I would like to welcome you to this course on Ethical Hacking. This is the first lecture of this course. Now, in this lecture, I will try to give you a very overall idea about what ethical hacking exactly is, what are the scopes of an ethical hacker and towards the end, I shall give you some idea about the coverage of this course — what are the things we are expected to cover ok. So, the title of this lecture is Introduction to Ethical Hacking.
Now, in this lecture as I told you, firstly we shall try to tell you what is ethical hacking? There is a related terminological peration testing, we will also be discussing about that. And some of the roles of an ethical hacker, what an ethical hacker is expected to do and what he or she is not expected to do that we shall try to distinguish and discuss.
So, let us first start with the definition of ethical hacking. What exactly is ethical hacking? Well, we all have heard the term hacking and hacker essentially the term has been associated with something which is bad and malicious. Well, when we hear about somebody as a hacker, we are a little afraid and cautious ok. I mean as if the person is always trying to do some harm to somebody else to some other works, try to steal something, trying to steal something from some IT infrastructure and so on and so forth.
But ethical hacking is something different. Well, ethical hacking as per the definition if you just look at it, it essentially refers to locating the weaknesses and vulnerabilities. It means suppose you have a work, you have an organizational work, you have an IT, IT infrastructure, you have computers which contains some software, some data, lot of things are there. Now, you try a, I mean here you are trying to find out, whether your infrastructural work does have some weak points or vulnerabilities through which an actual hacker can break into your system, into your work.
So, this ethical hacking is the act of locating weaknesses and vulnerabilities in computers and information system in general, it covers everything, it covers works, it cover databases, everything. But how this is done, this is done by mimicking the behaviour of a real hacker as if you are a hacker, you are trying to break into your own work, there you will get lot of information about what are the weak points in your own work. So,
this term is important, by replicating the intent and actions of malicious hackers, whatever malicious hackers do in reality, you try to mimic that, you try to replicate that ok.
Your objective is to try and find out the vulnerabilities and weak points in your work. Well, you have a good intent, you try to identify the weaknesses and later on maybe the organization will be trying to plug out or stop those weaknesses, so that such attacks cannot occur or happen in the future ok. This ethical hacking is sometimes also referred to by some other names, peration testing is a well-known terminology which is used — a phrase, intrusion testing, red teaming, these are also terminologies which are used to mean the same thing.
Well, you can understand peration testing, the literal meaning of this phrase is, you are trying to perate into a system; you are trying to perate into a work, you are testing and find out whether or not you are able to perate. And if you are able to perate which are the points through which it is easier to perate, these are the objectives ok, all right.
So, talking about ethical hacking, there are some terminology, let us see. Well ethical hackers are the persons who are actually carrying out ethical hacking. Now, they are not some unknown entities, they are some organization or persons who are actually hired by the company. The company is paying them some money to do a peration testing on their own work and provide them with a list of vulnerabilities, so that they can take
some action later on ok. So, these ethical hackers are employed by companies who typically carry out peration testing or ethical hacking. Peration testing, as I had said is an attempt to break into a work or a system or an infrastructure.
But the difference from malicious attempt is that this is a legal attempt. The company has permitted you to run the peration testing on their own work for the purpose of finding the vulnerabilities. So, this is a legal attempt, you are trying to break in and you are trying to find out the weak links. Well, in peration testing per se what the tester will do, tester will basically generate a report. The report will contain a detailed report; it will contain all the known vulnerabilities that have been detected in the work as a result of running the peration testing process ok.
But normally they do not provide solutions. Well, you can also seek solutions for them, but everything comes with an extra or additional charge right. So, in contrast, security test is another terminology which is used, which includes peration test plus this kind of suggestions to plug out the loopholes. So, this includes in addition analyzing the company security policies and offering solutions, because ultimately the company will try to secure or protect their work. Of course, there are issues, there may be some limited budget. So, within that budget whatever best is possible that have to be taken care of or incorporated. So, these are some decisions the company administration will have to take fine.
So, some of the terminologies that we normally use hacking, hacking broadly speaking, we use this term to refer to a process which involves some expertise. We expect the hackers to be expert in what they are doing. At times we also assume that hackers are more intelligent in the persons, than the persons who are trying to protect the work. This assumption is always safe to make that will make your work security better ok.
Cracking means breaching the security of a some kind of system, it can be software, it can be hardware, computers, works whatever, this is called cracking, you are trying to crack a system. Spoofing is a kind of attack, where the person who is, who is attacking is trying to falsify his or her identity. Suppose, I am trying to enter the system, but I am not telling who I am, I am telling I am Mr. X, Mr. X is somebody else right. So, it is the process of faking the originating address in a packet, a packet that flows in a work is sometimes called a datagram ok. So, the address will not be my address, I will be changing the address to somebody else’s address, so that the person who will be detecting that will believe that someone else is trying to do whatever is being done ok.
Denial of service is another very important kind of an attack which often plagues or affects systems or infrastructures. Well, here the idea is that one or a collection of computers or routers or whatever you can say, a collection of nodes in the work, they can flood a particular computer or host with enormous amount of work traffic. The idea is very simple, suppose I want to bring a particular server down, I will try to flood it with millions and millions of packets, junk packets, so that the server will spend all of its time filtering out those junk packets. So, whenever some legitimate requests are coming, valid packets are coming, they will find that the service time is exceedingly slow, exceedingly long, this is something which is called denial of service.
And port scanning is a terminology which you use very frequently, well ports in a computer system this we shall be discussing later. Ports indicate some entry points in the system which connects the incoming connections to some programs or processes running in the system. Say means in a computer system there can be multiple programs that are running, and these programs can be associated with something called a port number ok. Whenever you are trying to attack a system, normally the first step is to scan through some dummy packets ping, these are called ping packets and try to find out which of the port numbers in the system are active.