Hackers are everywhere. They attack computer data and systems for different purposes. But whatever their intention is, they must accumulate a large quantity of IT knowledge and gain broad experience in this field.
If you’re interested or curious about this occupation, our post will provide you with interesting facts. Let’s scroll down to learn how to become a hacker!
What Is A Hacker?
Hacking is the illegal or legal practice of experts gaining access to data stored in any system. These experts, or hackers, often have full knowledge of programming and its principles.
They recognize programmers’ mistakes while designing or working on software and use them to breach the security system of the software.
Hackers engage in ethical hacking with a well-intentioned purpose. Their services include testing and improving software security, which helps develop a framework’s security system in an organization to prevent potential attacks.
Ethical hackers are known as White Hats; they defend the system from unethical hackers – Black Hats. Every organization has adopted ethical hacking.
|Black Hat Hackers||White Hat Hackers|
How to Become A Hacker
This section will give you well-rounded instruction on how to become a hacker to better understand this field!
1. Get Hands-on LINUX/UNIX
LINUX/UNIX serves as an open-source operating system that makes computer systems more secure.
LINUX has become the most popular OS for hacking and comes with numerous tools for hackers, which means you must get familiar with it.
Some standard distributions of LINUX include Kali Linux, Red Hat Linux, BackTrack, Ubuntu, etc.
Among them, Kali Linux is a widespread system that has been tailored particularly for hacking.
2. Learn C Programming
Also known as the mother of programming languages, C programming provides the foundation for learning LINUX/UNIX since this system is written in C.
Once you master C programming, this OS gives you the chance to modify the Linux system in any way!
Not only C programming, but you should also learn at least 1-2 more programming languages, such as Python and Java.
To learn these languages, you can enroll in some programming courses and read books. They will help you read and write codes.
3. Learn How To Stay Anonymous
Being a hacker also means you need to stay anonymous multiple times, which can be legal or illegal!
You must learn some tricks to be anonymous and hide your identity online. It ensures that you won’t leave any trace, and no one will track you down.
4. Learn Networking Concepts
A skilled hacker must have a good knowledge of networking concepts and understand how the networks are built.
Therefore, you must learn numerous networks and protocols, which will prove helpful in exploiting vulnerabilities. Consider some networking tools like Nmap or Wireshark!
5. Explore the Hidden Web
The dark web is a hidden part of the internet that ordinary people can not find on search engines. The only way to reach them is via an anonymizing browser such as Tor.
You’ve probably seen the term “dark web” used to describe a hotbed of criminal activity, and it’s true.
Still, not everything on the dark web is criminal; it also has a legitimate side. So, it’s essential to understand what it is and how it operates.
6. Add the Art of Secret Writing to your Skill Set
As a hacker, you should be familiar with cryptography, commonly known as the art of secret writing.
Encryption and decryption are also two crucial hacking skills. Encryption usually appears in a few aspects of data security in authentication, integrity, and confidentiality. Passwords and packets sent through the network are encrypted.
As a hacker, you must be able to detect and breach encryption.
7. Dive Deep into Hacking
It’s time to go deeper into hacking – the topic you’ve explored thus far.
Try to learn some topics like penetration testing, vulnerability assessment, SQL injections, etc.
Security changes every day with new system upgrades; learning in the realm of hacking is never-ending. Thus, you must keep up with the latest tools and methods for cracking or securing a system.
8. Explore vulnerabilities
A system’s vulnerability is a flaw or a loophole. You can scan the system, network, and other areas for such weaknesses. Try writing your flaws and exploiting the system.
9. Experimenting and Practicing is the Key
At this stage, you must now gain several hacking concepts. It’s necessary to practice them regularly in different environments and scenarios.
You can establish your lab for some experiment purposes, like testing tools, attacks, and more!
10. Join Discussion and Meet the Hackers
Last but not least, you should join a community or forums that will allow you to connect with other hackers around the world. It will facilitate knowledge exchange, sharing, and teamwork.
You can participate in multiple communities on social media sites, including Facebook, Telegram, and Discord.
Useful Tips for Ethical Hackers
Though you can apply the guide above for both black and white hat hackers, there are several tips for ethical hackers (white hat) you need to note!
- You should determine the specific area you would love to work primarily with – software or hardware. Hacking requires you to have knowledge of both, yet the decision helps you know your starting points. You must be familiar with every function and component of the computer.
