Table of Contents

What is Ethical Hacking?

Ethical hacking can be defined as the authorized attempt to gain unauthorized access to a system, data, or computer. Ethical hackers also called ‘white hats’, are security experts who help to improve any organization’s security posture. This is one of the fastest growing fields of Cyber Security which offers plenty of employment opportunities. This article is specially designed for those who prepare for the Ethical Hacking job interview.

Top 27 Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers

Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers

This article consists of the top 27 frequently asked questions and answers, in interviews. 

 Let us have a look at the most frequently asked questions in Ethical Hacking job interviews.

Generally, Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and answers can be divided into three levels.

  • Basic level Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and answers
  • Intermediate level Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers
  • Advanced level Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers

Top 27 Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers
Anonymous hacker writing code with virtual keyboard in server room.

Basic level Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers

1. What is Ethical Hacking?

 Ethical hacking is the authorized attempt to gain unauthorized access to a system, data, or computer. Ethical hackers also called ‘white hats’, are security experts who help to improve any organization’s security posture. This is one of the fastest growing fields of Cyber Security which offers plenty of employment opportunities.

 2. List out the main advantages and disadvantages of ethical hacking.

Monitor security attacks
Creates massive security issues
 It can be used to plug the bugs and loopholes
Violates privacy regulations
 Prevents data theft and malicious attacks
Gets unauthorized system access
Steals private information

3. What are the different types of hackers?

There are mainly three types of hackers: They are

  • White Hat Hackers (Ethical Hackers): These hackers hack systems and networks legally to assess potential vulnerabilities or threats. They do all these with permission. 
  • Black Hat hackers:  They hack systems illegally to gain unauthorized access and cause disrupt operations. They also break data privacy.
  •  Grey Box Hackers: They assess the security weakness of a computer system or network without the owner’s permission but they inform the owner after the process.

Apart from these three types, there are other types of miscellaneous hackers.

4. Mention the differences between Ethical hacking and cyber security?

Ethical Hacking is operated by Ethical Hackers to assess the systems and provide a report based on the conclusions made during the hack. Cyber Security experts manage cyber security and defend the system from malicious attacks responsibly.

5. What do you know about Network security?

A set of rules and configurations formed to protect the confidentiality, accessibility, and integrity of computer networks with the help of software and hardware technologies is called network security. Virtual Private Networks(VPNs), Antivirus software, Firewall protection, and network access control are the main four types of network security.

 6. Define Asymmetric Encryption and Symmetric Encryption and their main differences.

Asymmetric EncryptionSymmetric Encryption
Asymmetric encryption makes use of different keys for encryption and decryption.Symmetric encryption makes use of the same key for both encryption and decryption.
More secure but slow. Prefers a hybrid approach.Symmetric is usually faster. But the key is to be moved over an unencrypted channel.

7. What is ARP poisoning? How can you avoid it?

It is a kind of network attack and it can be resolved through the following techniques:

1.  Keep away from trust relationships: Organizations have to develop a protocol and they have to take care not to depend on trust relationships.

2.   Use ARP spoofing software: There are some programs specially assigned to assess and accredit information before it is transmitted and they block any spoofed information.

3. Use Packet filtering: Packet filters can filter out & block packets with clashing source address data.

8. What does an ethical hacker do?

An ethical hacker is a master in networking. Using their knowledge they secure the organization’s technology. An ethical hacker also reports the vulnerabilities of an organization and helps to improve. 

9. What do the terms Cowpatty and Python mean?

Developed and implemented by Joshua Wright, Cowpatty is a tool that automates offline dictionary attacks that WPA-PSK networks are vulnerable to. It is a C-based tool and very easy to use. Python is the most common high-level programming language used by hackers. It is an open-source language that contains an extensive library of the materials used by the previous hackers.

Intermediate level Ethical Hacking Questions and Answers

10. What do you know about footprinting in Ethical Hacking? Mention a few footprinting techniques used in Ethical Hacking.

The collection and revealing of much information about the target network before gaining access to any network is termed footprinting. Mainly, there are two footprinting techniques used in Ethical Hacking.

