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Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers

Author : PyNet Labs
Last Modified: January 10, 2024 
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Whether a government agency or a private company, almost all operations nowadays have some internet presence, making them vulnerable to security breaches, data loss, financial losses, and other damages. Corporations use ethical hacking to detect potential threats like malware, viruses, and ransomware on a computer or network to prevent further damage and improve security.

You may have all of the necessary knowledge and skills in the domain of Ethical Hacking, but you must pass the interview to get that dream job. To assist you, our Ethical Hacking specialists have compiled a list of the top ten ethical hacking interview questions and answers ranging from simple to complex. These questions are intended for new and seasoned professionals aiming to further their careers. Let’s get started!

Before moving to Ethical Hacking Interview Questions, you should also check out our Certified Ethical Hacker Course which is available at a huge discount for limited participants.

About Ethical Hacking

Ethical hacking, also known as white-hat hacking, refers to the practice of assessing and evaluating computer systems and networks for potential vulnerabilities and security weaknesses. Ethical hackers, authorized and certified professionals, use their skills and knowledge to simulate real-world cyber attacks, employing various techniques to identify and expose potential security flaws.

The purpose of ethical hacking is to assist organizations in proactively identifying and addressing security vulnerabilities before malicious hackers can exploit them. By conducting controlled and authorized hacking activities, ethical hackers help improve the overall security posture of systems, networks, and applications, ensuring that organizations can better safeguard their sensitive data and protect against potential threats. Let’s see the Ethical hacking interview questions.

Basic Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers

Here are the top Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers-

Q1 – What is footprinting in ethical hacking? What are the techniques used for footprinting?

Footprinting is the method of collecting information or data about a target system or organization before making an effort to breach it. Footprinting is done to gather as much information as possible about the target to get a knowledge of the target’s weaknesses and limitations.

Some of the techniques used for footprinting include:

  • Whois Lookup: Determining the ownership and registration information of a domain.
  • DNS Enumeration: Gathering information about the domain name servers and associated records.
  • Network Scanning: Discovering active hosts and open ports on a network.
  • Google Hacking: Using Google to search for sensitive information about the target.
  • Social Engineering: Gaining information through human interaction.
  • Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Gathering: Collect publicly available information about the target.

Q2 – What is DOS (Denial of service) attack? What are the common forms of DOS attack?

A denial of service attack, also known as a DoS attack, is a type of cyber attack in which the target system or network is bombarded with an excessive amount of traffic in an effort to make it inaccessible to the users for whom it was designed.

The following are some common forms of DoS attacks:

  • Flooding: Overloading a network or system with a large amount of traffic, causing it to become unavailable.
  • Ping of Death: Sending a maliciously large ping request to a target system, causing it to crash.
  • SYN Flood: Overloading a target system with incomplete connection requests, causing it to become unavailable.
  • Application Layer DoS: Targeting specific applications or services to make them unavailable, such as an HTTP flood attack targeting a web server.
  • Botnets: A group of compromised devices that a hacker controls to launch coordinated DoS attacks.

Q3 – What are the types of computer-based social engineering attacks? Explain what Phishing is.

Computer-based social engineering attacks are frequent tactics used by cybercriminals to deceive users into releasing critical information, spreading malware, or obtaining unauthorized access to computer systems. At the same time, the victim is unaware of the danger. Various encounters, both online and in person, might serve as vectors for attacks.

Basic types of computer-based social engineering attacks are:

  • Phishing: It is the process of sending fake emails or messages that appear to be from a trustworthy source, such as a bank or a government agency, to trick the victim into sharing sensitive information.
  • Baiting: Scammers entice victims to share personal information in exchange for something victims want. One typical example is leaving a tempting item, such as a USB drive, in a public place and waiting for someone to take it and use it, which can then infect their device with malware.
  • Pretexting: creating a fake identity or scenario to convince someone to reveal confidential information.
  • Tailgating: following someone into a secure area without proper authorization by pretending to be with someone who has the authorization.
  • Vishing and Smishing: using voice calls or answering machine messages to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information. Smishing is a social engineering method in which attackers use SMS texts to mislead people into disclosing personal information and install malware into the system.

Don’t miss out – Bluetooth Hacking

Q4 – What is Cross-site scripting and what are the types of Cross-site scripting?

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) refers to a security weakness that enables a hacker to insert malicious code into a website that other users view. This malicious code can execute in the victim’s browser, compromising their security and potentially exposing sensitive information. XSS attacks can be launched through various vectors, including malicious links, form submissions, and even seemingly harmless user input fields.