- Consider taking a professional course. Many “Ethical Hacking” or “Internet Security” courses are available for IT security experts. Completing one of them will help you increase your ethical hacking skills.
- Experiment on your own to find out what is going on in a circumstance. Work with hardware and software to understand how to take command of situations and prevent a computer from being hacked.
- Find reliable sources and figure out what areas you need to work on and what you need to learn to sharpen your focus. Technology evolves rapidly, and you must be willing and eager to keep up with new advances.
- Get certified since it will help you excel in the forefront of your field.
What Essential Skills Do You Need To Become A Hacker?
Understanding operating systems, managing computer files, data processing, and generating presentations are the building blocks on which you can build your other hacking skills.
You can then progress to more complex skills like configuring networking parameters, database management, or command lines in operating software.
Penetration testing skills
Whether you’re a black hat or a white-hat hacker, you should be able to imitate cyber-attacks to find security flaws and vulnerabilities.
To safeguard servers from other black hat hackers, you can use several penetration testing methods such as blind testing, targeted testing, and external and internal testing.
Knowledge of Linux
As mentioned earlier, hackers must be familiar with some of the most widely used operating systems. Because Linux is more secure than most other operating systems, most web servers are using this system.
So, examining security breaches would be easier if you have a thorough grasp of this operating system in use.
Not only Linux, but you can also learn about Mac OSX and Windows.
You must utilize cryptography skills to change standard text into an unreadable form by other hackers. It ensures that communication within the operating organization is not exposed.
To acquire access to software, you must have a strong understanding of programming languages. The following are some of the most popular programming languages used by software developers:
Problem-solving And Critical thinking Skills
Lastly, all of the skills listed above will be ineffective if you don’t know when and how to apply them to cyber issues.
Hackers are always coming up with new ways to obtain unauthorized access to data. You must be able to think critically and come up with creative solutions to any challenges you encounter.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Long Does It Take To Become An Ethical Hacker?
You must earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, cybersecurity, information technology, or computer engineering to become an ethical hacker. These degrees typically take four years to finish, and sometimes five.
Some ethical hackers get entry-level jobs right after graduating from college.
However, some people need to do an internship and get the necessary work experience before finding work.
So, it could take another six months to a year for you to be ready to work, depending on whether you perform an internship before or after college.
Besides a bachelor’s degree, some ethical hacking positions require certification.
The Certified Ethical Hacker title, issued by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants, is one of the most well-respected qualifications for ethical hackers.
This certification exam’s application process and scheduling usually take less than a month. Still, many ethical hackers must study for the exam before they are ready to take it, which might take weeks or months.
To summarize, most ethical hackers require at least four years of school, experience, and certification to land a job as an ethical hacker. This process can take up to five years for many of them.
2. How To Make Money As A Computer Hacker?
Working as a penetration tester is the most basic approach to making money. Your primary role would be to test the security of various company regions.
You can choose part-time or full-time, depending on your needs. Many organizations offer bug bounty programs, which are schemes that allow users to hack into certain portions of their application, network, or website.
They often offer a monetary prize for the hacker sharing their findings. This role is geared toward intermediate to advanced computer hackers.
Companies frequently do not hire penetration testers on a full-time basis. They only need them to test a few times a year or test a new product or service.
In these cases, they will wish to engage someone to do the work for a limited amount of time and then end the contract when they finish.
- Starting a Business
Many hackers use their skills to start a security business specializing in assessing a company’s security. This strategy has the most profit potential, but it will necessitate the most knowledge and expertise.
You may have even gone from facing criminal charges related to cybercrime to starting your businesses in some situations.
3. How Much Can A Hacker Earn?
Certified Ethical Hacker salaries in the US range between $35,160 and $786,676, with a median pay of $168,948.
On average, Certified Ethical Hackers can earn from $168,948 to $374,847, while the top 86% can earn $786,676.
In 2018, the average federal tax rate for a hacker in this tax bracket was 32%. Certified Ethical Hackers might receive a take-home pay of $142,216 each year after a federal tax rate of 32% is applied, upon each paycheck equaling $5,926*.
This article has just outlined a detailed guide on how to become a hacker so that you can have a better insight into this working field.
Whether you decide to be a black hat or white-hat hacker, both require you to grasp good knowledge of numerous networking concepts, programming languages, and more.