The Most Useful Programming Languages for Ethical Hacking
Ethical hacking refers to the practice where a skilled computer professional tries to hack into software and security systems. They do so for the purpose of detecting flaws and gaps where unethical hackers could gain access or exploit weak points. This helps strengthen security and is a common practice employed by most organizations as part of their overall security plan.
Ethical hackers use different programming languages while trying to ferret out security holes. There may be different layers that make up a complete software system, so a hacker might have to employ more than one language to thoroughly expose weaknesses in the different layers. Let’s discuss some of the most popular languages used by ethical hackers in their white-hat crusade to thwart the efforts of black-hat hackers.
This low-level programming language is very complicated. If you want to reverse engineer a piece of software that has already been compiled, Assembly is the tool of choice. Assembly will even let you manipulate hardware through the use of drivers, which are the pieces of code used to give hardware instructions.
This could include printer, display or network drivers as well as peripherals. Think keyloggers, where software can intercept each keystroke at the port where the keyboard is plugged into your computer and then send those messages to an outside source. Anything that gets typed on that keyboard can be used for any number of nefarious purposes.
PHP, Java, C# or VB.NET
SQL (Structured Query Language)
SQL is used to perform tasks in databases. It’s used to store, retrieve and query data. This is a very important language to learn if you plan on finding exploits that can be carried out at the database level, such as SQL Injection Attacks. Most software is written for the purpose of gathering some type of data. If its purpose isn’t to directly gather data, then at a minimum it will need some type of data to be able to do its job.
Data must be guarded at all costs, so this is one of the most important languages that you can learn. Also, SQL is used by the most popular database software engines in use today such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and MySQL.
System Administrators use Perl for all types of reasons. Perl is a scripting language that can be written to handle a wide range of functionality. It’s used by System Administrators and Network Programmers mainly to perform network routing operations. This language is useful if you hack into a server and then need to find and reach out to other network sources. You can also augment existing scripts to send copies of information to different locations than they were intended to facilitate information theft. Perl is the Swiss Army Knife of programming languages, so it is an important skill to master for hackers.
Python is probably the most popular high-level programming language used by hackers. It is object-oriented, which makes it faster to write. It has a built-in framework that can be used to describe real-world objects. Python has a simple structure that reads very much like normal English, which allows it to be learned very quickly. It is also a strong scripting language, has rich library support, and has a very supportive community of open source developers that evolve and strengthen the language.
All of these languages can be easily learned with the right training from a certified IT training company, like ONLC. At ONLC we have over 300 learning locations around the country offering classes in many different programming languages. Interested in learning more about starting your ethical hacking career or adding to your IT education? Contact us today!