Introduction to Ethical Hacking Software

In terms of ethical hacking, software means gaining unauthorized access to data in a system or computer. The person who carries out online hacking is referred to as Hacker. There are three different types of ethical hacking software which are mentioned below :

  1. White hat hacker
  2. Grey hat hacker
  3. Black hat hacker

White hat hacker is people who break security for non-malicious reasons. It may be to test their own security system. These people find possible loopholes in ethical hacking software or systems report them to get them fixed. They are also referred to as “ethical hackers”. For, e.g., A Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) was hired by the corporate firm to find flaws in the ethical hacking software. And those certified ethical hackers are with CEH Certification or Ethical Hacking Certification, which is gained by clearing the CEH exam.

Black hat hacker is people who break the security of the system or ethical hacking software for malicious reasons or for personal benefits. These people generally form illegal hacking groups and work to break into any secure networks in order to destroy, modify or even steal confidential data such as credit card details, banking details, etc. They are also referred to as “crackers”.

Grey hat hacker people come between white hat and black hat hacker. These people survey the system and find loopholes or any security defects and report it to the administrator. At times the grey hat hacker reports these security flaws to the world instead of a group of people. At certain times they may offer to correct the defect for a fee. These people perform hacking without any personal gain.

So there are various ethical hacking program training or CEH training conducted to teach these types of ethical hacking.

Let’s check more about ethical hacking software

What is Ethical Hacking Software?

Let us see what is hacking software in detail:

A. Cyber Ethics

Cyberethics is a code of behavior for using the Internet. We have seen what does hacker and their type are above.

  • Phreaker: It is a term coined to describe a subculture’s activity who study, experiment with or explore telephone connection networks. Phreaking is closely related to ethical hacking basics of the computer since telephone networks have been computerized. It is sometimes called H/P culture, where H stands for Hacking and P stands for Phreaking.
  • Script Kiddies: These are people who use scripts or ethical hacking basics developed by others to attack computer systems and networks. It is also referred to as script bunny, skiddie, or script running juvenile (SRJ).
  • Hacktivists: The term Hacktivists is the combination of two words Hacker and Activists. These people carry out ethical hacking activities such as defacing websites for political reasons. Their activities include political ideas and issues.

B. Information Gathering

Information gathering is the initial process as far as ethical hacking basics and investigation are concerned. This involves processes such as profiling any organization, system, server, or individual using a certain defined process. This is generally used by the attacker and/or investigation agency to get additional information about the victim.

There are different ways through which ethical hacking information can be gathered. Some of them are listed below:

1. Use of Search Engine

It is the general understanding that the search engine will provide certain information about the victim. The ethical hacking basics principle about using the Internet is that ‘one leaves footprints/information everywhere while surfing the Internet.’

The attacker, as well as hackers, use this principle. The attacker will gather information about the system, any loopholes in the existing system, and possible ways to exploit it. Investigator will gather information such as the approach used by the attacker to get access to the system. The most powerful search engine is Google, yahoo search, MSN live search, AOL search, Ask search.

2. Use of relational search engine

The relational search engine is different from the normal search engine. It gets results from different search engines and makes the relation between those results.

i. Whois Lookup: WHOIS which is pronounced as “who is”, is a query protocol that is widely used for querying the official database in order to determine details such as the owner of a domain name, IP address, etc.

ii. Maltego: It is an open-source intelligence and forensics application that allows the mining and gathering of information as well as representation of this information in a meaningful way. The graphing libraries allow you to identify key relationships between information.

iii. Reverse IP Mapping: This method is used to find a number of websites hosted on the same server where your software/function is hosted

iv. TraceRoute: It gives useful information such as the number of servers between your computers and remote computers. This is useful for investigation as well as different types of attacks. You can see the route between your system and attacker system using NeoTrace, which gives MAP view or NodeView of all nodes between attacker and victim.

v. Email Spider: These are automated ethical hacking programs that capture email ids using spiders and store them in the database. Spammers (people who send junk emails to a large number of people) are using email spiders to collect a thousand emails for spamming purposes.

C. Scanning

Scanning is the process of finding out any open or closed ports, any loopholes in the remote system, servers, and networks. It helps in getting details of the victim, such as IP addresses,

Operating System used as well as services running on the remote computer.

There are three different types of scanning. These are Port scanning, Network scanning, and Vulnerability Scanning.

Port scanning is most commonly used in the ethical hacking program by an attacker to find any loopholes in the system. All systems connected to a LAN (Local Area Network) or to an Internet using modem run many ethical hacking services that listen at well-known and not well-known ports. There are a total of 1 to 65535 ports available on the computer. The port scanning allows the attacker to find which ports are available.

Open scan (also known as TCP scan) is normally used to program sockets. This is quite an old ethical hacking technique and works more correctly in making a full connection with the server. In order to establish the connection, it makes an authentication using three packets. This mechanism of authentication is called a three-way handshake.

For open port :

Client –> SYN –>

<– SYN/ACK <– Server

 Client –> ACK –>

For close port :

Client –> SYN –>

<– RST <– Server

The advantage of this open scan is that it is easy to program. However, the limitation is that it is very easy to detect and make logs on each connection.

