Hacking is defined as the exploitation of computer systems or networks to exploit them, which have evolved over the decades.
Hacking is defined as identifying the weaknesses of computer systems or networks and exploiting those weaknesses to access them. Another definition is hacking, which means tracking digital devices such as computers, smartphones, tablets, and even networks. Although hacking is not always done for malicious purposes, most hacking or hacker referrals today describe the activity as illegal and classify it as a cybercrime with purposes such as financial gain, protest, intelligence gathering for espionage, and even entertainment.
An example of a hack is the use of a password to decrypt the algorithm and access systems. On the one hand, the existence of computers is essential to running successful businesses, and on the other hand, these systems should not be isolated; Instead, they need to be connected to a network of other computers to communicate internally and externally. For this reason, systems are exposed to the dangers of the outside world, especially hacking. In the hacking process, computers are used to carry out misleading operations such as intrusion into privacy and theft of private or corporate data and many other operations. Cybercrime costs organizations millions of dollars a year; Therefore, organizations must protect themselves against such risks.
Many people think of hackers, chickens, hackers, or skilled programmers who can manipulate hardware or software; But this view is only part of a wide range of reasons to choose hacking. Hacking is usually of a specialized nature (such as building advertising tools that install malware on a user without the need for interaction); But hackers can also use psychology to deceive the user and encourage him to click on an attachment or provide personal data. This technique is called “social engineering”; Thus, hacking can be considered an umbrella term for activities that are often, and not all, of the nature of cyberbullying or cyber-attacks on businesses and governments. In addition to methods such as social engineering and software advertising, common hacking methods include:
- Browser hijacks
- Denial of service (DDoS) attacks
As a result, hacking has become a billion-dollar business since childhood with its mischievous behavior, with its beneficiaries setting up criminal infrastructure. In this infrastructure, even less than a few professionals (known as scripts or hackers) use hacking tools to achieve their goals. In other examples, Windows users were targeted by cybercriminals who were given remote access to IT systems for $10 through the Hack Dark Web Store. The attackers may have been trying to steal information and disrupt systems and develop ransomware. The systems that are advertised for sale range from Windows XP to Windows 10. Store owners even offer tips for using unauthorized logs and anonymous methods.
History of Hacking
The term hack dates back to the 1970s. In 1980, the term hacker was used in an article in the journal Psychology Today. This article deals with the addictive nature of computers. In 1982, a sci-fi film, Tron, was released, starring one of the companies that hacked into the computer system and hacked it. Another character in the film, WarGames (1983), is a teenager who has infiltrated the North American Air Defense System (NORAD). In the film, hackers are portrayed as a threat to national security. Thus, art became a prelude to reality.
In 1983, a group of teenage hackers infiltrated computer systems in the United States and Canada, including the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Slonkitring Cancer Center, and the Pacific Security Bank. Shortly afterwards, an article was published in Newsweek magazine with a photo on the cover of a teenage hacker, and the word hacker was used for the first time. After that, Congress stepped in and passed laws on cybercrime. In the 1980s, several hacker groups were formed in the United States and elsewhere to recruit enthusiasts to carry out some missions. Some of these missions were safe and some were dangerous.
Since the 1980s, there have been numerous attacks and attacks on computer and government computers, followed by a number of anti-hacking laws, and many people have been arrested. However, popular culture accepted hacking and hackers in the form of specialized movies, books, and magazines.
What is cybercrime?
Cybercrime means the use of computers and networks to carry out illegal activities such as the distribution of computer viruses, harassment and online harassment, the transfer of illegal electronic capital, and so on. Most cybercrime is done over the Internet, some with the help of mobile phones and SMS, and others with online chat programs.
Types of cybercrime
- Computer fraud: Deliberate deception for personal purposes through the use of computer systems
- Violation of privacy: posting personal information such as email address, phone number, user account details, etc. on websites and social networks
- Identity theft: The theft of personal information and forgery
- Sharing information and files with copyright: Illegal distribution of copied files such as e-books and computer programs
- Electronic capital transfer: Unauthorized access to computer banking networks and illegal transfer of money
- Electronic money laundering: Using a computer for money laundering
- ATM scam: Eavesdropping on ATM card details such as account number and password number and using them to withdraw money from accounts
- Denial of service (DDoS) attacks: Using computers in multiple situations to attack servers
- Spam: Send unauthorized emails containing ads
What is a moral hack?
