Certified Hacker? (Number 14 on my Definitive List of Things I'm Thankful For)

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Many years ago, I took an interest in hacking. The earliest experience I witnessed of this was in 1997 when I used to work as a webmaster for an Internet Service Provider (ISP), and the systems administrator team demonstrated to me how unsecure some networks are. I was fascinated by this other side of technology and did some reading about it. I realized there was so much to learn and there were certain skills that needed extensive knowledge in computer networks, which I didn't have, so I just let it be and was okay knowing the basics.

Ten years later, I revisited this interest and took a couple of short courses on ethical hacking.
Ethical hacking, also known as white-hat hacking, is perfectly legal. Ethical hackers are security professionals who, with permission, attempt to break into a system or network. Their goal is to identify vulnerabilities that malicious hackers might exploit. By finding these weaknesses, ethical hackers help organizations protect sensitive data and critical infrastructure, making the online world a safer place.

In 2008, I went to Hackacon, and attended a few seminars on Computer Hacking and Forensic Investigation, Certified Hacking and Countermeasures, and Computer Forensics, Data Security and Penetration Testing. They were pretty much introductory courses to get a sense of what mindset and tools are needed.

I guess one realization for this field is that it's not okay to be a hacker with average skills and knowledge. You need to be the best or be on par with the best to be a good and efficient hacker. I didn't continue to pursue further studies as I wasn't confident I'd be great at it and it wasn't really my priority at that time.

Nevertheless, the fundamentals I learned from the seminars on cybersecurity served as a good foundation for learning how to protect myself from malicious attacks. Later on, this proved useful in my next job, working for an Embassy where a lot of levels of security are in play.

Read more about my previous blog posts on hacking here.

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