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Ethical Hacking

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When you imagine a hacker, what do they look like? You might think of someone from the movies with a cool pair of shades. Maybe you imagine someone in a balaclava typing away on their keyboard!

However, not every hacker is a bad guy. Some people have the skills and the knowledge to cracka advanced security systems, but they choose not to use it to do harm. Instead, they actually make a legal and productive career out of it!

This career path is known as “ethical hacking.” It’s ethical because the hacker doesn’t break into people’s computers without permission. Instead, the hacker looks for people who want someone to break their security.

So, what kind of person wants someone to break into their computer? Big companies with lots of sensitive and personal data on computers. If a hacker manages to get in and steal or delete the data, it would be really bad for the company.

To stop this, businesses put up lots of tough cybersecurity defenses to stop hackers from getting in. However, not all defenses are perfect, and there may be a way that a hacker can find a flaw or weakness that they can use to get in.

As such, once a company has the defenses in place, they want to know if it’s working properly or not. The best way to know if a hacker can get in or not is to…hire a hacker!

This is where ethical hacking comes into play. If a company wants to put its security to the test, they can hire people to hack into the network. If the hacker manages to get in, the hacker reports how they did it to the company. The company can then patch up the problem to prevent future attacks.

Sometimes a company doesn’t hire a hacker; instead, they post what’s called a “bug bounty.” This sounds like a WANTED poster with a cockroach on it, but it means something entirely different in the security world!

When a company posts a bug bounty, they make a public statement that they want someone to crack into its system and give the company proof of the deed. If a hacker manages to complete the challenge and show the company how they did it, the company gives the hacker a lot of money.

How much money? A LOT of money. You can see some examples if you look up Microsoft Bounty programs. Finding a flaw on the small programs will net you $15-20k, and finding a flaw in Microsoft’s most secure systems gets you a whopping $100k!

You can see, then, how people who love cracking security can make a legal job out of their skillset. If you’re interested in security yourself, be sure to consider becoming an ethical hacker yourself!

Learn More

White hat hacker


Microsoft Bounty Programs


What Is Ethical Hacking?


Bug Crowd


three types of hackers


Red and white hacking


Bug Bounties and how they work


Skills of bug bounty


Ethical hacking for kids


Prepare kids for a career in cybersecurity


Kids learn to hack


Hacker facts for kids