5 Ethical Hacking Projects For Your Work Portfolio

On a beautiful Tuesday before Thanksgiving of 2015, Alina Simone’s mother found her entire computer, including system files, photos, and videos locked. The computer was infected with CryptoWall, a ransomware that locks all the files installed in the system. Each time she clicked on the files, the computer flashed a message that files on her computer were encrypted (locked with a password in simple terms) and she had to pay US$500 to get the key to unlocking the files.  This is just one of the millions of incidents happening each day, where infiltrators hack into the system to either steal data or exhort money from innocent people. And big industries are not free from these attacks either. With the ever-increasing cyber security incidents across the globe, corporate houses are hiring cybersecurity specialists to locate the vulnerable points in their enterprise network and prevent potential threats. Cybersecurity and ethical hacking are booming career options for anyone with the right skills. A well-drafted ethical hacking course could give you in-depth knowledge and help develop the right skills for these jobs.  Along with it, you can work on multiple skill-developing projects that could give you ample exposure to real-life experience on the topic.  

Why Do You Need Cybersecurity Projects?

Anyone starting with an ethical hacking course can accelerate their learning and develop new skills faster with the right projects. Plus, projects give you hands-on experience in practising essential techniques, understanding cybersecurity fundamentals, and gaining experience. And you can quickly get updated with vital cybersecurity skills like vulnerability assessment, threat detection, and Identity Access and Management governance.  Most cybersecurity and ethical hacking bootcamps prefer project-based learning modules for teaching the most sought-after skills by recruiters. And, these projects show the recruiters that you possess the necessary skills required for a particular job.  For any professional, especially someone in the cybersecurity field, a career portfolio is an essential tool. A well-made portfolio can attract recruiters and help you land your dream job faster. 

How Portfolios Help Your Career? 

A career portfolio, containing all your best projects, can showcase your skills to potential employers. Most recruiters ask for a professional portfolio showcasing a candidate’s skills during the interview and screening process. Usually, a professional portfolio could contain samples of your work, visual demonstrations of your skills, and letters of recommendation from your professor, managers, and mentors. And undoubtedly a glowing portfolio, containing a set of projects you have completed in the past, can distinguish you from others lining up for the interview.  Need some help in setting up your portfolio or want to spice it up to attract recruiters? Here is a working guide to help you navigate through the process. 

How To Build Your Professional Portfolio? 

These tips can help you build a stellar portfolio for recruiters.       1.Gather all content Collect all the materials you want to use in your portfolio, including your work samples, resume, list of hard and soft skills, relevant certifications you have completed so far, and letter of recommendation from your teachers or previous employers. Also, add a list of awards and client appreciation mails (if you have any) into the mix. Overall, this entire portfolio should showcase your potential.      2.Organizing  A haphazard, disorganized portfolio is not appreciated by recruiters. Arranging the content for easy information access is what you should aim for while sorting the entire thing. Usually, you can start by placing your resume and skills list at the beginning of your portfolio, following it with other essential details. You could arrange the content in different categories, making it easy to follow for the employer and recruiters.     3.Making it appealing  An aesthetically pleasing portfolio that visually demonstrates your accomplishments could give you an edge over others, especially when you are an ethical hacker. You could showcase how your project is working in real-time and pick up potential threats live in action.     4.Customizing Accordingly  Once the master copy of the portfolio is ready, you can customize it accordingly for a specific role listed in the job description.  Looking for some project ideas for building your professional portfolio for ethical hacking? Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Underneath we have listed a few simple project ideas for your portfolio. 

5 Ethical Hacking Projects For Building Your Portfolio

    1.Keylogger  It is a quick and easy-to-build ethical hacking project, requiring entry-level proficiency. These apps record and store the keystrokes made by the user on the device where the keylogger is installed. Later on, with time and experience in ethical hacking, you can expand the software to track virtual keyboards, clipping loggers, activity trackers, and so on.     2.Packet Sniffing/Network Analysis  Packet sniffing or network analysis is an interesting and exciting project to work on for someone starting with ethical hacking. It allows you to analyse the network and its internet traffic for every incoming and outgoing data packet. This network analyser could track suspicious data packets snooping across the network, collecting information. While building a packet sniffing program, you will get to use tools like Windump, tcpdump, and Wireshark and learn more about their implementation.     3.Hackdroid  It combines pentesting and security-related apps for Android OS, improving your overall hacking skills. Due to its inherent transparency at the code level, Android is vulnerable to potential hacking attempts. You, as an ethical hacker, would make sure the application could deflect common hacking exploits. Practising with hackdroids during your ethical hacking course tenure could give you chance to learn more about ethical hacking in general.  P.S: You should not download Hackdroid apps on your primary device. Essentially, app creators posting on Hackdroid or other creators who have used the app might have left potential malware that could steal your private data.      4.User Authentication System Yes, this is a fairly advanced project and requires proficiency in multiple domains including identity management and authorization. But this project will give you immense learning exposure. Here you could build a complete user authentication portal with features such as signup and log in/out. Additionally, you could incorporate multifactor authentication, facial recognition, and more into the portal as well. Yes, it will be difficult, but you will learn a lot about ethical hacking as well.      5.Antivirus Program   You can prove your worth as an ethical hacker with custom-made antivirus software. You could design this software to track malicious content and potential threats and run diagnostics to block them. While working on an antivirus program, you will get a chance to brush up your skills in threat detection in real-time, running automatic updates, and implementing multiple-level app protection. 


As for Ashley’s mother, unfortunately, she ended up paying the money to the hackers for the key. There is an acute shortage of cybersecurity professionals across the globe who can protect people like Ashley’s mother from impending attacks. Corporate houses are always on the lookout for these ethical hackers who can safeguard their enterprise network against potential digital threats. Anyone willing to learn the essential hacking skills can land a lucrative job in these corporate houses seamlessly. Working on these projects and building your work portfolio would help recruiters find you more easily. Dataspace Academy is running the best ethical hacking and network security training courses in Kolkata, where you can learn the latest tools and skills enquired by ethical hacking recruiters across industries.