Top 32 Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers

Top 32 Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers

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Updated on Jan 10, 2022 10:07 IST

Almost every business, be it a government agency or any business organization, is online nowadays and is open to potential threats, which might lead to a security breach, loss of data, financial loss, or other major damages. To overcome this loss and strengthen security, businesses are relying on ethical hacking to identify potential threats like malware, viruses, and ransomware, on a computer or a network. If you are exploring a job opportunity in the field of ethical hacking, then this post is going to prepare you for your upcoming interview. This article lists some of the most commonly asked ethical hacking interview questions, which will help you crack your interview and land your dream job as an ethical hacker. 


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Top Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers

Let’s take a look at some of the most important and frequently asked ethical hacking interview questions.

Q1. What are the different forms of ethical hacking?

Ans. There are various forms of hacking, which are –

  • Computer Hacking
  • Password Hacking
  • Website Hacking
  • Network Hacking
  • Email Hacking
  • Ethical Hacking

Gain an in-depth understanding of ethical hacking, read our post – What is Ethical Hacking?

Q2. What are the different types of hackers?

Ans. Hacking is a serious business and it is mainly categorized into three segments, basis the course of actions of the hackers.

  • Black Hat – Malware creating hacking, infiltrating computer networks for personal gains. Completely illegal.
  • White Hat – An ethical hacking practice. Legal and beneficial to businesses. An ethical hacker is a professional who is certified to bypass system security and search for any weak points that could be accessible by malicious hackers.
  • Grey Hat – A combination of both Black Hat and White Hat, their actions are often illegal.

To learn more about ethical hackers, read our post – What is Ethical Hacker?

Q3. Can you protect yourself from being hacked? How?

Ans. Yes, a personal computer system or network can be protected from getting hacked by –

  • Updating the operating systems for security updates
  • Formatting any device intended to sell
  • Securing the Wi-Fi with a password
  • Using memorable and tough security answers
  • Emailing via a trusted source
  • Not storing any sensitive information on cloud

Q4. Hypothetically, you are supposed to hack a system, how would you do it?

Ans. The process of hacking any computer network or system includes –

  • Reconnaissance – The first step taken by a hacker is identifying the target and fetching information as much information they could.
  • Scanning – The next step is examining the victim by exploiting the information gathered during reconnaissance, using automated tools like port scanners, mappers, or vulnerability scanners.
  • Gaining access: This initiates the process of hacking, where the collected information helps to gain access to the computer network or system.
  • Maintaining access: The hacker now would like to access it repetitively, and thus need to secure it through backdoors, rootkits, and Trojans.
  • Covering tracks: To avoid detection and any legal action, hackers erase the tracks that may lead to investigators tracing them.

Q5. What is footprinting? What are the different techniques of footprinting?

Ans. It is one of the commonly asked ethical hacking interview questions.

Footprinting is the process of collecting information about the target before gaining access and uncovering it. Different techniques of footprinting are –

  • Open Source Footprinting – It is a way to find administrator contact information. This information is later used to guess the correct password.
  • Network Enumeration – Here the hacker tries to identify domain names and network blocks of the target.
  • Scanning – Scanning includes prying on the active IP addresses of a network.
  • Stack Fingerprinting – This is the last footprinting step, which involves mapping the port and host.

Q6. What are the different ethical hacking tools?

Ans. The most popular hacking tools used in ethical hacking are –

  • Acunetix
  • Aircrack
  • Angry IP Scanner
  • Burp Suite
  • Ettercap
  • GFI LanGuard
  • Netsparker
  • Probely
  • SaferVPN
  • Savvius

Q7. What is CIA Triangle?

Ans. CIA Triangle is a model for guiding information security policies in any organization. It stands for –

  • Confidentiality – Maintaining the secrecy of the information
  • Integrity – Keeping the information unchanged
  • Availability – Ensuring an all-time availability of the information to the authorized

Also Read: Top CCNA Interview Questions & Answers

Q8. What is SNMP?

Ans. SNMP is the abbreviation for Simple Network Management Protocol and is a simple Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) for remote monitoring and managing hosts, routers, and other devices on a network.

Q9. What is MIB?

Ans. MIB is the short form of Management Information Base. It is a hierarchical virtual database of a network having all the information about network objects. It is used by SNMP and Remote MONitoring 1 (RMON1).

