I’m interested in learning the ropes and being an “ethical” or “white hat” hacker. Does anyone know where I can get started?
ethical or white-hat hacking is a figure of speech
It's the same illegal activity and methods like any other hacker is doing and using.
The only thing making it ethical or white-hat hacking is the cause they are hacking for or the company backing them up.
Even if you did do the exact same thing as some government employed hacker you would be charged according to your actions and the law while the other guy receives a paycheck.
I think you are from India, I am sure you know who is Ankit fadia, a lot of people say, that these courses are just collections of Googled tricks. but it also can be useful if you ask me.
read this :
learning yourself is the best option, it will require a lot of work, and will give you results also.
because i am not aware of any case when someone joined a course, and became a great hacker or got a job,
it does not mean that it is not possible, but it's just that Iam not aware if something like this exist, and also i don't know the quality of two courses i mentioned here.
Also think about why do you want to be a hacker, to earn, for your hobby or for your nation.
all these options are really different.
jeff is right, hack to learn.
you can learn hacking, there is nothing like learning ethical hacking.
both soldiers and terrorists learn to use guns.
it is up to you which hat do you want to wear, black or white.
Yes. You typically won't find a course labelled "how to hack", rather you will need to learn individual subjects to accumulate the knowledge of a hacker. I personally endorse VTC's Ethical Hacking & Penetration Testing tutorial. In order to really be a hacker, you need to do a few things though. Firstly, learn a programming language or two (the more you know, the better). If you're wondering which one to learn, read James Bruce's article Which Programming Language Should You Learn For Software Development?. If you don't have any background in programming, Python is a good start.
You must understand networks and security to break into them (ethically or not) so this seems like a good place to start. Get familiar with Linux and Unix, be comfortable with using it as a primary operating system. You may find the most popular distributions at distrowatch. Burn a few to a disk and start learning them.
Ryan Dube published an article, Top 5 Websites To Learn How To Hack Like A Pro. I do not acknowledge these as good learning resources, however they do play a crucial role in answer some starting questions (don't be afraid to search). He left out a good skiddie website, that is hackforums. Most users who browse these forums identify themselves as hackers, but aren't. Using someone else's program to hack for you doesn't make you a hacker, children can do that. That's where learning to program will make you much more notorious or prestigious (depending on which side you are really on)
In short, don't "learn to hack". Rather, "hack to learn". Push your system (and yourself) to the limits, see how it works. Here are some good resources to get you started.
5 Excellent Downloadable eBooks To Teach Yourself Linux
How To Become A Hacker by Eric Steven Raymond
Professor Messer (Networking, Nmap, A+ and Security+ Training for free)
thanks for covering it all!
My pleasure, Aibek!
Once you have the basics down, you can shoot for the tough material at sans.org. A course list is available here: http://www.sans.org/security-training/network-penetration-testing-ethical-hacking-937-mid