • Avatar
    October 5, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    thank you so much, i am gonna first learn KALI linus

  • Avatar
    August 11, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    very helpful content

  • Avatar
    August 11, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    thanks for this i now devoted myself to obtain this knowledge

  • Avatar
    August 11, 2015 at 1:26 pm


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    August 11, 2015 at 1:25 pm


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    July 26, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Very useful thanks so much

  • Avatar
    July 26, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    is there good forums and communty platforms to learn with

  • Avatar
    June 20, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    very usefull thride sir

  • Avatar
    June 19, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    nice and too much helpful

  • Avatar
    December 5, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    very nice bro, really i am very enthusiasts about this and thanks to share this article with us….

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