Understanding Hackers And Hacking.
If you think that you have the best protection for your computer or computer network, think again! Even companies like Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter have been hacked some time or other. Hacking is one of the most prominent looming threats for individuals and businesses alike. Whether a hacker is taking control of a computer network or stealing essential private data or even shutting down a website, your business can face serious consequences because of hacking (hackers).
Who is a Hacker?
This term is generally given to someone with the ability to get hold of weaknesses in or have an advanced understanding of any computer/network. There are several motivations behind hacking including financial profit, challenge or protest. Although, initially hackers belonged to a subculture that stayed underground but today there are open communities of hackers all over the world. The term “hacker” may be used in other context besides computer security as well, but they are not used in mainstream. Here are two main classifications of hackers that throw light on their motivation and purpose of hacking.
The Good (White Hat) Hackers:
As the name suggests, such hackers break security of computers or networks for strictly non-malicious reasons, either while performing their job in a computer security company making security software or to simply check their security system. “White Hat” is an Internet slang that generally refers to someone who opts for ethical hacking. Such a classification includes those individuals who undertake vulnerability assessments and penetration tests in accordance to a genuine contractual agreement. The International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants or the EC-Council has in fact developed course ware, certifications, online training and classes to offer an understanding of ethical hacking.
The Bad (Black Hat) Hackers:
This category of hackers violates computer/network security for personal gain or for malicious reasons. The Black Hat Hackers are the illegal, stereotypical hacking groups that are usually portrayed in prevailing culture and have become the epitome of everything fearful anticipated from any computer criminal. These hackers break into any secure network and either make it unusable or destroy data.
Hacking- What Is It?
The term hacking generally refers to unauthorized intrusion into any computer or network. As mentioned earlier, any person engaging in the activity of hacking is known as a hacker. Here are some popular techniques that hackers employ for hacking:
In this process, the passwords are recovered from the data that is either stored or is transmitted via computer systems
This works as a computer system’s back door allowing any intruder to find access to the computer system
This is a self-replicating program that spreads by inserting several copies of a single program in any executable code documents or files
Top 5 Hackers Of All Time:
The invention of hacking dates back to the 1930s, when it was loosely connected with computers. The lines below throw light at the top 5 hackers of all time.
This individual was once known to be United States of America’s most wanted cyber-criminal. Kevin is often referred to as computer hacking poster child. He managed to master one of the early social engineering (or scamming operators) forms and hacked computers to get access as well as modify the telephony switching systems. Kevin was chased publicly followed by arrest along with incarceration, which made the hacker community unite in protest against such “witch hunt”.
He is famous for transferring $10 million using a laptop from his apartment in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1994. This transfer was made from various Citibank clients into his accounts in different parts of the globe. Eventually, Vladimir was captured and imprisoned, and with an exception of $400,000, the rest of the $10 million was recovered.
Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs-
We know these two stalwarts as Apple Company’s founders, but there was a time when they too were involved in hacking. As students of University of California in Berkeley, they built the Blue Box to help users make any long distance call free of financial charge, and sold these devices to their fellow mates.
He is the first juvenile to be imprisoned at 16 years of age, for hacking. He was a specialist in hacking various high-profile systems belonging to the government like the Department of Defense and NASA. James reportedly stole software that was worth over $1.7 million.
This “mafia boy” had launched a denial-of-service’ attack bringing down several top Internet sites such as Yahoo, Amazon and eBay, for which he got arrested in 2000 (February). According to his lawyers, had this mafia boy been allowed to use all of his powers, he had the potential to cause unimaginable damage.
There are negative and positive aspects of hacking and while the latter proves helpful in many cases, it is the former aspect that creates fear in the minds of the public.