How to Become a Hacker?

10 minute read
How to Become a Hacker?

The digital world is extremely vulnerable and cyber threats have increased recently. There has been a 300% increase in reported cybercrime as per a report published on the internet. These attacks are carried out by hackers. These Hackers have the talent to break into the digital security but doing such is also unethical. But there are also some ethical hackers who work opposite to what the unethical hackers do. They are extremely talented cyber security experts who use their skills to identify weaknesses in security systems of computer databases and protect them from unethical hackers with malicious intentions. Read this blog to find out how you can become a certified hacker and the different types of hackers in the world!

Also Read: What is the difference between Cyber Security and Ethical Hacking?

What does a Hacker Do?

Source: TechXpress

In simple terms, Hackers are experts skilled at breaching and breaking down the defences of computer systems in order to gain unauthorized access into various electronic devices such as laptops, computers, phones, IoT devices, networks, and even the entire computer systems. Hackers essentially take advantage of cracks and weaknesses that are present in the security systems of a network. 

While hackers are often stereotyped as youngsters who are skilled in modifying computer systems and programs, in reality, today’s hacker community comprises various kinds of individuals who have their own motives and goals. 

Roles and Responsibilities of a Hacker

Source: Gifer

The role of a hacker is not merely limited to hacking computer systems and accessing sensitive information. The other responsibilities of a hacker also include:

  • An ethical hacker scans systems and networks using various scanning tools such as Nmap and Nessus to find open and vulnerable ports and close them to prevent any potential cyber attacks. 
  • Ethical Hackers are also responsible for examining patch installations and ensuring they are not vulnerable to any cyber attacks. 
  • An ethical hacker also makes use of social engineering to search through digital trash bins and other dark corners of the network to find any personal information, passwords, or any other sensitive information that can be used for a cyber attack. 
  • Hackers also try to evade security systems such as the IDS to avoid any detection. They attempt to fall through the cracks of the security systems undetected. 
  • Hackers also help in strengthening the security of the network systems and develop preventive measures to reduce the chances of a cyber attack. 
  • Ethical hackers must also report any kind of security breaches to their superiors and keep any information they have discovered confidential. 
  • Hackers should also clear their trails or trace after completing a security check-up to prevent malicious hackers from exploiting any loopholes or vulnerabilities. 

Types of Hackers

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As mentioned earlier, the hacking community comprises individuals with varying motives and goals. The various types of hackers are as follows :

  • White Hat Hackers: White Hat Hackers or Ethical Hackers are those professional hackers who do not intend to cause any harm to any computer systems or programs. They closely work with organisations to identify gaps and cracks in their security systems and protect them against cyber attacks. 
  • Black Hat Hackers: Black Hat Hackers or Crackers are those professional hackers with malicious motives who intend to cause harm to computer systems and programs. They hack into computer systems and networks to access personal and financial data for selfish motives. 
  • Grey Hat Hackers: Grey Hat Hackers are a combination of White Hat Hackers and Black Hat Hackers. The main motive is to gain unauthorized access to computer systems and networks without any malicious intent. These hackers like cracking systems and exploiting weaknesses in them just for fun. 
  • Script Kiddies: A script kiddie is an amateur hacker with only basic knowledge of hacking. They usually hack into computer systems and networks with pre-written scripts or codes written by others. They do not have complete knowledge about hacking. 
  • Hacktivist: Hactivists are activists that intend to hack government websites and networks to gain access to government secrets and expose them to the public. They usually involve DoS attacks or website defacement. 
  • Green Hat Hackers: Green Hat Hackers or a Neophyte are the ones who are new to the field of hacking. They are beginners who have little to no knowledge of hacking and wish to gain more expertise in this field. 
  • Red Hat Hackers: Red Hat Hackers are similar to White Hat Hackers except for their methodology. Red Hat Hackers also intend to protect computer systems and networks, however, they are more ruthless while dealing with Black Hat Hackers.
  • Blue Hat Hackers: Blue Hat Hackers are similar to Script Kiddies, however, they intend to use their knowledge to seek revenge against an organisation or a person. They are also new to the field of hacking and usually have revengeful intentions when they learn to hack. 

Related Read: Career in Cryptography and Network Security

Skills Required for Becoming a Hacker

YouTube: Insider

To become a professional hacker, you need to have certain coding skills and capabilities. You can find below the necessary skills that are required to become a successful hacker :

  • Excellent computer skills
  • Strong computer networking skills
  • Command over Database Management Systems ( DBMS)
  • Linux Skills
  • Command over the programming languages such as Python, SQL, JavaScript and C++
  • Social Engineering and reverse engineering
  • Basic hardware knowledge
  • Strong knowledge of wireless technologies
  • Strong knowledge of security concepts
  • Excellent cryptography skills
  • Strong knowledge of web applications
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills

Must Read: How to be a Data Scientist?

How to Become a Hacker?

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You can find below a comprehension step-by-step guide to begin your journey to becoming a professional hacker :

Earning a Relevant Degree or Certification

Most students who wish to pursue a career in the field of hacking usually complete a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in computer science or a related field. They also have the option of obtaining a professional certification that usually requires students to clear two separate exams to become a professional ethical hacker.  The CompTIA Security+ certification is a popular certification that students usually opt for when they wish to pursue a career in hacking and cybersecurity. Additionally, students with EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH) credential is sought after by many employers who are looking to hire ethical hackers. 

Learn the Concepts of Networking

As a hacker, you must be able to grasp the concept of networking and understanding the knowledge behind the creation of networks. Students can also take up an entry-level position as network support to understand essential activities such as the creation of networks, monitoring, updating, and installing the latest security systems, and checking for any vulnerabilities. 

