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Introduction to Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing

An Introduction to Ethical hacking through the eyes of a pen tester and hopefully helps anyone reading this blog on how to protect and secure a network by understanding how a Hacker operates and understanding their tools and methodologies.

Why would I want to publish such a series of articles; because, I did not want to be part of the problem anymore. The need to know and understand Computer Security has passed the realm of just security professionals. The web is an ugly place out there with hackers and crackers lurking at every corner selling their Trojans and the rest of their goods in the malicious code dept, trying to install Botnets and seeking to profit from your mistakes or rather lack of security awareness.
Every other day, you see articles on the newspaper and on the web on identity theft or credit card numbers being stolen from compromised database servers. The need for security professions who know networks and understand how Hackers operate is growing every day which companies utilizing such security professionals to test and break into their network before the bad guys do and patch up their security infrastructure. It is here that we, the “security tester” or “penetration tester” come in.

So what will you learn in this series on Penetration Testing?
I will try to offer you a structured approach to security and penetration testing. I will also try to explain in-depth some of the tools which hackers typically use. Remember you are trying to be the Ethical hacker and you need to know how to use and implement the tools of the trade.

A network is only as secure as its weakest link. You are trying to discover vulnerabilities within a network and find that weak link before the bad guys.

Disclaimer: You will learn about some tools and methodologies which are not meant to be used for Hacking purposes. Hacking or compromising a computer or a network is illegal in many parts of the world. Please use them to further understand how computer security works.  If you are trying to take up the role as a penetration tester for a company, make sure you have a contract signed with the client and what you can and cannot do clearly defined. Also, make sure you read your ISP’s contract and their acceptable use policy defining any scanning software such as port scanners. Anytime you run something that denies a user access to a system or a network resource is illegal.

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Author: Ajit Gaddam

Ajit Gaddam is an accomplished technology executive and is currently the Head of Security Engineering at Visa, where he is responsible for building large scale AI driven cybersecurity products, leading engineering programs, and providing expert guidance on cybersecurity matters. He has presented at conferences worldwide, including USENIX Enigma, RSA, Black Hat, Strata Data Hadoop, COSO Dublin, and GCS Ukraine. Ajit has been quoted by major media organizations and his work has been showcased in academic journals, security publications, and in two published books. He is an active participant in various open source and standards bodies, is a prolific inventor of disruptive technologies (over 100+ global patents), and moonlights as an instructor (SANS, community colleges).

5 thoughts on “Introduction to Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing

  1. james Stuart says:

    Hi, Iam doing a tesis on penetration testing to prensent in collage. My first aim was to identify different penetration methodologies (not frameworks). So far i found:
    osstmm
    sp-800
    CHECK(not sure here).
    I was wondering what other penetration testing methodologies are there available. Thanks in advance

  2. Hey Thanks a lot for sharing such a nice and informative article.I was searching the web and found your entry. I really like your site and found it worth while reading through the posts.

    The most interesting job in the field of computers is being an Ethical Hacker; this course has a vast demand now. By the way check out the Professional Training and Certification for Ethical Hacker from EC-Council here http://www.eccouncil.org/certification/certified_ethical_hacker.aspx

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