Hacking – An Epitome of Security Threat
  • Apr 23, 2021
  • By Blog Admin

Hacking – An Epitome of Security Threat

Hacking refers to activities that tend to compromise digital services like computers, smart phones, tablets and entire networks. An advanced form of hacking is termed as scamming in which the deceivers use false pretences to try to persuade their victims into making mistakes which opens a floodgate leading to devastations beyond control. 
Simply put, it is an attempt of unauthorized access to control over computer network security systems for some illicit purpose. 
Hacking is typically technical in nature. But hackers can also use psychological tricks to allure a user into clicking on a malicious attachment or providing personal data. These tactics are referred to as “social engineering.”
Before describing hacking, let us understand hackers first. Obviously, they are intelligent and highly skilled in computers. In fact, breaking a security system requires more intelligence and expertise than actually creating one. 
In general computer parlance, we categorize hackers into white hats, black hats and grey hats. 
White hat professionals hack to check their own security systems to make it more hack-proof. In most cases, they are part of the same organization. 
Black hat hackers hack to take control over the system for personal gains. They can destroy, steal or even prevent authorized users from accessing the system. They do this by finding loopholes and weaknesses in the system. 
Grey hat hackers are inquisitive people who possess enough computer language skills to hack a computer system to locate potential weaknesses in the network security system. 
All kinds of hacking are considered illegal barring the work done by white hat hackers.
Hackers count on several motivations some of which are curiosity, revenge, fun, competition, political motivation, trap marketing, self-defence, launching cyber warfare, harassment and murder.
There are mainly 5 phases in hacking. Not necessarily all hackers follow these 5 steps in a sequential manner but when followed yields a better result.
1. Reconnaissance: This is the first or the preparatory step of Hacking. It is also called Footprinting and Information Gathering Phase. In this phase the hacker collect as much information as possible about the target. 
2. Scanning: Three types of scanning are involved. 
a) Port Scanning: This phase involves scanning the target for the information like open ports, live systems and various services running on the host.
b) Vulnerability Scanning: Checking the target for weaknesses or vulnerabilities which can be exploited. This is usually done with the help of automated tools. 
c) Network Mapping: Finding the topology of network, routers, firewalls servers if any and host information and drawing a network diagram with the available information. This map often serves as a valuable piece of information throughout the hacking process. 
3. Gaining Access: This phase is where an attacker breaks into the system using various tools or methods. After entering into a system, he increases his privilege to the administrator level so that he can install an application he needs or modify data or hide data.
4. Maintaining Access: A hacker may just hack the system to show it was vulnerable or he can be so mischievous that he wants to maintain the connections in the background without letting the user know. This is usually done using Trojans, Rootkits or other malicious files. The aim is to maintain the access to the target until he finishes the tasks he planned to accomplish in that target.
5. Clearing Track: No one wants to get caught. An intelligent hacker always clears the evidence so that at any point of time in future, no one will find any trace leading to him. This involves modifying/corrupting/deleting the values of Logs, modifying registry values, uninstalling all applications he used and deleting all folders he created.
The following steps may be initiated to protect computer devices and safeguard sensitive data. 
1. Use a firewall.
2. Install antivirus software.
3. Install an anti-spyware package.
4. Use complex passwords.
5. Keep your OS, apps and browser up-to-date.
6. Ignore spam.
7. Back up your computer.
8. Shut it down.
9. Use virtualization.
10. Secure your network.
11. Use two-factor authentication.
12. Use encryption.
To save the organization from the potential vulnerabilities caused by hackers every modern company needs expert security professionals to identify the various challenges and enable proper safeguard through qualitative cyber security measures to ensure smooth business continuity. 

Whatsapp Icon