Monday, May 18, 2009

Donning The White Hat And Getting Paid To Hack

Today's generation of technical outlaws (hackers) has gone a long way since a bunch of tech-savvy kids learned how to jam phone lines in the late 70's. From the relatively simple skills of monitoring private calls, stealing credit card numbers, spying on each other’s computers, and tapping into other people’s Internet connections, hackers have creatively honed their skills enough to crash commercial sites, wipe out corporate files and pull off million-dollar frauds. In fact, today's computer underground has become so sophisticated that the new hackers or the 90's hackers can now be classified into six specialized groups.

They are:

Hackers - also known as Crackers or system intruders - These are people who attempt to penetrate security systems on remote computers.

- also known as (Phone Phreakers or Blue Boxers - These are people who attempt to use technology to explore and/or control the telephone system. In the past, these people make use of "blue boxes" or tone generators, but as the phone company began using digital instead of electro-mechanical switches, the phreaks became more like hackers.

Virus writers
- they are the creators of Trojans, worms, logic bombs and includes people who write code which attempts to reproduce itself on other systems without authorization and often trash a hard drive.

- These are people involved with breaking copy protection on software(an activity technically called "cracking").

or cryptoanarchists - people freely distribute the tools and methods for making use of strong encryption, which is basically unbreakable except by massive supercomputers. (Programs that employ such strong encryption are classified as munitions, and distribution of algorithms that make use of it is considered a felony).

- people who are committed to distributing illegal (or at least morally suspect) information, including but not limited to data on bombmaking, lockpicking, pornography, drug manufacturing, pirate radio, and cable and satellite TV piracy.

- usually some combination of the above who have developed a strong interest in technological self-modification and in hardware hacking and "street tech."

Whatever classification they belong to, there is no denying that all hackers are extremely talented
individuals and it will be such a waste not to be able to harness their talents to good use. So, as the saying goes " It takes a thief to catch a thief", many government agencies and large corporations worldwide have started tapping the services of hackers to secure their IT systems. A celebrated example of this successful practice was in the case of 16-year old Owen Thor Walker from New Zealand. At his young age he already used his programming skills to write malware that would steal bank account info and controlled a botnet of more than 1,000,000 zombie computers. Akill (his online handle) has been arrested, but the New Zealand authorities did not jail him – instead they ordered him to pay fines totaling $11,000. Recent reports have it that New Zealand's second-largest telecommunications firm TelstraClear has offered Akill a job – as in they hired him to conduct security seminars and assist in TelstraClear ad campaigns. He now belongs to a group known as 'white hat hackers' or ethical hackers - computer and network expert who attacks a security system on behalf of its owners, seeking possible vulnerabilities that a malicious hacker could exploit. To test a security system, ethical hackers use the same methods as their less principled counterparts(black hat hackers) , but report problems instead of taking advantage of them. Ethical hacking is also known as penetration testing, intrusion testing, and red teaming.

If you are a computer geek, you can be trained as a Certified Ethical Hacker - a real life hacker, and get in the payroll of large multinational corporations as one of their security experts or penetration tester. The demand for Certified Ethical Hackers (IT Security) is growing by leaps and bounds worldwide as more and more realize the fact that the most effective way to stop a hacker is to employ another hacker who understand each and every move taken by the culprit. The pay scale is also on the rise despite the slump in the economy!

You can take an online certificate courses on various IT Security Programs through EC-Council iClass. EC Council live,online, instructor-led iClass programs include -Security Fundamentals, Ethical Hacking, Penetration Testing, Computer Forensics
, Disaster Recovery,Secure Programming.

Every Student who attends Authorized EC-Council iClass Training will receive:

  • Accelerated Live, online Official Instructor Led Training valued @ $2,995
  • Official EC-Council Courseware valued @ $450
  • Prometric or Vue Certification Test Voucher valued @ $250
  • Dedicated EC-Council Education Consultant
  • Certificate of Completion
  • An evaluation copy of Core Security Technologies' award winning penetration testing product, CORE IMPACT Pro
  • Above all training is at your own comfort! Priceless!

The various courses will significantly benefit security officers, auditors, security professionals, site administrators, and anyone who is concerned about the integrity of the network infrastructure.
For more information on the Training Titles available visit EC Council Official Training Site.

IT Security


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  1. Hey Richard!
    You blew me away with this post! This is a lot of information and I didn't realize there were so many names for these dishonest folks. I truly like the idea of turning these crooks into honest employees by offering them legit employment. Let's get rid of the black hat wearers and replace them all with the white hatters so the internet will once again be safe and fun place to build relationships and businesses. Thanks my friend!

    Friends 4 Life!

  2. I am sorry I cannot drop an Entrecard on your blog. Either I cannot find it or I suspect it is hidden under that Bloggers Unite badge. But when I clicked on it hoping it will reveal your Entrecard, it did not work. It just went to the homepage of Bloggers Unite. Hope you can tell me where your Entrecard is.

  3. There is no doubt these people are extremely talented. However, I think hiring them to legitimate work is a long shot. I would not trust them depending on what devious acts they have done in the past. Some of these crooks have ruined peoples lives.

  4. oh, it is hard to trust hackers, they thrive on hacking and that is their sense of joy and pride. it is like their mental challenge and motivation :)