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Ethical Hacking And Attacking Computer Science Essay

It is problematic, if hacking can be ethical or non, the term “ Hacking ” over clip has been associated with destructive activity.

These are some of the footings used in the context of choping which provides better lucidity, Hacker is person who enjoys larning choping for a defensive intent ; an ethical hacker is the security professional who exercises his accomplishments for a defensive intent. The term Cracker refers to a individual who uses his hacking accomplishments for destructive intent.

The ethical inquiry here is in respect to the physical activity of choping which is sometimes difficult to distinguish from checking.

The chief difference being, Ethical hacker merely identifies exposures and does non work them unlike a cracker.

Ethical hacking is the procedure adopted by ethical hackers to detect the exposures bing in information systems runing environments.

With the growing of cyberspace, computing machine security has become a major concern for concern. Organizations need ethical hackers who can believe like a cracker to imitate a existent life choping scenario ; they make usage of same tools and techniques of that of crackers without damaging / compromising the sensitive information thereby keeping the unity and confidentiality of the organisation.

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Ethical hacker should hold first-class scheduling and networking accomplishments. They evaluate the security of mark and update the organisation sing the ascertained exposures along with recommendations to extenuate them.

Anatomy of a Hack

Initially, “ Choping ” meant holding extraordinary accomplishments to interrupt into the system.

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However today there are tonss of machine-controlled freeware tools available on cyberspace doing it possible for anybody holding the desire to chop win in interrupting into the system.

These are the 5 stages every hacker must cognize.

Figure 1: Anatomy of an Attack


Reconnaissance is the preparatory stage where an aggressor gathers information about the mark system anterior to establishing the onslaught. This stage might besides affect web scanning either internal or external without any mandate.

One of the ways for garnering information during this stage may affect “ Social technology ” . A societal applied scientist is a individual who smooth-talks and persuades people to uncover personal / sensitive information such as watchwords, security policies etc. Social technology is one of the easiest ways to chop as it requires no proficient accomplishments and one of the hardest signifiers of onslaught to support against as worlds are the weakest nexus in the security concatenation. All security measures taken attention by the organisation goes in vain when the employees get “ societal engineered ” . Detecting societal technology onslaughts are hard, as there is no tool to observe such efforts, in most of the instances victim themselves are non cognizant holding revealed sensitive information. “ Rebecca ” and “ Jessica ” are the common footings used, which refer to people who are easy mark for societal technology onslaughts such as a receptionist or a support executive.

“ Dumpster diving ” is another manner of garnering information. It is the procedure of looking for cast-off sensitive information in an organisation thrash. It is one of the effectual ways of garnering information as it may supply aggressors with even more sensitive information such as username, watchword, ATM faux pas, societal security figure, Bank statements.

It is of import that an organisation has appropriate policies in topographic point to protect their assets and besides provide proper counsel to employees on the same.

Reconnaissance technique can be classified into active and inactive reconnaissance.

In inactive reconnaissance, the aggressor does non interact with the system straight but uses societal technology or Dumpster diving as a mean to garner information. Where as in a active reconnaissance, the aggressor makes usage of tools for port scanning, web scanning to acquire the inside informations of the application, runing system etc. Often reconnaissance stage convergences with the scanning stage.


Scaning precedes the existent onslaught and is one of the of import stage of information assemblage where in the aggressor gathers information about the marks IP reference, runing system, system architecture, services running in the system in order to happen assorted ways to irrupt into marks system. The scheme to establish the onslaught is based on the collected information. The hazard of an organisation is considered high in the scanning stage as it enables entree to the web.

Different types of scanning are

Port Scanning: Procedure for placing the unfastened ports and the services running on the mark system.

Network Scanning -Procedure for placing IP references, active hosts on a web either to assail them or as a web security appraisal.

Vulnerability Scanning -Automates method to place the known exposures present in the system and the web.

Some of the of import tools used during this stage are Nmap which is used for port scanning ; it besides offers a assortment of advanced characteristics such as distant OS sensing.

Nessus is a exposure scanner which detects the local defects, uninstalled spots and failing in web hosts. Nessus has a security exposure database which is updated on a day-to-day footing. It carries out development of security cheques for recent security holes.

CEH scanning methodological analysis

The diagram below shows the sequence of stairss followed in order to scan any web although scanning method may differ based on the aim of the onslaught. The Attacker starts with look intoing for the unrecorded systems in the web. Once he finds the unrecorded system, looks for any unfastened port nowadays in the system to place the services running on it. The following stage is OS fingerprinting which is nil but garnering operating system information about the mark system. Post which the aggressor scans for exposures present in the mark runing system and work it. The aggressor may besides take to examine the web by doing usage of placeholders.

Figure 2: CEH Scaning Methodology

Deriving Entree

This is one of the most of import stages for an onslaught as this is where the existent onslaught is planted. Therefore the concern hazard is highest in this stage. Although non a compulsory stage as an aggressor need non ever derive entree to do harm like in denial of service onslaughts.

The chief purpose in this stage is to obtain elevated privileges such as system privilege to put to death bids to entree sensitive information.

Keeping Entree

Once the aggressor additions entree into the system or the web, he tries to retain his “ ownership ” on the compromised system and sporadically assail it. Typically in this stage the aggressor tries to put in Key lumbermans to capture the keyboard shots, sniffers to capture web traffic, rootkits at the meats degree to derive ace user entree and Trojan Equus caballus to derive perennial backdoor entree, besides download the watchword files to entree the system at a ulterior clip. Once the Trojans are in topographic point, the aggressor can presume to hold gained entire control of the system.

