Ethical hacking is the art of lawfully breaching corporate networks to find possible flaws that hackers could exploit to establish an entry point in a network. The purpose of these ethical hacking efforts is to discover any vulnerability before falling into the hands of malicious attackers and patching them before any attack can take place. For this reason, ethical hackers use a diverse range of hacking programs and programming languages.
Why is Programming Important for Hackers?
Before understanding the best programming languages for hacking, you must walk through the importance of programming in hacking.
- Imperative to Know Coding:
Hacking involves breaking protocols and exploiting a network; thus, being a hacker requires you to understand the languages of the software that you are focusing on. Having zero coding knowledge will limit your opportunities in the future. Hence, it is imperative to have a knack for programming.
- Analyze Code:
Knowing programming will help you dissect and analyze a piece of code. You can also write your scripts and be able to modify the available scripts if the situation asks. At such times, having nil knowledge of programming knowledge will be a hindrance. Programs also help you automate multiple tasks, which would typically be time-consuming.
- Helps in Penetrating Target Fields:
Codes enable you to penetrate different fields you want to hack. It will help you identify the plan and strategy behind an attack. Programming allows you to comprehend the working of the target system or application before carrying out an exploit.
Best Programming Languages for Start Hacking
Let us see what programming language hackers use and see the best hacking language if one decides to go in the ethical hacking way.
Python, the de facto hacking programming language, is heralded as the greatest hacking programming language, and with good reason. This complex programming language is also used by ethical hackers for scripting their on-demand hacking programs on the go. Python lets us do almost anything if used the right way, from checking the credibility of corporate servers to automating most of the hacking programs.
Why Python is Popular-
- Exploit Writing: Python is a general-purpose programming language and used extensively for exploit writing in the field of hacking. It plays a vital role in writing hacking scripts, exploits, and malicious programs.
- Availability of Ready-Made Modules: An outstanding feature that makes hacking easy with Python is the availability of ready-made modules. Several modules are available depending on the target, for example, OS modules, socket modules, and a lot more. You also use Python socket programming for discovering vulnerabilities in a system.
- Massive Community: Python has an enormous community that helps with third-party plugins daily. Since Python is an easy-to-read language with a simple syntax, it is helpful for beginners. You can easily write automation scripts using Python, and it makes prototyping much faster.
- The interpreted design of Python allows it to run without compilation being required.
- An easy-to-read language that is useful for ethical hackers to start with.
- Has a wide group that every day wields valuable 3rd-party plugins/library.
- One of the best programming languages for web server hacking.
- Writing scripts for automation makes it reasonably simple.
- Python helps to identify the target network easily and makes prototyping a lot easier.
PHP is an acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor, a dynamic programming language based on modern CMSs such as WordPress and Drupal. Since most of the internet’s personal websites are based on these CMSs, PHP’s in-depth understanding is a must to compromise those networks. So, if the specialty is web hacking, then one must improve his PHP skills.
Why PHP is Popular-
- Web Hacking Techniques: Hypertext Preprocessor or PHP is a server-side programming language used to build websites. Understanding PHP will help hackers understand web hacking techniques better.
- Server-Side Scripting: PHP is used in server-side scripting. Using PHP, you can write a custom application that alters a web server and makes the target server susceptible to attacks.
- Application in Web Domains: PHP is one of the most powerful server-side languages used in most web domains. Learning PHP helps you fight against malicious attackers. Popular Content Management Systems run on a foundation of PHP; hence, PHP helps you protect or compromise websites.
SQL stands for Structured Query Language for ethical hackers and is one of the most common hacking programming languages. To query and fetch information from databases, this programming language is used. Since most web-based software stores useful information in some database, SQL is the best programming language for breaking into corporate databases, such as user credentials. Any ethical hacker would not be able to combat database attacks without a full understanding of SQL
Why SQL is Popular-
- Database Interaction: Next on this list of the best programming languages for hacking is SQL. Having an in-depth knowledge of SQL enables you to comprehend a database’s structure, thereby helping you decide which scripts or tools to deploy.
- Hacking Databases: SQL is used for web hacking; it is undoubtedly the best programming language for hacking large databases. Counteracting a database attack is close to impossible without a good understanding of SQL.
- SQL Injection: Using SQL, hackers can perform SQL injection attacks. Hackers use SQL to develop various hacking programs based on SQL injection. SQL injection attacks help hackers view and modify confidential information from databases.
- Black hat hackers use this language to build SQL injection-based hacking programs.
- To acquire unhashed passwords, SQL is also used by hackers to run unauthorized queries.
- MySQL, MS SQL, and PostgreSQL provide common SQL databases.
5. C Programming
It is no wonder that C, the holy grail of modern programming languages, is still commonly used in the security industry. When it comes to accessing low-level hardware components such as RAM, the low-level nature of C offers an advantage over other languages used for hacking programming. When they need to exploit machine hardware and resources at a lower level, security professionals often use this language. C also gives the ability for penetration testers to write blazing fast programming scripts for sockets.
