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With technological advancements, the IT industry is growing at a rapid rate. Companies continue to generate a huge amount of data every day, leading to the increased requirement of professionals who could ensure the safety and security of this data. Over time, cybersecurity has brought lucrative career opportunities for skilled enthusiasts, the most lucrative one being ethical hacking. If you have a keen interest in making your career as an ethical hacker, here is everything that you need to know.
What is ethical hacking?
Ethical hacking is the act of legally intruding into a system or network to detect its weaknesses and vulnerabilities. The practice helps the organisations to make sure that before a malicious hacker enters and exploits their network, the vulnerabilities are detected and dealt with. Ethical hacking is basically testing the network and understanding the scope for improvement in it. Ethical hackers may or may not use the exact same techniques, tools, and measures used by attackers. What differentiates them is that they have a permit from respective authorities that allows them to enter the network, scan, detect, and report all the vulnerabilities so that the organisation could strengthen their security measures.
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Why is ethical hacking needed?
Whether it is e-commerce, healthcare, blockchain, government, or any other sector, the requirement of ethical hacking is growing more than ever due to the risk of data theft. Had ethical hacking not been there, all the users’ data including passwords, credit card details, social security numbers, or sensitive corporate data could be easily stolen by malicious attackers. Companies in every sector are dealing with enormous cyberattacks either done by competitor organisations or individuals involved in cybercrimes. To stand against such negative agents and to ensure data safety, organisations need hackers who can break into their web applications, devices, server, network, etc., and can create a protective shield. To maintain the trust of the clients and secure user data, organisations deploy complex security technologies through ethical hacking that can not be broken by attackers.
When do organisations need ethical hackers?
Last week, the database of one of the most popular food delivery apps in India was hacked. The hacker accessed major details of ~17 million users including the names, user names, numeric user IDs, email, and password hashes. These details were then put up on the darknet for sale without even considering a negotiation with the organisation. Such incidents could create a situation of panic as a lot of users generally keep the same password on their social media accounts, mobile applications, and even for mails. Organisations need ethical hacking services all the time. Whether it is launching a new product, expanding the current product line, or branching out the business, companies have to keep on evaluating and improving their security measures to keep the user data secured. During an ongoing attack, ethical hackers play a key role as they track the issue faster to stop it as soon as possible and reduce the organisations’ liability.
Organisations look up to ethical hackers when they want someone to use the general information of the company found online and try to penetrate into the system. They want the ethical hackers to imitate attacks that could be done by malicious hackers, try to enter in the wireless system of the company, test routers, firewalls, and switches, and intrude into the company’s website and app to detect vulnerabilities before attackers could reach this stage.
Where is the need for ethical hacking felt? – Career opportunities for ethical hackers
Approximately, every industry today has some or all of its operations taking place online leading to growth in the requirement of ethical hackers. Some of the most prominent places where ethical hackers can work in different roles such as chief information security officer, information security analyst, ethical hacking trainer, network security administrator, and chief application security officer, include –
- Government (non-defence and defence) – The government, policymaker of every country contains a huge amount of sensitive data of each of its citizens and residents. Details about infantry weapons, missile systems, aircraft, radar, etc., and plans to deploy these in the situation of a national emergency is extremely confidential. The government needs ethical hackers to secure all this data and avoid unwanted intrusions. Within the government, ethical hackers could work in departments such as forensic, law, or investigative.
- Banking and finance – Public funds are extremely vulnerable to cyber-attacks. To deploy robust security measures on all financial services such as debit and credit cards, online banking, mobile banking, foreign currency exchange, accepting deposits, and advancing of loans, banks need professional ethical hackers. They help the banks in the implementation of advanced security measures to secure every transaction and user details.
- Healthcare – In the number of cybercrimes taking place in pharmaceutical companies, India stands at the 6th position with various healthcare machines, equipment, and devices at stake (source—: News18). Nothing is more important for an economy than providing effective healthcare services to its people and keeping their information safe. Ethical hackers help the healthcare industry in securing their research results, latest medical formulas, and other sensitive details.
- Professional consulting firms – A community of ethical hackers could work independently and can form professional consultancies to provide companies with the required knowledge about ethical hacking. Organisations which do not hire ethical hackers, choose such services to get their networks scanned and issues reported. Hackers understand every organisation’s products and keep them informed about the latest practices in the cybersecurity world to avoid malicious risks.
Who can do ethical hacking?
To perform ethical hacking, an individual must be aware of the latest technology and security concepts used in various sectors such as education, healthcare, e-commerce, automobile, and biotechnology. Ethical hackers are skilled individuals who are provided with access to a network by authorities to detect and report vulnerabilities in the system. The individual must have basic computer and networking skills, programming skills with a good understanding of Linux, cryptography, database management systems (DBMS), and social engineering. On a regular basis, ethical hackers have to build and develop their understanding of password guessing and cracking, network traffic sniffing, session spoofing and hijacking, exploiting buffer overflow vulnerabilities, denial of service attacks, SQL injection, and a lot more. Someone with all of these skills, a passion to pursue a career in cybersecurity, patience and persistence, and ability to upgrade her set of hacking skills with growing technology, can perform ethical hacking for organisations.
