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While there are quite a few different types of ethical hacker courses a person can take, most of these classes fall into one of several basic categories. Penetration testing is one of the most common and potentially important courses a person interested in ethical hacking should take. There are also typically classes in reverse engineering of software, especially malicious software such as viruses, Trojans, and other malware. Some ethical hacker courses are also applicable to other types of careers, such as forensics classes that teach students about finding and constructing metadata from various types of computer files.
Ethical hacker courses are classes offered by a number of different programs and schools that teach students how to hack into computer systems and networks in a way that is responsible and applicable to beneficial hacking by “white hat” hackers. One of the most common courses found in these kinds of programs are classes in penetration testing. This is a process by which someone looks for weaknesses in a computer system or network and then launches a simulated attack against that system to exploit those weaknesses. Ethical hacker courses in penetration testing are vital for future ethical hackers to learn about how to conduct this type of testing and what information is most useful to a client.
There are also a number of schools and programs that offer ethical hacker courses in reverse engineering of software. This is typically used to look at the source code for a program and see how it functions. Ethical hackers often use reverse engineering to learn about the function of malicious software, such as viruses, Trojans, and spyware. The techniques learned in these ethical hacker courses allow someone to determine how a piece of malware functions and create a solution that counteracts that malware through detection, elimination, and prevention.
Some ethical hacker courses also cross over into other areas of computer security and the information technology (IT) industry. Computer forensics, for example, is often taught to future ethical hackers and is used in other professions such as forensics for law enforcement. These courses teach ethical hackers to look at different types of metadata, which is information provided with the primary information in a computer file, to determine the source of a file or other knowledge. Ethical hacker courses in forensics can teach hackers to look at metadata more productively and find ways to trace threats or attacks on systems back to their originator.
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