Why C is Popular-
- Exploit Writing and Development: C, the mother of all programming languages, is used massively in the security field; it helps with exploiting writing and development. The low-level nature of C proves better than compared to other programming languages used for hacking.
- Access Hardware: Hackers use C programming to access and manipulate system resources and hardware components such as the RAM. Security professionals mostly use C when they are required to manipulate system resources and hardware. C also helps penetration testers write programming scripts. Learning C will also help hackers get an overview of the structure of operating systems.
- Create Shellcodes: C is also used to create shellcodes, rootkits, exploits, build undetectable malware, keyloggers, and more. Sometimes, it is also advisable to learn both C and C++ as they both come in handy for hackers.
- C is a fast programming language at a low level.
- Most modern systems are designed using C, like Windows and Unix, so mastery of this language is necessary to understand these systems fully.
- After breaching a system, C is also used to obtain low-level access to memory and system processes.
- To simulate the library’s high-jacking attack, veteran security professionals also use C.
One of the best programming languages for hacking multi-purpose corporate systems, Ruby is syntactically very similar to Python. Although both languages are great at automating common hacking programs, Ruby is much more web-focused. Ruby is arguably one of the best programming languages for hacking due to the superior flexibility it offers while writing exploits. This is why Metasploit, the most infamous penetration testing framework, chose Ruby as its base language.
Why Ruby is Popular-
- Several hackers have used Ruby to exploit corporate systems. Ruby is often used to write either small or large scripts and is used interchangeably with Bash scripting.
- If someone wants to master the art of writing efficient exploits, Ruby is important.
- This language borrows many of Smalltalk’s syntactic elements and is an excellent choice for writing programs for quick hacking.
- Having breached a network, Ruby is also used by veteran hackers to write CGI scripts.
- With the Rails framework, several next-generation web applications are created, making Ruby the best choice for breaking them.
Java is now the industry’s most commonly used programming language. It drives several “legacy” and new web servers, such as Apache Tomcat and Spring MVC. Also, Java code now runs on more than 3 billion mobile devices with the launch of Android. So, this language, despite what many may assume, is still important. Java is the language if you’re looking for the best programming language for hacking into mobile devices.
Why Java is Popular-
- Much like C++, Java is also commonly used to reverse engineer paid applications by hackers.
- Professional penetration testers use it extensively to curate scalable servers for delivering payloads.
- For professional ethical hackers, Java makes it possible to build state-of-the-art hacking programs.
- Java is dynamic, contrary to C++. This means you can run them on any platform that supports Java once you write your hacking programs with Java.
- The development of hacking programs for the Android framework is integral to a deeper understanding of Java.
It is a complicated low-level programming language that is used for hacking primitive systems. Assembly language helps a hacker manipulate systems straight up at the architectural level. It is also the most appropriate coding language to build malware like viruses and trojans. Assembly is also the go-to choice if you want to reverse engineer a piece of software that has already been compiled.
Why Assembly is Popular-
- Assembly language provides the ability for hackers to exploit devices at the architectural level explicitly.
- You can easily alter the processor accesses and execute instructions with Assembly for compromised systems.
- To create computer viruses and other malware, this is the de-facto language.
- With Assembly, you can easily create complex hacking programs that exploit disrupted services.
- Assembly, while difficult to learn, is the best language for time-critical work.
Perl codebases still occupy a significant portion of corporate tools, despite what you might think. While this language of hacking programming has long lost its appeal, Perl is still used by many old systems. This is still one of the best programming languages for hacking into such old computers, as it was the go-to solution for creating legacy Unix applications. A polyglot hacker would use Perl to craft various parts of its hacking programs, from building exploits to building payloads and backdoors.
Why perl is Popular –
- Perl still holds value in the hacker community for exploit writing. It is a great language that can help you manipulate Linux text files and create tools and exploits.
- Perl is still the best language available on Unix systems for manipulating text files.
- With this language, the extensible nature of Perl enables hackers to create a wide range of hacking programs.
- Perl is bundled with the most popular systems, enabling many systems to run Perl scripts.
- It also comes integrated with common web databases, so it can be effortless to break those stores by mastering Perl.
The HyperText Markup Language – HTML is the standard markup language used to create web pages. HTML also finds its use in developing hybrid mobile and desktop apps. HTML is considered an easy language to learn. Hence, it is While not quite a full-fledged programming language, if an ethical hacker wants to master hacking programming, proficiency in Bash is a must. In most Unix systems, Bash is the default command shell, and every major server is built on top of Unix. So, after he has obtained access to a network by using a mix of hacking programs, modifying the device itself is handy for Bash. It can be thought of as the latest hacking programs’ Swiss army knife and is a must for security enthusiasts.
Why Bash is Popular-
- Bash helps to automate the bulk of the hacking programs that are used to infiltrate a network.
- If someone is looking to build highly complex scripts that require the filesystem and directory tree to be changed, then Bash is the best option for scripting.
- To use hacking programs like NMAP, Armitage, and Metasploit properly, a deep understanding of this command shell is necessary.
- Complex shell scripts allow penetration and manipulation of hard-to-break systems by being able to write and understand them.