What you need to master to become a good ethical hacker

Become an Ethical Hacker

Last updated: November 2, 2023

Un ethical hacker, often called pentester, is a talented and passionate programmer. He has a unique ability to understand a system or program in depth and identify its vulnerabilities.

He is an expert with an exceptional ability to resolve problems often considered insoluble.

For become an ethical hacker, several key skills are essential to master:

Master web browsing

Search engine

First of all, it is essential to know how to search on the internet. This means learning how to effectively search the internet for information and programs you need.

At a minimum, know use a search engine is essential. It's also important to avoid wasting time on sources that seem dubious.

Read and understand English

Then, it is important tohave a good level of English. The majority of resources and articles relating to ethical hacking are in English. This skill will keep you up to date and informed about the latest threats and best practices.

For example, you will be able to read the latest research on cybersecurity, follow international conferences and participate in discussions on social networks.

To improve your English level, you can take courses, read articles and books in English, and watch videos in English.

Understanding Computer Hardware

Computer equipment

In addition to mastery of English, solid understanding of computer hardware is essential. This involves more than just identifying the main components of your PC.

Indeed, for an ethical hacker, it is often necessary to go beyond. You should not only be able to replace common parts like a hard drive, but also understand the role and operation of each component, from motherboards to processors, RAM, graphics cards, PCIe interfaces and USB ports.

This skill will allow you tooptimize the performance of your machine, detect possible hardware vulnerabilities and adapt your equipment according to the specific needs of your missions.

Getting started with programming

Ethical Hacker Programming

Tackle programming can seem intimidating at first. However, after a few hours of effort, you may feel increasing enthusiasm. Start with HTML for its simplicity, then progress to languages ​​such as C, Perl, Java and C++.

  • HTML & CSS : These markup and formatting languages ​​are often the first ones encountered. They are at the heart of website creation. HTML structures the content, while CSS formats it. Although they are not "programming languages" per se, they provide an accessible introduction to logic and structuring code.
  • C : It is an imperative programming language designed for system development such as operating systems or compilers. His mastery provides a deep understanding of how software interacts with hardware.
  • Perl : Perl is particularly well-known for word processing, system administration, and is often used for automation tasks. Its advantage lies in its flexibility, but it requires a certain rigor to avoid common pitfalls.
  • Java : It is an object-oriented language, known for its portability. Java is widely used in enterprise application development, mobile applications (Android), and embedded systems.
  • C++ : Evolution of the C language, C++ includes object-oriented programming features. It is commonly used in the development of video games, high-performance software, and even in financial systems.

Learn cryptography


An essential point for an ethical hacker is the study of security and encryption. An ethical hacker spends much of his time working on computers and networks, placing paramount importance on protecting his data.

Cryptography is the study of techniques for securing communication in the presence of malicious third parties. It encompasses both encryption, which transforms information into a code that cannot be deciphered without the appropriate key, and decryption, which reconstructs the original information from the code.

To learn about cryptography, educational games, such as specialized crosswords, can be a good introduction.

Understand the basics of computer network protocols

Having good knowledge of computer networking is as essential as mastering a computer.

That implies :

  • Understand the fundamentals of network structure.
  • Know the different types of protocols and their functions.
  • Know how to differentiate between network topologies: bus, star, ring, etc.
  • Have skills in cabling design, including selection of cable type (Ethernet, fiber optic) and connectivity standards.

Become familiar with an open source Unix system

Kali Linux

use a Linux distribution becomes essential for any ethical hacker. This is because these systems are more secure than Windows or macOS operating systems, and they offer a wider range of tools and resources for penetration testing.

Although the first steps may be difficult, don't give up. The command line syntax can be confusing at first, and configuring some tools can be complex. However, with time and patience, you will be able to achieve feats with operating systems such as Kali Linux.

Here are some examples of the skills you can learn in Linux:

  • Knowledge of the command line
  • Systems administration
  • Audit of IT systems.
  • Identification and exploitation of software vulnerabilities.
  • Server management and administration.


In conclusion, become an ethical hacker requires a lot of skill. This ranges from knowing how to search for information on the internet to understanding computers and networks, including learning to code. English is also important because a lot of information on this subject is in this language.

Additionally, knowing Linux, a type of operating system, is essential.

In short, to succeed in this field, you must learn continuously and be passionate about IT security.

EL JAOUARI is an author and trainer. Passionate about IT security and new technologies. His tutorials have helped many people to better master today's computer tools.