Q10. What is Network Enumeration?

Ans. It is a process of gathering information about a network using protocols like Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) and SNMP, and offers a better view of the data. This involves fetching information from hosts, connected devices and the usernames, group information, and other related data.

Q11. What is a sniffing attack?

Ans. Sniffing attack is a process similar to tapping a phone call and listening to the ongoing conversation. Hackers use sniffing attacks to monitor and capture all the network packets using sniffing tools in real-time.

Also Read: Top Security Courses For IT Professionals

Q12. Name different sniffing tools.

Ans. There are numerous sniffing tools used by the hackers, however, some of the most popular ones are –

  • Dsniff
  • EtherApe
  • Ettercap
  • MSN Sniffer
  • NetworkMiner
  • PRTG Network Monitor
  • Steel Central Packet Analyzer
  • Tcpdump
  • WinDump
  • Wireshark

Q13. What is a DOS attack? Name its common forms.

Ans. Denial of Service or DOS attack is intended to shut down a machine or network so that no user can access it. This is achieved by flooding servers, systems, or networks with traffic to cause over-consumption of victim resources.

Some of the common forms of DOS attacks are –

  • Buffer overflow attacks
  • ICMP flood
  • SYN flood
  • Smurf attack
  • Teardrop attack

Q14. What is coWPAtty?

Ans. coWPAtty is a C-based tool to run an offline dictionary attack against Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2) and audit pre-shared WPA keys using Pre-Shared Key (PSK)-based authentication. coWPAtty is capable of implementing an accelerated attack if a precomputed Pegasus Mail Keyboard (PMK file) is available for the Service Set Identifier (SSID).

Q15. Name different types of password cracking techniques.

Ans. The most popular types of password cracking techniques are –

  • Dictionary attacks
  • Brute forcing attacks
  • Hybrid attacks
  • Syllable attacks
  • Rule-based attacks
  • Rainbow table attacks
  • Phishing
  • Social engineering
  • Shoulder surfing
  • Spidering
  • Guessing

Also Read: 5 Best Programming Languages to Learn for Cybersecurity Professionals

Q16. What are the advantages of Ethical Hacking?

Ans. The advantages of Ethical Hacking are: 

  • Helps in fighting against cyber terrorism and national security breaches.
  • Enables to take preventive actions against hackers.
  • Helps in preventing security breaches.
  • Prevents gaining access from malicious hackers.
  • Offers security to banking and financial establishments.
  • Helps to identify and close the open holes in a computer system or network.

Q17. What are the disadvantages of Ethical Hacking?

Ans. The disadvantages of Ethical Hacking are: 

  • An ethical hacker might steal sensitive information on the computer system.
  • May use the data gained for malicious use.
  • Hiring ethical hackers may increase the cost to the company.
  • An ethical hacking professional might steal sensitive information on the computer system.

Q18. What do you mean by IP address and Mac address?

Ans. IP Address stands for Internet Protocol Address. The IP address is a number assigned to a connection of a network. It is assigned to every address. 

MAC Address stands for Media Access Control Address. A MAC address is a unique serial number assigned to every network interface on every device. 

While the MAC address uniquely identifies a device that wants to take part in a network, the IP address uniquely defines a connection of a network with an interface of a device.

Q19. What is Trojan? What are its different types?

Ans. A Trojan horse or Trojan is a type of malware that is developed and used by hackers to gain access to target user’s systems. The Trojan appears as legitimate software and is used to trick by some kind of social media ads into loading and running Trojans on their systems. 

Different types of Trojans are: 

  • Trojan-Downloader
  • Ransomware
  • Trojan-Droppers
  • Trojan-Banker
  • Trojan-Rootkits 
  • Trojan-Backdoor

Q20. Name the different enumerations in ethical hacking?

Ans. The different enumerations in ethical hacking are:

  • DNS enumeration
  • SNMP enumeration
  • NTP enumeration
  • SMB enumeration
  • Linux/Windows enumeration

Q21. What is fingerprinting in ethical hacking?

Ans. Fingerprinting is a method used to determine which operating system is running on a remote computer. There are two types of fingerprinting: 

  1. Active fingerprinting: Specially crafted packets are sent to the target machine. The target OS is determined based on its response and collected data.
  2. Passive fingerprinting: One can find out the OS of the remote host based on the sniffer traces of the packets. 

