Does Hacking Require Math? – An Overview of Hackers’ Skills

Math is a highly essential skill that helps in problem-solving; however, math is almost never required when it comes to hacking. You might not require any math background when it comes to hacking; however, you will require advanced/obscure mathematics such as modular arithmetic when it comes to modern cryptography.

While you might not require math in hacking, understanding some math remains essential for the whole process. To better understand this concept, in this article, we shall be answering one of the commonly asked questions on hacking; does hacking involve math?

Hacking requires math. Hackers frequently encounter puzzles which can only be solved if certain algorithms are identified and exploited. The process of recognizing and exploiting algorithms requires the hacker to possess moderate skill in mathematics.

Does hacking involve math?

Nowadays, we all get caught up in streaming videos, social networking, and online shopping that we tend to forget nothing operates on a computer without involving numbers. Every time you post a video, tweet, and tell your social media friends what you had for lunch, it all comes down to binary code; this is the number 0 and 1.

Cybersecurity is rapidly growing, and it is one of the best-paying jobs in today’s world. And it is undoubtedly the best way in which you can understand how hacking involves math. So you might be wondering how does hacking involve math; this is how;

Boolean values. There are computers designed to operate on a branch of math known as Boolean Algebra.

Complex Numbers. This is a branch of algebra also referred to as Imaginary numbers. Complex Numbers involves using the letter ‘I’ in place of the square root of -1.

Cryptography. When it comes to hacking, Cryptography accounts for the massive use of math. For instance, when your email or bank gives you the option of having anything encrypted, this is the simplest form of Cryptography. There is no doubt that Cryptography is by far the most sophisticated part when it comes to hacking. Each number in Cryptography is designed to stand for a specific alphabetical letter.

By understanding the uses of ‘the,’ ‘and,’ ‘-ing’ among others, you will be able to decipher the whole sentence. Information system analysts and hackers often use equations that tend to be significantly sophisticated along with mathematical structures to help in encrypting information.

Is math really necessary in hacking?

By now, you might still be wondering if math is necessary for hacking. When you listen to some of the renowned cybersecurity experts such as Tim McGee, you will hardly hear them speak about mathematics. This is a clear sign that you do not have to be good at math to become a successful hacker or a cybersecurity expert. In hacking, the math should not restrict you from growing your profession; however, it still contributes to the field in one way or another.

In addition to that, when you check on the CompTIA Cybersecurity CSA+ examination, you will find out that there is not even a single mathematical question. No calculation, no questions, and nothing to do with math. There is a particular question that refers to regression analysis; therefore, it is apparently marginally essential to understand what it involves.

What matters the most to become a successful hacker?

To become a good and successful hacker, math shouldn’t be your top priority. All that is required of you is to understand the security concept along with technologies. The best way in which you can overcome a roadblock in this career is to familiarize yourself with security admins. You will need to understand public key instruction (PKI), intrusion detection system (IDS), secure sockets layer (SSL), and firewalls, among others.

Unlike math, programing is vital when it comes to hacking. In addition to that, you will need to master how to use the internet in your favor and also take advantage of all the existing security tools. Learning and understanding programing language will help you become a successful hacker.

Why learning a programing language is vital for a hacker?

Mathematics aside, learning programing language is the first step of becoming a top-notch hacker. To better understand that, here are some vital tips on why you should learn programing language as a hacker;

· Usually, hackers are great problem solvers as well as tool builders; as a result, learning programing language will help in implementing solutions to problems with the utmost ease. In addition to that, it will differentiate you from the script kiddies.

· Understanding programing language will make it easy for you as a hacker to identify as well as exploit programming errors in any app that you might be targeting.

· Furthermore, an understanding of programming language will help you as a hacker automate several tasks that would often take a significant amount of time to complete.

Understanding and mastering the art of programing language, you will be able to boost your hacking career compared to being good at mathematics.

Essential skills to becoming a top-notch hacker

Before trying to hack, here are some of the fundamental skills you should master. Once you master everything discussed in this section, you will be able to move to an intermediary level. Here are the essential fundamental skills every hacker should know;

Computer skills

It probably goes without saying, you are required to know some necessary computer skills as a hacker. Usually, such computer skills should go beyond the ability to create a word document or surf the web. As a hacker, you will need to understand how to use the Windows command line, set up networking parameters, and edit registries.

Networking skills

As a hacker, you will need to master necessary networking skills such as;




· IPv6

· IPv4

· Private v Public IP

· MAC addressing


· Routers and Switches.

· OSI model.


As you often exploit these technologies, you should consider understanding how they function; doing so allows you to become a successful hacker.

Linux skills

As a hacker, it is critical that you develop Linux skills. This is vital since almost all tools designed for hacking are developed for Linux. Furthermore, Linux offers a capability that you will not enjoy or find in Windows.

Tcpdump or Wireshark

Usually, Tcpdump is a command-line sniffer/protocol analyzer, while Wireshark is often used as a sniffer/protocol analyzer. The two are extraordinarily useful when it comes to analyzing TCP/IP attacks and traffic.


As a hacker, you will be required to become proficient in using virtualization software packages like VMWare Workstation or VirtualBox. You will require a safe environment to practice your hacking skills before taking them to the real world. With a virtual environment, you are able to have a safe environment for testing and refining your skills before you decide to go live with them.

Security concepts and technologies

Any good hacker has to understand the security concept along with technologies. Therefore, you will need to understand and familiarize yourself with the roadblocks that security admins have established.

Wireless technologies

When it comes to hacking wirelessly, you will need to understand wireless technologies—things such as encryption algorithms (WPA2, WPA, WEP), WPS, and four-way handshake. Furthermore, it would help if you understood things such as the protocol for connection, legal constraints on wireless technologies, and authentication.

Note: as a newbie, you will need to master the skills discussed above. Once you master these skills, you will be able to progress to the intermediate skill.

As an intermediate skill hacker, you will need to master these vital skills;


Failure to have scripting skills, a hacker becomes relegated to using any other hacker’s tool. As a result, it will limit your effectiveness. Each day, a new tool in existence will end up losing its effectiveness when security admins start coming up with defenses.

In order for one to develop a unique tool, you will require to become good at least in a single scripting language which includes BASH shell. It should include one of Python, Perl, or Ruby.

Database skills

If you need to be successful in hacking databases, you will require to master databases and the way they function. It includes SQL language. You might also consider one of the major DBMS’s like Oracle, SQL Server, or MySQL.

Web application

This is considered the most fertile ground for most hackers in recent years. As a hacker, the more you master how web applications function along with the database behind them, the more successful you become. Furthermore, you might also require to build a personal website for phishing along with other nefarious functions.


You shouldn’t be caught as a good hacker. The more you become informed about forensics, the better you will be at evading and avoiding detections.

Final verdict

Mastering the art of hacking is pretty much straightforward as long as you focus on sharpening your skills. The best part is that you don’t have to be good at math to become a successful hacker. By adhering to the tips discussed in this article, you will be able to master the art of hacking with the utmost ease. As we conclude, we hope that you have found this article beneficial and that we have answered the question; does hacking involve math.

Gene Botkin

Gene is a graduate student in cybersecurity and AI at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Ongoing philosophy and theology student.

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