A hacker is a person who attempts to find vulnerabilities in a network and tries to exploit them. Hackers might do the exploitation with malicious intents and to access people’s data without their consent. However, ethical hackers who are also called white-hat hackers tries to find the vulnerabilities in order to prevent others from exploiting them. A hacker may work for the government agencies, private network security firms, tech firms, banks or any other organization that seeks to enhance their cyber security. To become a hacker having considerable computer skills is the key to success. In this article, I will provide you with all you need to know about how to become a hacker.
What types of training do you need to become a hacker?
Most well-known hackers come from a variety of different educational backgrounds. Some of them have a 4-year computer education while others might be completely self-taught. If you are interested in hacking, good news is that hacker training websites and workshops are now becoming more than before and they train people who have some or no knowledge of programming and are interested in entering this field.
In order to become a successful hacker, you need to have a base of knowledge and computer programming skills are the most important things to learn. Another important area of knowledge for hackers is computer networking. Hackers also need to be familiar with security measures on a network.
Are there any certifications required to become a hacker? There are no certifications you can get as a hacker but if you are looking forward to find a job as a hacker, there are certifications you can get to enhance your job prospect.
There are different IT certifications that you can attempt to acquire in order to show your knowledge of computers. Areas such as hardware maintenance, networking and computer security are the fields in which you can try to get a certification.
Essential skills to become a hacker
In order to become a skilled hacker, one must master a wide range of computer skills. If you aspire to become a hacker, never get discouraged by the list of skills you need to acquire. All great hackers have had a start point.
What you will see next is an overview of all the skills you need to learn in order to become an elite hacker. There are basic and intermediate skills that you need to learn one by one. There are also some personal characteristics that you need to get used to have what it takes to be a professional hacker.
Basic skills to become a hacker
The basic skills that I outline here are the skills that a hacker must have before he/she even attempts to hack.
- Basic computer skills – The basic computer skills that you need as a hacker goes beyond surfing the net or creating a Word document. You need to know how to use the command line in Windows, edit the registry, and set up your networking parameters.
- Networking skills – To be a hacker, one must also have a basic knowledge of following networking skills; DHCP, NAT, Subnetting, IPv4, IPv6, Public v Private IP, DNS, Routers and switches, VLANs, OSI model, MAC addressing, ARP.
- Linux skills – One of the most essential techniques you need to master as a hacker is Linux. Almost all the tools developed for hackers is Linux and this is because this operating system has capabilities not available on Windows.
- Tcpdump or Wireshark – Tcpdump is a command line sniffer/protocol analyzer while Wireshark is a sniffer/protocol analyzer. Both are required in order to become a hacker.
- Virtualization – Before you take your hacks to the real world, you need a virtual place to test your skills. And for that, you need to master virtualization software packages such as VirtualBox.
- Security technologies – The best way a hacker can overcome security roadblocks is through understanding their concepts. Understanding PKI, SSL, IDS, firewalls, etc. are essential for a hacker.
- Wireless technologies – Much like security technologies, in order to be able to hack wireless networks, you first need to understand how they work. Understanding encryption algorithms (WEP, WPA, WPA2), the four-way handshake, and WPS are among the essentials.
Intermediate skills to become a hacker
All the skills that I described in the previous section were the prerequisites of becoming a hacker. Now the next skills that you need to acquire are the more interesting ones and yet more difficult to master.
- Scripting – If you do not acquire scripting skills, for hacking you will need to rely on available hack tools only. In order to develop your own tools, you need to master at least one of the scripting languages.
- Database skills – To be able to hack databases, you need to know all the things about databases.
- Web applications – Understand web applications and databases behind them is one of the most important skills every hacker needs to acquire.
- Cryptography – You don’t necessarily need to be a cryptographer to become a hacker, however, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of cryptography protocols helps you to overcome them.
- Reverse engineering – This skill helps you to rebuild a malware and all new features and capabilities to it.
Traits to become a hacker
Aside from all the technical skills a hacker must acquire, there are some character traits that he/she needs to improve in order to become successful.
- Be creative – No system is unhackable and there is always a way to penetrate a system. A hacker needs to think creatively to find the way into a system.
- Problem-solving skills – As a hacker you might face situations in which a problem might seem unsolvable. Here is where problem-solving skills come to your help.
- Persistence – As a hacker you may fail a few times but this must not stop you from trying. Persistence is the key to success when you try to penetrate a highly-secured network.