Top Programming Languages For Ethical Hacking

What programming languages I must know to get started in ethical hacking? To answer that we have compiled a list of programming languages that you must definitely know to get into action. We took many areas of hacking into consideration. Like the web, network embedded devices and more.


But the first step of hacking is to know about the system you are going to approach. To know about its functions and working mechanisms. Then you find its weaknesses and loopholes and then you exploit it. That’s where programming languages come in.

Learning these languages will get you going in the ethical hacking area very well. Ethical hackers are in high demand across the industries of the world. You will be able to understand any system efficiently and better.

Top Programming Languages For Ethical Hacking

We have divided the list into categories. Like the web, compiled languages, scripting languages. So here’s the list.


HTML: This is the markup language every web page in the entire internet is written in. It is essential because you can learn various functions of a website such as response, structure, and forms which send data across the internet. You can get free HTML books here.

JAVASCRIPT: It is a client-side programming language. Every action you see in your browser is probably programmed in javascript. Javascript is used to send data asynchronously across the internet. Many exploits that you hear about can be exploited using javascript. You can get free Javascript books here.

SQL: SQL is the most used database technology in the world. SQL stands for Structured Query Language. SQL is used to mange data in a database. There are many exploits in SQL like the famous SQL Injection.

Learning SQL will enable you to understand how the back end of the website establishes the connection with the database and query it. There are many extensions available to SQL. The most popular are the free MySQL which is used in the majority of sites. You can get free MySQL books here.

PHP/Back End: Back end is where the mind of a website resides. There are many languages in which you can write a back end. The most popular are PHP. Learning about back end enables you to do anything you can do with a website. It is recommended that you learn PHP. Many major content management systems are written in PHP like WordPress. There are also many other back end languages such as JAVA, Python, Ruby, etc. You can get free PHP books here.

In a case of ethical web hacking, it is also recommended that you learn about servers. Servers such as Apache must learn as it is the most used server with a huge community. One should also learn about other servers like Windows and other.


Compiled languages are faster than scripting languages and are at lower level than any web or scripting language. Programming languages we are going to talk about now are generally used to write exploits for devices, network, and computers. Exploits for the web are also written in these languages.

Entire operating systems dedicated to any specific task like penetration testing, for e.g. Kali Linux, are also written in these languages. Compiled languages are the must for any beginner or expert to learn if he or she is interested in hacking.

C/C++: C is the mother of all modern languages. Whether it is PHP or Python. C works close to the hardware which enables the programmer to manage memory and other fundamental building blocks of a computer program. C++ is another modification of C which is now completely an another language. C++ is powerful and Object Oriented and supports C. C++ can be used to write powerful desktop or device applications.

JAVA: Another great language used by millions around the world. Java’s compiled programs work within a virtual machine called Java Virtual Machine (JVM). This enables Java programs to be able to run on any machine. Generally the control systems of AC, Electricity, Water Pumps,etc. of huge shops, malls, factories, etc. are written in Java. This makes Java must have an asset. For free C books visit here. For C++ visit here. For Java visit here.


Scripting languages can be used write quick and extremely powerful exploits very neatly and efficiently.

Python: Python is the undisputed king in the area of scripting languages. It is used by almost everyone, such as Scientists, Data miners, Cryptographers, Hackers, etc. Python can be used to create GUIs, scripts, web servers and much more. For free books on Python visit here.

Ruby: It is another general purpose object-oriented programming language. It was influenced by Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Lisp. For free books on Ruby visit here.

Perl: It is extremely useful when you are working with text. It has some very powerful tools for text manipulation. For free books about Perl visit here.

On top of it, I recommend using Linux/Unix as an operating system to perform research and study of exploits. Its shell is extremely powerful. The operating system itself is open source so you can change the functions of the OS, add new kernels and you can study the code of the OS to know more about how operating system works.

To download books on almost all the programming languages that the man has created visit here.

We will be constantly updating this article whenever some new information is available. Please comment any suggestion or correction regarding this article.


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