During this stage the aggressors might even indurate the system against other aggressors by repairing the exposure which allowed them to entree the system or the web.

Uncluttering Paths

This is where the aggressor tries to cover the grounds of his activities for assorted grounds like keeping entree or legal actions. During this stage the aggressor deletes the system logs forestalling the system decision maker from supervising the unusual activity, Rootkits are installed as they are effectual in covering paths and besides because in some instances they disable logging.

Other techniques like Steganography which is used to conceal the informations in a image or a file, are made used by the aggressor in order to cover paths

Typical Hacking Techniques

There are several ways an aggressor can derive entree into the system such as

Operating system onslaughts

Application Level onslaughts

Shrink wrap codification mistake

Misconfiguration onslaughts

Google Hacking

Google Hacking is the art of making complex hunt questions in order to garner information of the mark system. Google is the primary tool used for Google hacking. Advanced Google operators are used to filtrate information.

Google choping database identifies files incorporating watchword, sensitive directories, vulnerable web pages, mistake messages incorporating sensitive information, pages incorporating firewall logs etc

Figure 3: Google advanced hunt option

Basicss of Google Hacking

Below are some of the basic ways Google is used for choping

Directory Listing Attack: Web page frequently by chance displays files and directories that exist on the web waiter when top degree index file is losing or invalid as directory listing is non taken attention of. Most of the times they do non forestall users from downloading files or accessing sensitive information without mandate. Locating directory listing in Google is really consecutive forward.

A question of Intitle: Index.of is the cosmopolitan hunt for directory listing

Figure 4: Google choping for Directory Listing

An aggressor can do usage of this information to entree sensitive information of the application.

Information Disclosure

Mistake messages can unwrap a batch of sensitive information about the mark like the operating system, web architecture, user information etc.

A question of intitle: mistake fetched 4,070,000 consequences

Figure 5: Google choping for Information Disclosure

Below is the mistake message displayed by an application.

Figure 6: Mistake message displayed from Google choping question

The mistake message reveals sensitive information about the mark system such as the application is built in, IIS 4.0, MYSQL database. An aggressor can now establish onslaughts that are vulnerable to these engineerings.

Sensitive Information:

Here are some of the Google hunt sentence structure ‘s to creep for Sensitive information such as watchwords

filetype: xls inurl: “ password.xls ” -Looks for username and watchword in ms excel format.

intitle: “ Index of ” master.passwd -index the maestro watchword page

index of / backup- Looks for the index backup file on waiter )

intitle: index.of passwd.bak – Looks for the index backup watchword files.

intitle: “ Index of ” pwd.db- Looks for database watchword files

inurl: “ user.xls ” intext: “ watchword ” – Looks for URL that save username and watchwords in dispersed sheet files

Site Digger, which explores Google ‘s cache to look for susceptiblenesss, mistakes, security loopholes on web site and Gooscan which automates questions against Google hunt engine are some of the other tools used for Google hacking.

Certified Ethical Hacker Certification Course ( CEH )

CEH is the professional enfranchisement provided by the international council E-Commerce advisers ( EC-Council ) .

Figure 6: CEH Procedure

Apart from EC council, there are other certified choping class taken by some good known Hackers like Ankit Fadia Certified Ethical Hacker ( AFCEH ) and besides some other sellers like karROX Certified Ethical Hacker Course.

Ethical Hacking Services

As portion of ethical hacking services, Penetration proving which is nil but making a existent life choping scenario and seeking to interrupt into the system is offered by assorted sellers. Different tools, technique and methodological analysiss are used to derive entry into that application. The service offered could be either a black box testing ( where merely the application URL is given ) or a gray box testing ( where a dummy user history with least privilege is created for the pen examiners ) .Penetration proving will be carried over by a squad of dedicated ethical hackers.

Some of the cardinal benefits of incursion testing are

Find security loopholes which can non be found through functional testing.

Identify concern logic defects which can non be detected by Code Review.

Real universe simulation of choping thereby uncovering soft marks for possible onslaughts.

Meet Regulatory Compliance like PCI, HIPAA, GLBA and ISO regulative conformity.

Decrease in web application development security defects.

Development of effectual extenuation schemes based on your specific environment

The Pen trial study provides recommended redress ‘s for the identified onslaught.

Follows the industry criterions for security such as OWASP TOP 10 and SANS 25.

Commercial tools like Cenzic, Acunetix, and IBM Rational Appscan are some of the widely used tools for Pen Test.

Social Engineering Testing is offered as complementary service by some sellers which tests the organisations “ human firewall ” by deriving entree to an organisation and its assets by flim-flaming cardinal forces over communications medium such as telephone, electronic mail, chat, bulletin boards, etc.


Vikram: Phosphorus

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In recent times Web applications are the mark of assorted signifiers of onslaughts. Harmonizing to a Gartner study 70 % of the security onslaughts are targeted on the web application. Competition is so high that endeavors ca n’t disregard the hazard associated with their vulnerable application. Loss incurred could change from pecuniary losingss to loss of credibleness. In certain instances it could intend terminal of concern. You can non halt an aggressor from choping, the lone thing you can make is do it harder to acquire in.

Ethical hackers are the security professionals who use their hacking accomplishments for defensive intent. The procedure of ethical hacking would depend on, what is that organisation is seeking to protect, against whom and how much or resources the organisation is ready to pass. The hacking tools are meant for research and educational intent merely and should non be used for destructive intent.

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