How to learn ethical hacking?
Ethical hacking has turned into one of the most in-demand skills lately. Learning ethical hacking can be affordably done through online trainings. Online trainings come with an array of benefits including the liberty of learning anytime from the comfort of your homes. Breakdown of the overall course into different modules accompanied by various exercises, quizzes, assessment tests, and code challenges makes the learning process stress-free, engaging, and interesting. Even a beginner with no understanding of programming can make a career in this field.
After enrolling in an online ethical hacking training, you learn the basics of information security and computer networking. You also understand the concept of information gathering and basics of web development while getting an introduction to web VAPT, OWASP, and SQL injections. You learn about advanced web application attacks and how to perform client-side attacks. You become proficient in identifying security misconfigurations and exploiting outdated web applications, automating VAPT and secure code development, and documenting and reporting vulnerabilities. The online training also features a real-world project where you utilise tools and techniques used by hackers to find weaknesses in an e-commerce website, which strengthens your practical understanding of everything that learn in the training.
Courtesy: Internshala Trainings (trainings.internshala.com) – an online training platform
"In India, to be born as a man is a crime, to question a woman is an atrocious crime, and this all because of those women who keep suppressing men in the name of feminism."
Feminism, a worldwide movement that started to establish, define and defend equal rights for women in all sections- economically, politically, and socially. India, being a patriarchal society gives a gender advantage to the men in the society thus, Indian feminists sought to fight against the culture-specific issue for women in India. Feminism itself is nothing but a simple movement that pursues equal rights for women (including transwomen) and against misogyny both external and internal. It states nowhere that women should get more wages than men, that women deserve more respect than men, that's pseudo-feminism.
Pseudo feminists state that women deserve more respect and rights, any other gender deserves no respect. They feel that women should be the ones ruling the world and at higher positions. When feminism takes a turn for extremities it becomes pseudo-feminism and people who label themselves as feminists will bash anyone who speaks against even the wrongdoings of a woman. They'll bash women who're wife and sisters for not speaking up and support any women criticizing political leaders even if it's completely irrational. This is where hypocrisy and pseudo-feminism merge with each other.
They take advantage of the rights given to women to protect themselves to threaten other genders. The rights given to women are supposed to make them feel reassured that they can reach out to the judiciary if their rights are being hampered not to threaten to make the victim sound like the culprit.
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Indian Feminist Movement has made significant progress however, even in the modern world women are still unsafe and are discriminated against when it comes to getting a job, land ownership, and access to education. While filling the official papers it is still asked "Wife of /Daughter of:….."
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family. Such injustices make feminism such an important movement, gender equality is worth fighting for to create a safe environment for women. Feminists over the years have been criticized for focusing on the rights of privileged women and not giving equal representation to poorer and lower caste women, which has led to separate caste-specific feminist organizations and movements.
Some notable milestones in the Feminist Movement
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy campaigned against Sati Pratha (practice in which a widow sacrificed herself by sitting atop her deceased husband's funeral pyre) and child marriage
- Savitribai Phule started the first school for girls at Bhidewada in Pune city in 1848.
- In 1972, SEWA, the biggest trade union for women was set up by Ela Bhatt for women working in the informal sector.
- The Chipko Movement was launched and led by women in 1973.
- #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse was started in 2006 and revived in the year 2015.
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family.Unsplash
Feminism is often misunderstood as pseudo-feminism and hence, becomes the target for public hatred and is accused of wronging other genders under the façade of feminism. It is misunderstood by Indians as female domination instead of gender equality. Indian society and Indian feminists believe that only men are perpetrators of a heinous crime like rape and they refuse to even recognize the men who say they were raped and it's the toxic masculinity in the society that believes how can a woman rape a man? Reality is different from what we believe, women can be the perpetrator too, women threaten to file a case of domestic violence, or sexual assault against innocent people just to fulfill their ego.
Thankfully feminism and pseudo feminism are two separate concepts and feminism is just about equality and not judgment. Indian society and feminists actually need to understand the difference between the two and stop tarnishing the Feminist Movement as a whole.
Keywords: Feminism, World, India, Pseudo-Feminism, Gender
Kerala is a land of many good things. It has an abundance of nature, culture, art, and food. It is also a place of legend and myth, and is known for its popular folklore, the legend of Yakshi. This is not a popular tale outside the state, but it is common knowledge for travellers, especially those who fare through forests at night.
The legend of the yakshi is believed to be India's equivalent of the Romanian Dracula, except of course, the Yakshi is a female. Many Malayalis believe that the Yakshi wears a white saree and had long hair. She has a particular fragrance, which is believed to be the fragrance of the Indian devil-tree flowers. She seduces travellers with her beauty, and kills them brutally.
