"Hackers" are a subculture, not a profession. If you want to be a hacker, learn. By yourself, from books, with others. Tinker. Try. Break stuff, fix stuff. Re-invent the wheel. Distrust the manual. Creatively abuse tools, stretch them beyond their intended purpose.
If you think this is fun, and you can keep it up until you are really good at. whatever it is you are doing, then you are probably a hacker. But usually, that's something that others call you, not something you call yourself. And for "ethical"... well, just don't do evil.
Keep in mind: some great hackers are entirely self-taught. Some are academics. Some are very smart. Some are just very bold. Some like to show off. Some you will never hear of. Some are genius programmers. Some can't program at all.
Learn the basics of IT Security, Ethical Hacking and its various concepts. Work on becoming an Ethical Hacker!
You will be able to understand and apply information technologies concepts that include:
vulnerabilities, defense-in-depth, penetration testing, the methodology for pentesting/ethical hacking, vulnerability management, incident management and creating and implementing a security policy.
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