Moral hacking is defined as identifying the weaknesses of computer systems and networks and providing criteria for overcoming those weaknesses. Ethical hackers must follow the following rules:
- Receive written permission from the owner of the computer system or computer network before hacking
- Protecting the privacy of a hacked organization
- Report the total weaknesses of the computer system to the organization
- Reporting to software vendors software and hardware vulnerabilities identified
Information is one of the most valuable assets of any organization, and maintaining information security can preserve the organization’s reputation and money. Organizations can take a moral step toward combating cybercrime with moral hacking. Moral hacking is a law if the hacker follows all the rules mentioned in the definition of moral hack. The International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC Council) is conducting a test to measure hackers’ individual skills. Those who pass the test will be eligible for a moral hack.
Types of hacking
According to a broad definition of hacking, hackers infiltrate computers and computer networks for four main reasons:
- Achieving criminal gain: stealing credit card numbers or infiltrating banking systems
- Achieve credibility: as an incentive for other hackers and mark on websites
- Organizational espionage: to steal information from competing products and services and gain a competitive advantage in the market
- Government hack: Theft of national or organizational intelligence to weaken the infrastructure of enemies or create discord and conflict in the target country (such as China and Russia attacks on Forbes site and recent attacks on the National Democratic Committee). According to Microsoft, hackers accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee have taken advantage of the errors in Microsoft’s Windows operating system and the Adobe Flash software application.
Another category of cybercrime is hackers with political or social motives. These people are called hacker activists, and one of their actions is to share sensitive information. Among the active hacker groups are Anonymous, WikiLeaks and LulzSec.
Types of hackers
A hacker is a person who uses the weaknesses of computer systems or networks to access them. Hackers are usually skilled programmers who specialize in computer security. They are categorized according to their intentions. The following is a list of hackers based on their intentions:
- Moral hacker (white hat): A moral hacker is a person who infiltrates systems with the view of overcoming weaknesses. This type of hacker performs operations such as assessing vulnerabilities and testing systems.
- Cracker: A black hat hacker infiltrates computer systems illegally for personal gain. The purpose of these hackers is to steal organizational data, violate privacy, transfer capital from bank accounts, and so on.
- Gray hat: This type of hacker is placed between moral hackers and black hats and penetrates the systems without permission and only with the view of identifying weaknesses and revealing them to the system owner.
- Scripting: A non-skilled person with no specialized knowledge who only penetrates computer systems with a special tool.
- Hack Activists: A hacker who uses hacking to send social, political, and religious messages. These people usually achieve their goals by hijacking websites and posting messages on them.
- Freeker: A hacker who detects and exploits the weaknesses of phones instead of computers.
Hack on Android phones
While most hacking is done on Windows computers, the Android operating system is also a good target for hackers. Early hackers often used methods with basic equipment to access secure communication networks and costly long-distance calls. These hackers are called freelancers. In the 1970s, the term was defined as a subculture. Today, freelancers have evolved from the field of analog technology and entered the field of digital world with more than two billion mobile devices. Phone hackers use a variety of methods to access the phone, as well as listen to audio messages, phone calls, text messages, and even phone and camera microphones without permission and even inform users.
Compared to the iPhone, Android phones are more vulnerable due to the nature of the text and inconsistencies in the software development standard, and are more at risk of theft and data loss. Cybercriminals can monitor data stored on the phone, including financial and identity information, track your location, send text messages over the phone, and even infiltrate your other calls with a built-in link. Of course, sometimes the police also hack into mobile phones to store copies of texts and emails, copy private calls, or track suspicious movements; But black hat hackers usually hack mobile phones by accessing bank account information and deleting data or adding infiltration programs.
In phishing operations, people are encouraged to disclose sensitive information through social engineering
Telephone hackers specialize in many computer hacking methods and can also implement these methods for hacking Android phones. For example, in phishing operations, the hacker encourages individuals or members of the organization to disclose their sensitive information through social engineering.
The phone works like a smaller URL than a personal computer, and it’s easier to perform phishing operations on a mobile Internet browser because it shows errors such as intentional spelling mistakes compared to desktop browsers. In this method, the victim receives a message from the bank asking him to log in to his account to solve an urgent problem and click on the submitted link. The account hacker then accesses the account by entering the account information. Trojan apps downloaded from unsafe markets are another type of threat to Android phones. The main Android operators (Google and Amazon) closely monitor third-party applications; But sometimes the software finds its way to secure sites. In this way, the telephone is accompanied by the victim hosting spyware, ransomware, adware and other malware.
Other methods are usually more complex and do not require the encouragement of the user to click on the malicious link. The hacker can access the phone with him if the victim appears on the Bluetooth Protected Network. Even hackers can operate like secure networks or cell phone towers and route routes and landings. If a person leaves the phone unlocked in a public place, the hacker can obtain it without having to steal it by copying the SIM card.