There are 3 types of Cross-site scripting:

  1. Stored XSS: A stored XSS vulnerability occurs when the malicious code is permanently stored on the vulnerable website, such as in a database, and is executed every time any user loads the affected page.
  2. Reflected XSS: A reflected XSS vulnerability occurs when the malicious code is injected into a website through user input and is immediately reflected back to the user without being permanently stored on the server.
  3. DOM-based XSS: It is a type of Cross-Site Scripting vulnerability where the malicious code is executed as a result of modifying the Document Object Model (DOM) of a web page. Unlike other forms of XSS, the payload is not reflected back to the server but executes directly in the client-side code. DOM-based XSS can be particularly dangerous as it bypasses filters that are designed to protect against traditional XSS attacks.

Q5 – Explain how you can stop your website getting hacked.

Website security refers to all of the precautions that have been taken to safeguard a website from intrusion by hackers and other online criminals. To prevent your website from being hacked, you can follow these best practices:

  • Keep software up-to-date: Regularly update all software and plugins used on your website, including your web server software, content management system, and any other third-party tools.
  • Use strong passwords and authentication: Use strong, unique passwords for all user accounts and enforce two-factor authentication for added security.
  • Limit file uploads: If your website allows file uploads, limit the types of files that can be uploaded and use file validation to ensure that only safe files are allowed.
  • Sanitize user input: Validate and sanitize any user input, such as form submissions, to prevent malicious code from being executed on your website.
  • Use a web application firewall (WAF): By analyzing incoming traffic and preventing malicious requests, a WAF may protect against typical web-based threats.
  • Regularly back up your data: Regularly back up your website data, including databases and files, so that you can quickly recover from an attack or data loss.
  • Monitor your website: Regularly monitor your website for signs of an attack, such as unusual traffic patterns, changes to files, or error messages.
  • Educate your users: Train your users on how to recognize and avoid phishing attacks and other common tactics used by hackers.

Q6 – What is CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery)? How can you prevent this?

In CSRF, an authenticated user is tricked into doing an unauthorized activity on the website that originally authenticated them, making it one of several cyber vulnerabilities. Users are verified as legitimate before being granted access to the website’s features and resources through login and password protection. This establishes credibility between the user and the website.

Hackers use this trust factor in a CSRF attack to get access to the website. Hostile linking, sea surfing, session riding, a single-click assault, and so on are also other names for CSRF.

To prevent CSRF attacks, you can use several methods:

  • CSRF Tokens: Including a random ID in the HTTP Request is the first line of defense against CSRF attacks. Per-request CSRF tokens help prevent intrusion attempts.
  • Double Submit Cookies: A cookie is sent with the request, and a value is included in the request body. The server verifies that the value in the cookie and request body match.
  • Captcha: A challenge-response test determines if a human or a bot made the request.

Q7 – What is MIB?

Management Information Base, commonly referred to as MIB, is a database used to manage computer networks. It is a hierarchical tree-like structure that defines all the objects that can be managed on a device, such as system information, performance statistics, and configuration parameters.

Q8 – What is NTP?

NTP stands for Network Time Protocol. It is used to synchronize the clocks of computers in a network. The goal of NTP is to provide a highly accurate and consistent time source for all devices in the network, allowing them to function together in a coordinated manner.

Q9 – What is Pharming and Defacement?

Pharming is a kind of cyber-attack in which the goal is to secretly take a user away from a website that is known to be trustworthy and drive them to a website that is fraudulent or dangerous without the user’s knowledge. The attacker achieves this by modifying the user’s DNS settings or exploiting vulnerabilities in the user’s computer or network. The fake website can then steal sensitive information.

Defacement, on the other hand, is a type of cyber-attack that involves altering the appearance of a website without affecting its functionality. The attacker can modify the website’s content, images, or layout to display their chosen message, image, or other content. This attack is usually carried out to make a political or social statement, defame the website owner or its users, or cause disruption.

Q10 – What are the hacking stages? Explain each stage.

Hacking typically involves several stages, each with its own purpose and activities. The stages can vary depending on the methodology or framework being followed, but here are the commonly recognized stages:

  • Reconnaissance: Reconnaissance is the first phase, where the hacker tries to learn and gather all small or big details as much as they can about the target.
  • Scanning: Scanning is the second phase where the gathered information during the reconnaissance phase is exploited to examine the target. There are some automated tools such as port scanners, mappers, and vulnerability scanners that a hacker uses during the scanning phase for acquiring the details of the victim.
  • Gaining access: Gaining Access is the third phase where the real hacking is done on the target. Hackers now start exploiting the weakness that was acquired during the reconnaissance and scanning phase to gain access to the victim’s machine.
  • Maintaining access: Maintaining access is the fourth phase, where once access is gained, the hacker keeps that information for future exploitation and attacks by securing entire access to data. And to obtain this access hackers use backdoors, rootkits, and trojans software.
  • Maintaining access: Maintaining access is the fourth phase, where once access is gained, the hacker keeps that information for future exploitation and attacks by securing entire access to data. And to obtain this access hackers use backdoors, rootkits, and trojans software.
  • Covering tracks: Covering Tracks is the last phase, in which hackers cover their tracks and traces to avoid detection and this is done after gaining and maintaining the access in the maintaining access. This is done to avoid any kind of legal action gained by the hackers, which allows them to continue using the hacked system.