TCP connect() :

  • The connect() system call provided by an ethical hacking operating system is used to open a connection to every interesting port on the machine.
  • If the port is listening, connect() will succeed; otherwise, the port isn’t reachable.

SYN scan :

  • This scanning technique is called half-open scanning because a TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) connection is not completed.
  • An SYN packet is sent to remote computing.
  • The target host responds with an SYN+ACK packet which indicates the port is listening, and an RST indicates a non-listener

NULL scan :

  • NULL scan used no flags of TCP header, and it sent to the target host
  • Closed ports reply to packets with RST
  • Open ports ignore packets

NMAP (a port scanner):

  • NMAP is a powerful utility to scan a large number of ethical hacking tools
  • It is available with GUI (Graphical User Interface) and Command Line Interface
  • It is supported by a wide range of Operating Systems such as Linux, Mac OS, Windows
  • It can carry out SYN scan, FIN scan, Stealth scan, Half-open scan, and many other types.
ethical hacking NMAP CLI

D. Virus, Worms, Trojans and Virus analysis

VIRUS (particularly stands for Vital Information Resource Under Siege) is an application or piece of code that replicates itself by injecting its code into other data files or an ethical hacking program and has a detrimental effect such as corrupting the system or destroying data.

Worms are a standalone malware computer program that replicates itself over ethical hacking basics. As compared to the virus, it does not need to attach itself to an existing program.

Trojan (in the context of computing) is any malicious computer program that represents itself as useful in order to persuade a victim to install it on his/her system.

There are several different modes of transmission for these viruses, worms, or trojans into your system. Some of them are listed below:

  1. IRC (Internet Relay Chat)
  2. ICQ (I Seek You – Instant Messaging Program)
  3. Email attachments
  4. Physical access (such as connecting infected USD drive or hard disk)
  5. Infected Browsers
  6. Online advertisements (such as banners that claim you won the lottery)
  7. NetBIOS
Virus analysis

Properties of Virus

Following are some properties listed below.

  • Your computer or system can get infected even if files are only copied
  • It can be polymorphic
  • It can be a memory or non-memory resident
  • It can be the stealth virus
  • Most times, viruses carry another virus
  • It can even make your system never show outward signs
  • It can even stay on your system even though it is formatted
Properties of Virus

Virus operation phase

Most of the virus operates in two phases, i.e. infection phase and attack phase.

  1. Infection phase 
  • In this phase, the virus determine when and which programs to infect
  • Some viruses infect the system as soon as a virus file is installed on the system
  • Some viruses infect the system at a specific date, time or the particular event
  • TSR viruses are loaded into memory and later infects the systems
  1. Attack phase 
  • In this phase, the virus will delete files, replicate itself to other systems, and corrupt targets only.

Symptoms of virus-infected system

The symptoms of a virus-infected system are as follows.

  • Files/Folder have a strange name than the normal (e.g. %$#%% as the file name)
  • File extensions can also be changed.
  • The program takes the longest time to load than the normal
  • Systems hard drives constantly runs out of free space
  • You will not be able to open some programs
  • Programs getting corrupted without any reasons
  • System working very slow and sometimes getting rebooted unexpectedly

Types of Virus

– Macro virus: spreads and infects database file

– File virus: infects executable

– Source code virus: effects and damage source code

– Network virus: spreads via network elements and protocols

– Boot virus: infects boot sectors and records

– Shell virus: forms a shell around the target host’s genuine program and host it as the subroutine

– Terminate virus: remains permanently in the memory during the work session

Methods to avoid detection of the virus in Ethical Hacking Software

Below we have listed some useful methods to avoid the detection of the virus.

  • Keep the same “last modified” date.

i. To avoid detection by anti-virus software and users, some viruses use different kinds of deception, such as they have the same last modified date as other genuine files or folders.

ii. There are some viruses (especially on the MS-DOS system) that make sure that the “last modified” date of a host file stays the same when the virus infects the file.

  • Avoiding Bait files

i. Bait files (or goat files) are files that are specially created by anti-virus software or by anti-virus professionals themselves to be infected by the virus.

ii. There are many anti-virus programs that perform an integrity check of their own codes using Bait files.

iii. Infecting such programs will, therefore, increase the chances of the virus getting detected.

  • Killing activity of anti-virus software

There are some viruses that avoid detection by anti-virus software by killing the task associated with anti-virus software.

  • Making stealth virus

i. There is some strong virus that tricks anti-virus software by intercepting its requests.

ii. The virus can then return an uninfected version of the file to anti-virus software so that it assumes that the file is “clean”.

Virus analysis

Here we have discussed two major virus analyses in detail.

  1. IDA pro tools

– IDA pro ethical hacking tools is dissembler and debugger tool

– It can run on multiple operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, etc.

– It can be used in source code analysis, vulnerability research as well as reverse engineering

Ethical Hacking Software -IDA pro tools
Ethical Hacking Software -IDA tool for OS
  1. Autorun virus remover
  • Autorun is the built-in feature of Windows OS that allows the application to run automatically from USB/CD drives as soon as they are connected to the system.
  • Viruses often exploit this feature to spread from one system to another.
  • Autorun virus remover helps remove the virus that comes with external storage such as USB/CD drives.

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