Yakshi idol in Veroor, Sri Dharamashastha temple Image source: wikimedia commons
The Yakshi is believed to live in a palm tree which can appear like a palace. Victims are taken here before they are killed. Travellers on highways are often advised not to stop near heavily forested areas, or speak to anyone who closely resembles a Yakshi. Some believe she can change form, while other hold to the belief that she doesn't. after securing her victim, the only trace left behind is body parts like hair, nails, and teeth.
They say, like other ghosts, a Yakshi's feet will not touch the ground. This is something to look out for. Mysterious deaths have been reported across the rural areas in Kerala, and all these have been attributed to the legend.
Keywords: Legends, Yakshi, Urban legend, Ghost, Kerala, Myth, Vampire
The LGBTQ+ acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and others. In India LGBTQ+ community also include a specific social group, part religious cult, and part caste: the Hijras. They are culturally defined either as "neither men nor women" or as men who become women by adopting women's dress and behavior. Section 377 of the India Penal code that criminalized all sexual acts "against the order of nature" i.e. engaging in oral sex or anal sex along with other homosexual activities were against the law, ripping homosexual people off of their basic human rights. Thus, the Indian Supreme Court ruled a portion of Section 377 unconstitutional on 6th September 2018.
But the question is, "was India always against homosexuality"? Has the concept of homosexuality being unnatural existed forever? No, in Indian history and Hinduism homosexuality has never been an offense, in fact in several instances it has been depicted how people embraced their identity, be it sexual identity or gender identity. Section 377 was brought to India by the British in 1862, while India was colonized. Even after the Independence, it was only in 2018 that the Supreme Court ruled it as irrational and illogical.
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Homosexuality in Ancient India
When Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality in India, there was an uproar about it being a western ideology and liberalism. But in reality, homosexuality has existed since the time of the Vedas. The Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) researched and discovered that it was around 3102 B.C. (during the Vedic Age) that homosexuality or non-normative sexual identity was recognized as "Tritiya Prakriti", or the third nature. Ancient India not only made mentions of homosexuality but accepted it as well.
Hinduism is the most vastly followed religion in India. Hinduism does not explicitly mention homosexuality however it does contain a homosexual theme and characters in its text. There have been various instances in our scriptures and texts that have introduced us to LGBT+ characters such as the androgynous form of Shiva and Parvati Ardhanariswara meaning "the half-female lord". One of the most popular and ancient texts on sexuality, eroticism, and emotional fulfillment of life, "Kamasutra" has a complete chapter dedicated to homosexuality and homosexual sex. Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities.
Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities. Facebook
Our Mughals were Queer
Mughals are often seen under the light of cruelty, rigid ethics, nobility, and polygamy. Simultaneously, Mughals are also the ones credited for the emergence of Sufism, abolished jizya tax, love beyond religion, classes, and gender.
In the Baburnama written in memoirs of our very first Mughal ruler Muhammad Babur, several instances documented Babur's infatuation and affection towards a teenage boy named Baburi. We also have multiple Persian couplets as evidence of Babur's affection for Baburi. Mughals engaged in homosexuality and pederasty, and they believed that later was a form of "pure love".
But as time passed homosexuality was suppressed more and more though people practiced it in secret if revealed they were punished. According to the Fatwa-e-Alamgiri Sharia-based text of the Mughal Empire, there is a common set of punishments for homosexuality, which could include 50 lashes for a slave, 100 for a free infidel, or death by stoning for a Muslim.
British Raj and Independence of India
In 1862, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalized homosexual sex came into force. Even after Independence in 1947, the section remained a part of the Indian Constitution. There were protests all over the country to give people of the LGBT+ community basic human rights but it was not until 2018 that The Supreme Court of India ruled the portion of Section 377 has unconstitutional and struck it off. One judge said the landmark decision would "pave the way for a better future.". With Section 377 gone are LGBT+ people allowed to fall in love freely? No, people are still afraid to love because of the stigma in our society when it comes to homosexuality; they are seen as lesser humans.
ALSO READ: Significant Support for Rights for LGBTQ+
Although the Supreme Court has decriminalized homosexual activities, same-sex marriage remains illegal in the country. Homophobia is still prevalent in India, and homosexual children would rather commit suicide than come out to society with their true identity, that's how harsh of a world we live in. Lacking support from family, society, or police, many gay rape victims do not report the crimes. In 1977, writer and Indian mathematician Shakuntla Devi published "The World of Homosexuals". It was the first study in the Indian context; the book contains interviews with homosexual men set in the years of Emergency. She wrote, "rather than pretending that homosexuals don't exist it is time we face the facts squarely in the eye and find room for homosexual people." We've had small victories in our fight against homophobia and getting LGBT+ community the rights they deserve as humans, but we still have a long and exhausting fight ahead of us.