These are the top 10 Basic Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers compiled by our experts to help you prepare for your Ethical Hacking interview. Let’s move on to interview questions for experienced.

Advanced Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers

Here are some of the most asked advanced level Ethical Hacking Interview Questions –

Q11 – What do you mean by data leakage? How to detect and prevent it?

When the data knowledge is getting out of your organization in an unauthorized manner is called Data Leak. This can happen in several manners which include prints, laptops obtaining lost, emails, unauthorized transfer of data to public portals, removable drives, pictures, etc.

Nowadays, data security is crucial, so many controls can be implemented to ensure that the information isn’t leaked. Some controls include restricting upload to websites, using an internal encryption method, restricting emails to the internal network, prohibiting printing of sensitive information, etc.

Q12 – What do you mean by a Security Operations Center (SOC)?

The information security team is encased in a security operations centre (SOC). This team has been established to continuously monitor and assess the security of an organization. Through the use of multiple technology solutions and a set of procedures, the SOC team is responsible for the quick detection, analysis, and reaction to cybersecurity problems. Security analysts, engineers, and managers who work closely with the incident response team may be a part of the team.

Q13 – What is penetration Testing? Mention few pen testing tools.

A penetration test, also known as a pen test, simulates a cyberattack on a computer in order to find any potential security holes. It is frequently used as an addition to a web application firewall (WAF). To find any vulnerabilities, it may entail simulating an attack on any number of application systems, including APIs, frontend servers, and backend servers. The knowledge collected from this type of testing can be utilised to strengthen WAF security policies and address flaws that are found.

Few of the popular tools used for penetration testing are listed below:

  • Netsparker
  • Wireshark
  • Metasploit
  • BeEF
  • Aircrack

Q14 – What is Burp Suite? What tools does it contain?

A comprehensive platform for exploiting internet applications is called Burp Suite. It has every tool a hacker might possibly need to exploit any program. Some of these features include –

  • Proxy
  • Spider
  • Scanner
  • Intruder
  • Repeater
  • Decoder
  • Comparer
  • Sequencer

Q15 – What are SQL injection and its types?

SQL injection occurs if the application doesn’t sanitize user input. Thus, a malicious hacker would inject SQL queries to get access without authorization and carry out database administration tasks. This is how SQL injections can be categorized:

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

Q16 – What are active and passive reconnaissance?

Getting information about targeted computers and networks while not actively using them is what passive reconnaissance is all about. In contrast, active reconnaissance involves the attacker interacting with the target system and typically involves a port scan to look for any open ports.

Q17 – What is meant by the spoofing attack? What are its different types?

A spoofing attack happens when a bad actor on a network assumes the identity of another device or user in order to attack network hosts, steal data, spread malware, or get around access rules. Malicious parties use a variety of spoofing attacks to accomplish this.

Types of Spoofing are:

  • ARP Spoofing Attack
  • DNS Spoofing Attack
  • IP Spoofing Attack

Q18 – What are the types of password-cracking techniques?

The following is a list of the most popular password-cracking methods used by hackers:

  • Dictionary attack: This technique makes use of terms that are widely used and short passwords. The hacker repeatedly attempts dictionary words with numbers before or after them against user accounts using a simple collection of vocabulary words.
  • Brute force attacks: These are similar to dictionary attacks, but instead of utilising basic terms, hackers use all likely alphanumeric combinations between aaa1 and zzz10 to find non-dictionary words.
  • Man in the middle attack: In this case, the attacker’s program actively tracks the data being sent and intervenes in the conversation by posing as a website or application. These cyberattacks steal private data, including account and social security numbers, etc.
  • Traffic interception: In this case, the hacker records passwords and network activity using packet sniffers.
  • Keylogger attack: Attack using a keylogger: The hacker successfully installs software that records keystrokes, allowing them to not only gather the victim’s login credentials and passwords but also to determine the website or application the user was accessing.

Q19 – What are the best sniffing tools?

Here are some of the best sniffing tools listed below:

  • Tcpdump
  • Wireshark
  • Fiddler
  • EtherApe
  • Packet Capture
  • NetworkMiner
  • WinDump
  • EtterCap
  • dSniff

Q20 – What is meant by a Pharming attack and how to prevent it?

One of the several cyberattacks used by the attackers is a pharming attack. It is a dishonest practice where legitimate website traffic is manipulated to send users to look-alike websites that steal personal information like passwords or financial information or harm users’ computers with harmful software.

The best method to be followed for preventing Pharming Attacks is to install powerful antivirus software, which will determine and remove the malware that is directed at your computer.

These are the top 10 advanced Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers.


Now, we have covered the top Ethical Hacking Interview Questions and Answers for both freshers and experienced candidates. In conclusion, ethical hacking interview questions provide valuable insights into the knowledge, skills, and mindset required for individuals interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity.

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