Q22. What is sniffing in ethical hacking?

Ans. Sniffing is the process of monitoring and capturing the data packets passing through a computer network.  This process is used by network administrators to monitor the data traffic passing through their network. Through sniffing, you can see both protected and unprotected traffic. This process enables hackers to capture data packets with sensitive information such as FTP password and email traffic. 

Q23. What are the different types of sniffing?

Ans. There are two types of Sniffing:

  1. Active sniffing: It is used in a switch-based network. A switch is a point to point network device. In the active sniffing, the traffic is locked, monitored, and may be altered in some way determined by the attack. 
  2. Passive sniffing: It involves sniffing through the hub. In Passive sniffing, the traffic is locked but not at all altered. Any traffic that is passing through the unbridged or non-switched network segment can be seen by all the machines on the segment. In this, sniffers operate at the data link layer of the network.

Also Read: 9 Most In-Demand Cybersecurity Skills To Learn 

Q24. Name some sniffing tools. 

Ans. Some of the popular sniffing tools are:

  • BetterCAP 
  • Ettercap
  • Tcpdump
  • Wireshark
  • Fiddler
  • EtherApe 
  • OmniPeek 
  • NetworkMiner
  • WinDump
  • dSniff

Q25. Name the programming languages that are used by ethical hackers?

Ans. Some of the best programming languages used by ethical hackers include Python, PHP, C programming, C++, JavaScript, and Ruby.

Q26. What is Spoofing?

Ans. Spoofing is a malicious practice in which communication is sent from an unknown/unauthorized source and disguised as a trusted source. It enables hackers to gain access to the personal information of the target user. 

Spoofing can be done by sending infected links or attachments through websites, emails, and phone calls, and even by Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) or Domain Name System (DNS) server.

Q27. Explain the different types of penetration testing.  

Ans. It is one of the most important ethical hacking interview questions.

The different types of penetration testing are:

  1. Black Box: The attackers try to detect information by their own means.
  2. External Penetration Testing: The hacker tries to hack using public networks through the Internet. 
  3. Internal Penetration Testing: The attacker is inside the network of the company and conducts the tests from there.
  4. Grey Box: The hacker has partial knowledge of the infrastructure. 
  5. White Box: Ethical hackers are provided with all the necessary information about the infrastructure and the network of the organization that needs to be penetrated.

Q28. What do you mean by a social engineering attack?

Ans. Social engineering is a fraudulent technique that exploits human error to gain access to sensitive information. Such attacks are intended at manipulating a user’s behavior. These attacks are either aimed at hacking the target user’s data or making them do a specific task to benefit the hacker.

Q29. Name the different types of social engineering attacks.

Ans. The different types of social engineering attacks are:

  • Phishing
  • Vishing
  • Baiting
  • Tailgating
  • Spear phishing
  • Quid pro quo 
  • Pretexting

Q30. What is the difference between Asymmetric and Symmetric encryption?

Ans. The differences between Asymmetric and Symmetric encryption are:

Asymmetric Encryption  Symmetric Encryption 
It uses different keys for encryption and decryption. It requires a single key for both encryption and decryption.
The encryption process is slow. The encryption process is very fast.
Asymmetric Encryption offers confidentiality, authenticity, and non-repudiation. It provides only confidentiality.
This is used to transfer a small amount of data. Symmetric Encryption is used when a large amount of data is required to transfer.

Q31. What is SQL injection? What are its different types?

Ans. An SQL injection is a technique used by hackers to inject adversary SQL commands to gain unauthorized access and execute administration operations on the database. These attacks have the potential of damaging data-driven applications and web pages. SQL injection attacks enable hackers to gain access to an organization’s servers, networks, and databases and steal data or even change entries. 

The different types of SQL injection attacks are: 

  • Blind SQL injection
  • Error-based SQL injection
  • Time-based SQL injection

Q32. What is Brute Force Hack?

Ans. Brute force hack is a technique that uses trial and error to guess the login details and get access to the system and network resources. Hackers guess all possible combinations of a targeted password until they discover the correct password.

Want to learn about CyberSecurity? Refer to this blog – What is CyberSecurity.


We hope this blog on ethical hacking interview questions and answers will prepare you well to clear your next job interview easily.


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