Open Source Footprinting: In this kind of footprinting, hackers will search for the contact data of administrators, and such data will be used to guess the passwords in Social Engineering Network Enumeration: The hacker tries to differentiate network blocks and the domain names of the target network Scanning: After the network is known, the second step is to spy the active IP addresses on the network. (ICMP) Internet Control Message Protocol is a functioning IP address to distinguish active I P addresses.

Stack Fingerprinting: After the hosts and port have been mapped by examining the network, the final stage of the footprinting step stack fingerprinting is performed.

11. What is a firewall?

A firewall is a device that allows/prevents traffic on a predetermined set of rules. This is placed on the imaginary limit, made by the trusted and untrusted networks. 

12. What is data leakage? How will you detect and prevent it?

Data sent in emails, chat rooms, API calls, etc might be exposed to the public in an unauthorized manner. It can happen through emails, screenshots, removable drives, pictures, etc. It might not be the fault of a hacker. but an employee’s mistake. Limit the

data to an interior network, laying restrictions while printing confidential data are some of the ways to prevent data leakage.

13. What are the different stages in Ethical Hacking? Explain each stage.

  • Surveillance: This is the first stage in the whole process of Ethical Hacking. In this stage, the hacker tries to collect data about the target.
  •  Scanning: In this stage, the hacker exploits the data collected in the Surveillance stage and uses it to inspect the casualty. The hacker can use computerized devices during the scanning stage which can incorporate port scanners, mappers, and vulnerability scanners.
  •   Getting access: The real hacking happens in this stage. The hacker attempts to exploit data found during both the first and the second stages to get access.
  • Access Maintenance: Once the hacker gains access, they keep it for future exploitation and make a physical attack by securing their exclusive access with backdoors, rootkits, and Trojans.
  • Covering tracks: Once hackers gain complete control over the access, they cover their tracks from getting detected. This enables them to proceed with the utilization of the hacked framework. This stage also helps to keep them away from legitimate activities.

14. What are the tools commonly used for hacking?

  • NMAP – Network plotter. 
  • Metasploit 
  • Burp Suit 
  • Angry IP Scanner 
  • Cain & Abel 
  • Ettercap 

15. What is an IDS?

An intrusion detection system is a software application or device that monitors a network to detect malicious activities or violations of policies. This system reports and collects the detected malicious activity or violation with the help of a security information and event management system. An IDS that can respond to intrusions when it is detected is called an intrusion prevention system (IPS).

16. What is network traffic monitoring and analysis?

Network traffic monitoring and analysis is a tool used by Network Security Administrators to detect issues that can affect functionality, accessibility, and network traffic security in connected devices.

17. What is sniffing? Explain its types in Ethical Hacking.

Sniffing is a method used in Ethical Hacking to monitor all the data packets that pass through a particular network. Sniffers oversee and troubleshoot network traffic. Usually, Network/System Administrators are responsible for this role. They can be installed in the system in the form of software or hardware.

However, attackers can misuse sniffers to access data packets that contain sensitive information, like account information, passwords, etc. Packet sniffers on a network help a malicious hacker to hack and access all of the network traffic.

There are two types of sniffing- Active and passive sniffing.

·       Active sniffing: Sniffing in the switch is called active sniffing. It is a point-to-point network device and it is responsible for the regulation of the data flow between its ports. Sniffers have to inject traffic into the LAN to activate the sniffing of the traffic between targets. ·      

        Passive sniffing: Passive sniffing is when sniffing is done through the hub. Sniffers set up by the attackers passively wait for the data to capture them when they are sent. The traffic that goes through the unbridged network is transparent to all machines in that segment. Here, sniffers work at the network’s data link layer. 

18. What is CIA Triad?

CIA Triad is a common information security model. The CIA in CIA Triad stands for  Confidentiality,  Integrity, and Availability. This forms the basis for the development of security systems and is used to find vulnerabilities and methods to solve problems.

 Advanced level Ethical Hacking Questions and Answers

19. Explain in your own words, how you can protect your website from getting hacked.

The following methods will help you to protect your website from being hacked.

