Ethical hackers require the ability to swiftly adapt and learn new programming languages in order to remain ahead of the curve. But which languages are most suited for use in ethical hacking? Ethical hackers employ various programming languages, but this essay will focus on the three most popular ones. In addition, we’ll include some materials to get you started in each language.
Various programming languages exist, each with its own unique syntax and semantics. There are specialized languages (like SQL for databases) and general-purpose languages (like Python) for writing computer programs (such as C or Python).
There are primarily three categories of computer programming languages, and they are:
Machine code It’s machine-readable code that can be directly executed. Typically, it will only work on a single processor or computer architecture.
Assembly code This is machine- or architecture-specific code at the lowest possible degree of abstraction. The mnemonic format makes it more accessible to human readers and writers.
High-level languages These are less specific to a computer’s architecture and are more abstract than machine code or assembly. This facilitates their portability and makes them simpler to compose and read.
Why Are Programming Skills Required for Hackers?
In order to do ethical hacking, hackers need to be able to automate operations, build their own tools to test systems for vulnerabilities, and comprehend how these systems function. Without these abilities, hackers would be stuck with the tools.
Additionally, programming languages provide a universal language that may be used for communication amongst white hat hackers. Ethical hackers may remain ahead of the curve by learning a few common languages and using them to communicate with one another.
Learning some basic programming languages is a fantastic starting point for anybody interested in becoming an ethical hacker or for those who currently are one and want to keep ahead of the curve.
The Best Computer Languages for Hackers
Your skill level, the kind of hacking you want to do, and the platform you intend to use all play a role in determining the optimal language for your needs.
However, certain languages are more popular among ethical hackers than others. This article briefly summarizes five of the most used hacking languages.
C and C++
Ethical hackers tend to choose C and C++ as programming languages. Both are potent languages with the potential to be employed in developing various malicious programs.
Low-level languages, such as C (ISO standard, Wikipedia), are more akin to machine code than high-level languages like Python. As a result, C is an excellent option for creating system-level software such as operating systems and network drivers. Also, learning Python should be a breeze if you know how to use another programming language.
You may learn more about C++ on its official website or in the articles found on Wikipedia. It was created so programmers may use object-oriented programming concepts like classes and inheritance. C++ is difficult to learn, yet it may be utilized to create efficient programs.
Therefore, C and C++ are must-know languages for every self-respecting hacker. They will teach you the ins and outs of computer systems and offer you a firm grounding to develop your customized hacking tools.
According to Wikipedia, assembly is a low-level programming language used to create programs for certain computer processors. Any computer with a corresponding processor may execute programs written in assembly language since the code is compiled into machine language.
However, writing code that can execute on several processors is challenging because each CPU has its unique assembly language.
Learning Assembly may be challenging, but the benefits are substantial. Common uses for it include low-level system software, reverse engineering tools, and exploits.
A popular choice among hackers is the high-level programming language Python (official site, Wikipedia, SitePoint). It’s simple to pick up and use for jobs like network analysis, online scraping, and data processing, and it comes with a rich collection of libraries.
Python is also a strong option for developing automated tools. If you want, for instance, a script to automatically sign you into a website and complete a form, that’s quite doable.
Python, unlike C or Assembly, is portable, meaning that code written in one environment may be executed in another without requiring a recompile. Python is, therefore, an excellent option for creating cross-platform solutions.
In summary, Python is a flexible language that can be used for various purposes, making it an excellent option for ethical hackers just getting started.
Unix shells like Bash (official site, Wikipedia) are an interface for launching other applications. Bash is popular because it can be used as a command-line interpreter (CLI) to carry out user-entered instructions.
Like Windows’ PowerShell, Bash is a scripting language that can run standalone applications and other Bash scripts.
It also has a scripting language that may be used to create programs with built-in features like conditionals and loops. Such scripts may be used to automate the process of doing things like deploying a web app or establishing a local development environment.
Bash is a strong option for building cross-platform utilities because of its availability on all Unix-based platforms (including Linux and macOS). It is also quite accessible, making it a staple in the arsenal of many ethical hackers.
Structured Query Language (SQL) is a world-quality database query language used to retrieve and modify information from a database. It is possible to use SQL to modify a database by adding or removing records. As a bonus, it can also be used to do database queries, which comes in handy for data analysis.
You probably wouldn’t think of SQL as a language for hacking, yet it can be used to launch assaults on websites and mobile apps. For instance, when an application accesses data from a database, it may be vulnerable to SQL injection, allowing an attacker to inject malicious code into the database.
Ethical hacking activities like verifying the security and performance of a database may also be performed with SQL’s help. An ethical hacker, for example, may use SQL to create many queries to a database to evaluate its performance under pressure.
Since SQL is both strong and easier to learn than many other languages on this list, so it is a must-have skill for every ethical hacker.
Favorite Language for Novice Developers
If you’ve gotten this far, you already know that Python is the ideal language to learn for ethical hacking.
- In other words, it’s a very flexible scripting language.
- The security industry relies heavily on it.
- A beginner may pick it up quickly.
- It offers a variety of libraries and tools that may be put to use for protecting sensitive information.
Python is an excellent language for beginners to ethical hacking. Among white-hat hackers, it is the language of choice; thus, learning it will set you up well for further study.
In order to go closer to the metal and grasp how systems function in the background, you will likely study C and C++ as your hacking skills progress. You may decide to learn Assembly language in order to get down to the nitty-gritty of things.
Naturally, as your career in ethical hacking develops, you will need to acquire fluency in a variety of languages in order to carry out the many duties you will be tasked with.