Programming is one of the skills required to be successful in hacking, and here we have shared a list of the 10 best programming languages for hacking. Hacking is finding bugs or vulnerabilities in a system to exploit for illegal purposes. On the other hand, ethical hacking involves penetrating a system to identify and fix potential vulnerabilities.
Whatever the intention of hackers, to be successful, they need exceptional software engineering skills. In-depth knowledge of programming languages enables hackers to build their custom tools and reverse-engineer existing applications to identify vulnerabilities.
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10 Best Programming Languages for Hacking
Picking the correct coding language for hacking depends upon the target system and motive. For example, if you want to hack a website, you must first understand its technology stack.
Most websites commonly use JS and PHP so you would require in-depth knowledge of the dynamic programming languages. On the other hand, if you want to automate or write a custom rootkit program, then Python, Java, or Ruby could be a good choice for ethical hacking.
Also Read: 15 Best Anti-Hacking Software for Windows
Let’s now explore the 10 best programming languages for hacking.
1. C and C++
C and C++ are massively used in the cybersecurity domain for exploit writing and development. These programming languages let hackers access low-level hardware components such as RAM. Thus, allowing hackers to write efficient exploits and hacking applications.
Hackers can also use C or C++ to efficiently manage hardware and server resources at a very low level. So, if you want to manipulate system hardware resources, then C should be the programming language of your choice for hacking. Penetration testers use C to create fast socket programming scripts to infiltrate corporate networks.
Most business applications need paying activation, and if you learn C++, then you can learn how to bypass these paywalls and even create your hacking tools. Like C, C++ also makes it easier for hackers to work with low-level system components.
Above all, C and C++ are the best programming languages for hackers as they can use them to create rootkits, shell codes, exploits, malware, etc. Creating custom malware using C or C++ can prevent it from being detected by standard anti-virus software.
Python is a general-purpose, high-level programming language used extensively in hacking to write malicious programs, exploit, and perform other tasks. The availability of ready-made libraries makes it a top choice for hackers. Depending upon your target system, you can pick a Python library such as socket modules, OS modules, and many others.
The best part about using Python for hacking is that you can use it to perform anything, from automating hacking tasks to checking corporate systems. As Python is a scripting language, hackers use it for quick prototyping, writing hack scripts, and building tools. You can also use your Python knowledge to customize existing hacking tools per your requirements.
Hypertext Preprocessor or PHP is a server-side programming language widely used for web application development. It is portable and supports various platforms. A proper understanding of PHP language helps hackers to target websites and server architecture behind web apps. Hackers can use PHP to build web tools to manipulate servers and make them susceptible to other cyber attacks.
Additionally, PHP is the powerhouse of most content management systems like WordPress. Therefore, you can defend or attack websites using PHP-based content management systems with good PHP programming knowledge.
You can easily use PHP to create custom server hacking scripts to take any website down, or you can write scripts to protect your web server from standard web hacking techniques.
SQL stands for Structured Query Language, which programmers use to work with relational databases. Many companies, from early-stage startups to corporate networks, use SQL to store user data. As an ethical hacker, you should know the ins and outs of SQL to defend it from potential attacks.
Hackers should have in-depth knowledge of SQL as it will help them understand the structure of an underlying database and then deploy hacking tools accordingly. Also, it helps hackers to perform SQL injection attacks. In an SQL injection attack, hackers access and modify confidential information in databases of web applications.
Java is a high-level and platform-independent programming language. It operates on the motto, “Write once, run everywhere,” which makes it a favorite programming language for writing backdoor exploits by hackers.
Suppose you have wondered how hackers get into your systems and access every information from call logs to messages. In that case, it is mainly because of Java payloads injected into the system using social engineering tactics.
Hackers widely use Java to write backdoor exploits, perform identity thefts, build botnets, and execute malicious code into the system bypassing most detection mechanisms.
Ruby is another popular programming language among hackers. Cybersecurity professionals and unethical hackers use Ruby to write small or large malicious scripts. The best part is that hackers can use these scripts interchangeably with Bash.
Apart from that, one of the most widely used penetration testing frameworks, i.e., Metasploit, is also based on Ruby programming language. As its syntax closely resembles Python, it has become a popular choice for hackers to break into business applications and systems. Despite its resemblance with Python, Ruby is more famous for online hacking.
According to Wikipedia, “Perl is a family of two high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming languages.” Despite being an old programming language, Perl still holds its ground in cybersecurity. It supports various platforms, from systems to large mainframes.
Perl helps hackers manipulate Linux text files and create hacking tools and exploits. Some popular tools based on Perl are Nikto2, onesixtyone, and many others. Despite its decrease in popularity, Perl still attracts polyglot hackers to create various components of hacking programs such as payloads and backdoors.
Hackers can use Assembly as a low-level programming language to manipulate hardware-level components directly. In-depth knowledge of Assembly helps hackers understand how data is represented in memory and other external devices.
Above all, it lets hackers quickly solve complex hardware-level problems and manipulate systems from the architectural level. Assembly is one of the best programming languages for developing malware, viruses, and trojans. Additionally, it is also a suitable option for compromising business applications that are already compiled.
Bash is not a standard programming language. It is an open-source GNU project and default command shell in UNIX and Linux-based systems. Bash is a command-line interpreter which gives output in the form of characters. The tool comes in handy for exploiting or penetrating a network.
The best part about Bash is that it lets you access complex systems with solid security. And, once hackers take over, Bash facilitates the entire process. Another advantage of using Bash is that you can use it along with other programming languages such as Python to enhance the functionality of exploits and payloads.
This blog shared a list of the 10 best programming languages for hacking. So, if you want to become an ethical hacker and are confused about where to start, this article will give you all the information you need to pick up a programming language to master.
Also, please note that with great powers comes great responsibility. Therefore, use the information shared in this post for the greater good of humanity and not to hack someone else system, which is an illegal action.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What programming language do hackers use?
Programming is an essential skill for hackers that they can use to create exploits and tools to get backdoor access to systems. Python, C, C++, and Java are some of the best programming languages that hackers prefer.
2. Is C++ used for hacking?
Yes, C++ is widely used for hacking as it is suitable for accessing and manipulating low-level hardware components such as RAM. It enables hackers to create custom rootkits, viruses, and trojan horses without being detected by anti-virus programs.
3. Do hackers use Python?
Nowadays, Python is the first choice for security professionals and hackers to write hacking scripts, automate hacking tasks, and other cybersecurity-related operations.
4. Do hackers use Java?
Java is a high-level and platform-independent programming language that is widely used by hackers to create system rootkits and maliciously access corporate networks.