Hacking Mac systems
Hacking is not just a problem with Windows systems, and Mac users are not safe from hacking and hacking. In 2017, for example, the Phishing campaign targeted most Mac users in Europe. The campaign sent a kind of trojan to the victims, which was accompanied by a valid developer license from Apple. As a result, the hacker attacked the victims’ system by alerting the entire page to the immediate deployment of OS X and its immediate installation. If the hack was successful, the attackers would have access to all of the victim’s communication channels and would have been able to eavesdrop on all web browsing, even by connecting to HTTPS.
In addition to social engineering hacks on a Mac, a hardware error can lead to system vulnerabilities. Examples include Meltdown and Specter errors in early 2018. Apple went to great lengths to address these errors by designing and providing security protection; But he also advised customers to download the software from reliable sources such as iOS and Mac operators, and to prevent hackers from abusing the CPU error. Another example of the infiltration of McCallisto Calisto is a branch of Proton malware that was discovered in 2018. The malware is embedded in a kind of Mac cybersecurity installer, and one of its operations was to collect usernames and passwords. Some hackers use viruses, some with security and malware errors, and generally with a wide range of tools in their hands to take advantage of Mac system crashes.
If your computer, tablet, or phone is hacked, you need to build a defensive wall around it. First, download one of the most powerful anti-malware products that can detect and neutralize malware and block the connections of phishing websites. Of course, regardless of whether you are on Windows, Android, Mac or iPhone or on a business network, a protective layer such as Malwarebytes software is recommended for Windows, Mac, Android, Chromebook, iOS and Malwarebytes commercial products.
Then download companion phone apps only from legitimate and secure markets such as Google, Apple and Amazon Operator. Apple’s policy has limited iPhone users to download only from the operator. Also, before downloading any application, first try its rank and feedback. If the app has a low ranking and number of downloads, it’s best to avoid it. Remember that no bank or online payment system will ask you to send sensitive information such as social security numbers or credit card numbers via email. Regardless of whether you use a telephone, a companion, or a computer, make sure the operating system, software, and other software are up to date.
Avoid visiting unsafe websites and never download invalid attachments or click on anonymous email links. All of the above are the basics of web security; But profiteers are always looking for a new way to break into systems. If a hacker discovers one of your passwords that you use for various services, he can hack into your other accounts using hacking programs. So, always make your password long enough and complex enough to avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, and instead try to use password management software; Because hacking is just an account enough to cause disaster.
How does hacking affect businesses?
Businesses are good prey for hackers. In the second half of 2018, 55% of attacks on businesses were carried out through trojans and ransomware, which means that these methods are popular among hackers; In particular, Trojan attacks on businesses reached 84% and ransom attacks reached 88%.
Currently, two major Trojan threats to businesses are Emotet and TrickBot. Not to mention that most recent ransom attacks have been the result of GandCrab. Emotet, Trickbot, and GandCrab are all based on malspam. Spam emails change the shape of familiar brands and encourage users to click on infected download links or open attachments containing malware.
Emotet has evolved from a type of banking trojan to a tool for transmitting other malware, such as Trickbot banking trojans; So what happens when cybercriminals attack your network? Emotet Trojan stopped major systems in Alantown; As they needed to clean up Microsoft’s support team, the cost of restoring systems in the city was about $ 1 million.
GandCrab is a ransom that has raised $300 million for its authors so far, and the ransom has ranged from $600,000 to $700,000. Given the growing number of hacking and hacking attacks, the question is: How can you protect your business against hacking? To be safe, we suggest you follow these tips:
- Network Segmentation: Try to distribute your data among smaller subnets. By doing this, you can avoid attacks or the attacks will only penetrate a few limited points and not threaten your entire infrastructure.
- Applying the Minimum Point (PoLP) Principle: By giving users access to the tasks they need, you can minimize the potential damage of ransomware attacks.
- Backup of all data: You must use this strategy for the entire network. As long as you have a good archive of your data, you can clean up infected systems and recover from backup.
- Teaching end users about spam: Hacking training is one of the basic ways to prevent attacks and intrusions. You don’t have to start the hack from scratch; It’s just that users need to be aware of invalid emails and attachments they receive from anonymous senders. By controlling attachments, users avoid executing files and activating code on office files; As a result, all you have to do is ask them to check the suspicious emails. With a quick phone call or a short email, you can let users know about this. Additionally, teach employees how to create strong passwords and apply a multi-step authentication (MFA) or at least two-step authentication.
- Software Update: Emotet and Trickbot rely on EternalBlue / DoublePulsar vulnerabilities to infect devices and distribute them across the network; So, keep your system up to date.
- Endpoint protection: Malwarebytes can protect your system with options such as Endpoint Protection, Endpoint Security, and Endpoint Detection and Response.
- Hacking means identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities in computer systems or networks.
- Cybercrime is a crime committed with the help of information technology and computer infrastructure.
- Moral hacking means improving the security of computer systems or computer networks.
- Moral hacking is legal.