Excel in All the Programming Languages

By excelling in the mother of all programming languages, C Programming, students gain the opportunity to learn the basics of UNIX/LINUX since its operating system is written through C programming. Students should excel in at least 2 to 3 programming languages since it gives them the freedom to create their programs and security systems in their own distinct style. 

Learn How to Use Linux

Almost all of the best-operating systems for hacking are based on Linux.  UNIX/LINUX is an open-source operating system that provides better security to computer systems. Mastering this enables students to become better professional hackers, whether they are freelancers or working in an organization. Almost all professional hackers use UNIX/LINUX systems. 

Mastering Cryptography

To be a successful hacker, students must also master the art of cryptography since encryption and decryption also form an important part of hacking. Encryption is mostly done for strengthening the security of network and computer systems to ensure confidentiality and integrity of data. Students need to master both aspects of cryptography since decryption is also required to crack codes and decrypt data as and when required. 

Joining Formal Hacking Communities

Students also have the excellent opportunity to join legal and formal hacking communities that comprise many professional ethical hackers that can help many beginners to find their foothold when they begin their career in hacking. They can also participate in many discussion forums that are composed of individuals and students from all over the world as well as have the opportunity to be a part of many exciting hacking competitions and contests that allows them to enhance their skills and improve their knowledge and coding skills.

YouTube: TimTom

Some of the popular courses or degree programs that students can pursue a career in hacking are as follows :

Must Read: List of Cyber Security Courses for Students

Top Online Courses for Hacking

Here is a list of online courses that you take advantage of in order to master the basics of hacking and become a professional :

  • Ethical Hacking Course, LinkedIn Learning
  • Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking Course, Cybrary
  • Fundamentals of Computer Hacking, Udemy
  • Ethical Hacking: SQL Injection Attack, Udemy
  • Cyber Security Basics: A Hands-on Approach, edX
  • The Complete Hacking Course: Beginner to Advanced, Udemy
  • Ethical Hacking Course for Beginners and Experts, Pluralsight
  • Security Analyst Fundamentals, Coursera
  • Penetration Testing: Discovering Vulnerabilities, edX
  • Hacking and Patching Certification, Coursera
  • Cybersecurity Specialisation, Coursera

Top Universities Abroad

You can find below a list of top universities abroad wherein you can pursue ethical hacking and cybersecurity degrees and programs.

Name of the UniversityLocationQS Rankings
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA1
Stanford UniversityUSA2
Carnegie Mellon University USA3
King’s College LondonUK62
Georgia Institute of TechnologyUSA38
ETH ZurichSwitzerland10
Purdue University USA 69
The University of South Wales Australia59
Shanghai Jiao Tong UniversityChina29
National University of SingaporeSingapore4

Must Read: Must-Know Cybersecurity Skills for Security Experts

Top Colleges in India

You can find below a list of top colleges in India wherein you can pursue ethical hacking degrees and programs 

Name of the CollegeLocation
Indian Institute of TechnologyChennai
Indian Institute of TechnologyMumbai
Hindustan Institute of Technology and ScienceChennai
National Institution of Electronics and Information TechnologyChandigarh
National Institution of Electronics and Information TechnologyMohali
Indian Institute of Hardware TechnologyChennai
Vellore Institute of TechnologyVellore
National Institution of Information and TechnologySrinagar
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
Indian Institution of TechnologyRoorkee

Also Read: Best Online Courses for Skill Development

Job Profiles and Career Opportunities for Hackers

A variety of job profiles and career opportunities are available for hackers after the completion of their professional degree or after attaining a valid certification. Some of the job roles that ethical hackers can apply for:

Job RolesSalary (Per annum)
Information Security AnalystRs. 12,20,838
Cyber Security AnalystRs. 14,00,000
Penetration TesterRs. 22,11,738
Ethical HackerRs. 27,50,000
Security AnalystRs. 12,20,838
Information Security ManagerRs. 29,27,745
Security EngineerRs. 16,75,000
Security Consultant (Computer, Networking, Information Technology)Rs. 14,90,906

Best Books for Hackers

Learning to hack is not a very easy job. It requires hours of practice and dedication in order to perfect the art of hacking. You can find below a list of helpful books that can aid you in becoming a better hacker:

Also Read: Top 7 Penetration Testing Certification Courses


What does it mean to be a hacker?

Being a hacker means developing strong problem-solving and programming skills to explore and understand computer systems, networks, and software deeply. Ethical hackers, also known as “white hat” hackers, use their expertise to enhance cybersecurity, while “black hat” hackers engage in illegal activities. Becoming a hacker involves learning various technologies, understanding vulnerabilities, and using this knowledge responsibly and legally.

How can I start my journey to becoming a hacker?

To begin your journey as a hacker, focus on building a solid foundation in computer science and programming. Start with languages like Python, C, or Java and learn about operating systems and networking. Engage in online tutorials, capture-the-flag (CTF) challenges, and cybersecurity courses to gain practical experience in ethical hacking techniques. Understanding security protocols, encryption, and common vulnerabilities is crucial.

Is ethical hacking legal?

Ethical hacking, when done with the permission of the system owner to identify and fix vulnerabilities, is legal and highly sought after in the cybersecurity industry. However, unauthorized hacking, breaching systems without consent, or engaging in malicious activities are illegal and can lead to severe consequences, including legal action and imprisonment. Always ensure you have explicit permission to test or assess any system’s security.

This blog has covered everything that you need to know in order to become a successful hacker. If you are planning to pursue a career in this field, you can always reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu who can help in your preparation plans so that you have a successful career!

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