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What Is Involved in Ethical Hacker Training?

By A. Leverkuhn
Updated May 17, 2024
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Ethical hacker training is a course or training program that helps an individual learn how to operate advanced computer systems in ways that benefit rather than harm online targets. Hacking is a term for the use of technology to infiltrate the security apparatus of a website or other electronic infrastructure. While many hackers seek to disrupt businesses, steal information, or otherwise harm an enterprise or government, ethical hackers work for businesses and other established parties and against disruptive activities. Ethical hackers learn how unethical or illegal hackers gain access to cyber-locations and do damage, in an effort to defend cyber environments.

Part of the basis for ethical hacker training is the competition between two different types of hackers. These are sometimes called white hat and black hat hackers. The black hat hackers are those who are trying to negatively affect a target, or illegally gain from hacking activities. White hat hackers are those working to protect online targets. Some experts also mention an additional set of “grey hat” hackers who may be convinced to join on either side of a hacking effort, depending on payments or other factors.

In ethical hacker training, individuals will learn about many of the same tools and resources that black hat hackers commonly use. They will also learn about many of the methods and processes utilized by black hat hackers. For example, an ethical hacker training course could include information on access point or denial of service attacks. These courses might also cover the uses of specific technologies like Bluetooth, and how hackers use them to get access to web targets.

Many ethical hacker training courses and programs involve elements of certified ethical hacker certification. The modern version of this certification is called CEHv7. This is an extremely popular certification for technology professionals. The standard for CEH is maintained by an International Council of E-commerce Consultants, abbreviated as EC Council. This New Mexico-based organization provides standards for certification in ethical hacking.

In general, ethical hacker training adds to the resources of individual businesses and governments by creating a community of professionals who can understand how illegal or black hat hackers work. These professionals then go to work for employers, helping them to withstand efforts by hackers to penetrate their online systems. Ethical hackers might also learn to use other tools like firewalls to block other rogue hackers; these methods might even represent significant parts of an ethical hacker training program.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By live2shop — On Sep 06, 2011

I've heard about these grey hat hackers, who join the other side. Sometimes, the best and the brightest computer technology graduates are recruited and conned by illegal hackers who hire these young people,and convince them that they are joining a legitimate company. They unknowingly work illegally until they figure it out.

That's pretty despicable. I wonder how many illegal hackers are caught and prosecuted.

By lovealot — On Sep 05, 2011

Businesses with online sites and individuals who go online to do business at banks, online stores, finance companies and all the others need to give credit to all these white hat hackers do. People still get their identity stolen, but it's a lot less risky than it used to be.

These white hat hackers must be quite intelligent and creative to try to keep one step ahead of the "other side," the black hat hackers. I hope they get paid well. And if they are good, I'll bet they have good job security.

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