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Best Programming Languages for Ethical Hackers

by Felix Omondi

The word hacker often has a negative connotation. It is not a badge you will openly wear around, and people around you be seated comfortably near you. The first thing that comes into most people’s minds is that hackers will steal their identity, spy on their confidential information, or wipe their accounts clean. That is why, as a hacker, you need to define whether you are an ethical hacker or a black-hat hacker.

In a nutshell, ethical hackers are the good guys, while black-hack hackers are the bad guys. With that now out of the way, if you are interested in becoming an ethical hacker, below is a list of must-learn programming languages for hackers:

SQL

Structured Query Language (SQL) is among the most important hacking programming languages in the world. That is because most hackers are interested in getting their hands into individuals, businesses, and company’s data. And most online-based services keep private information such as users’ credentials and records in some form of a database. No hacker worth their salt can claim to be an ethical hacker without mastering the SQL programming language.

Python

Python is the default language for any hacker. It is popularly used for scripting on-demand hacking programs and is the hacker’s go-to-tool for infiltrating any server and automating certain functions.

JavaScript

node.JS is the mother of all hacking languages and a must-have skill for any would-be white hat hacker. node.JS is essential an essential skill for infiltrating web apps. JavaScript can be used to write cross-site scripts to manipulate both front-end and back-end components of a website. JavaScript is one of the greatest hacking tools out there.

C Language

C programming can be said to be the holy grail of modern world programming. Although it is still a low-level programming language used to create low-level programs, it nonetheless plays a critical role. For instance, hackers use it in compromising low-level hardware such as the RAM. From here, they can go as far as compromising the entire system hardware and other components. Armed with C Language programming skills, a hacker can write blazing fast sockets programming scripts.

C++ Language

C++ is the go-to programming language if you are looking to hack corporate proprietary licensed software. These are programs that often need paid-activation to work. A hacker armed with C++ can do some reverse engineering and by-pass all the activation schemes. C++ allows the hacker to analyze the machine code and end up cracking the enterprise software. They can also build their proprietary hacking programs from scratch using the C++ language.

PHP Language

PHP is a dynamic programming language that powers some of the most popular modern Content Management System (CMS), like WordPress and Drupal. So, if you are looking to hack your way through most modern-day personal websites, then mastery of the PHP language is a must. It is important to point out that most of the personal websites you interact with are built using the PHP language. The majority of the websites you will interact with nowadays are built on CMS, i.e., WordPress and sometimes Drupal.

Ruby Programming Language

If you are targeting corporate systems, Ruby is another must-have programming language. It syntactically resembles Python as a programming language. Though both programming languages can hack corporate systems, Ruby is more fine-tuned towards hacking corporate web applications. 

Assembly

If you are targeting primitive systems, then Assembly is the programming language you want to master. Although it is one of the most difficult programming languages to learn, it is the most suitable language for developing fast and effective hacking programs once you have mastered it. It has proven to be quite powerful in manipulating low-level system processes. For instance, hackers use it to build malware like viruses and Trojans. Those who persevere the steep learning curve get rewarded for it with immense programming skills.

Wrapping up

Although the word ‘hacker’ often comes with negative connotations. Teaching yourself some of the programming languages mentioned above could go a long way in enabling you to keep black-hat hackers at bay. Think of it along the lines of ‘setting a thief out to catch a thief.’ You intentionally hack a system to unearth a system’s weak points. After this, you develop security patches and updates that will prevent black-hat hackers from exploiting such vulnerabilities.

Photo by David Rangel on Unsplash


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