  • Use Firewall protection
  • Update the website regularly.
  • Set harder passwords and use password encryption
  • Redirect traffic from HTTP to HTTPS
  • Set limited access to your site
  • Back up files regularly.
  • Take extra care while uploading and downloading files.

20. Which programming language is used in ethical hacking?

Python is most commonly used. C/C++, Javascript, Perl, and LISP are also used.

21. What is SSL?

Secure Socket Layer(SSL) is a security protocol that provides privacy, integrity, and authentication to communication over the internet. It is now known as Transport Layer Security. (TLS).

22. Differentiate Between a MAC and an IP Address.

To put it simply, the MAC(Machine Access Control) address identifies a device on the available network. This address can be a personal mailbox on the net.  The IP address identifies the connection of a network.

23. What is meant by spoofing attack?

A spoofing attack is when someone or something pretends to be something else in order to get access to our systems, steal data, spread malware, gain our confidence, or steal money. Spoofing is commonly done in the name of a big, trusted organization in the form of emails. 

 24.  What are the different types of spoofing?

  • Email spoofing
  • Facial spoofing  
  • Caller ID spoofing
  • GPS spoofing
  • Text message spoofing
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks
  • Extension spoofing
  • IP spoofing
  • Website spoofing

25. What is a (DOS) attack?

A denial of Service Attack is an attack to shut down a machine or network, making it inaccessible to its intended users. This is done in so many ways like by flooding the target with traffic or sending it information that triggers a crash. Employees, members, or account holders of the organization face trouble accessing targeted sites after this.

26. What is SQL injection and its types?

In SQL injection, a malicious hacker injects SQL queries to gain unauthorized access and execute administration operations on the database. Error-based SQL injection, Blind SQL injection, and Time-based SQL injection are various types of SQL injection.

27. What are active and passive reconnaissance?

In active reconnaissance, the hacker conducts a port scan to find any open ports in the target system. Passive reconnaissance is gaining information about targeted computers and networks without interacting with the systems.


It is desirable to do a course in Ethical Hacking before going for an interview. There are Ethical Hacking courses available online. The Certification Course provided by Henry Harvin in Ethical Hacking helps the candidates learn the techniques of Ethical Hacking such as Vulnerability Analysis, Enumeration, SQL injection, Sniffing, Network packet analysis, and Penetration testing.

It is a 100% placement-assisted course. with a money-back guarantee. In addition to this, one year of gold membership in the Cyber Security Academy is also included with the course.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where do ethical hackers work?

There are several industries that commonly employ ethical hackers. Some of them are Software companies, Hardware companies, Government agencies, Financial institutions, and Law firms.

2. What skills does an ethical hacker need?

An Ethical Hacker needs essential skills in Software programming, Problem-solving, Network Design, Communication, Research, and Mathematics.

3. What are the requirements for becoming an ethical hacker?
Ethical hackers often complete undergraduate degrees in computer science, math, or other related areas.
There are certifications that ethical hackers may complete to demonstrate their skills. These include Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI). The EC-Council is the certifying institution for both of these certifications.
Ethical hackers often complete extensive on-the-job training with other professionals. This training may include software development, hacking, and security classes. Some employers may require that ethical hackers complete this type of training before working full-time for their organization.

4. What’s the salary and job outlook for an ethical hacker?

The average salary for penetration testers, which is another name for ethical hackers, is $ 112,022 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there may be 33% increase in job growth for information security analysts by 2030. Ethical hackers are a type of information security analyst.

5. Is there any limitation of ethical hacking?

The ethical hacker could turn unscrupulous and use the information they gain to execute malicious hacking activities. Since hacker has access to an organization or individual’s financial and business-critical information.


  1. Anjali Sharma Reply

    What qualifications do you need to pursue the Ethical Hacking course?

    • Ranjana Koodalloor Reply

      A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in computer science, information technology, or data security can be pursued after high school by those who want to work as ethical hackers. A variety of ethical hacking credentials and certification programs are also offered by online platforms.

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