Hacking is a process to bypass the security mechanisms of an information system or network.
In common usage, hacker is a generic term for a computer criminal, often with a specific specialty
in computer intrusion. While other definitions peculiar to the computer enthusiast community exist, they are rarely used in mainstream context Or Hacking is an unauthorized use of computer and network resources. (The term “hacker” originally meant a very gifted programmer. In recent years though, with easier access to multiple systems, it now has negative implications..)
A hacker is someone who likes to tinker with software or electronic systems.
Hackers loves exploring and learning how computer systems operate.
Now-days, hacker has taken on a new meaning — someone who maliciously breaks into systems
for personal gains. Technically, these criminals are crackers (criminal hackers).
*Crackers break into (crack) systems with malicious intent. They are out for personal gain: fame, profit, and even revenge.
*They modify, delete, and steal critical information, often making other people miserable.
There are two types of hackers:
(+) White Hat – These are considered the good guys. White hat hackers don’t use their skills for illegal purposes. They usually become Computer Security experts and help protect people from the Black Hats.
(-) Black Hat – These are considered the bad guys. Black hat hackers usually use their skills maliciously for personal gain. They are the people that hack banks, steal credit cards, and deface websites.
Understanding the Need to Hack Your Own Systems:
To catch a thief, think like a thief.
Above quote is the actual basis for Ethical Hacking. With the increased numbers and expanding knowledge of hackers
combined with the growing number of system vulnerabilities and other unknowns, the time will come when all computer systems are hacked or compromised in some way. Protecting your systems from the bad guys — and not just the generic vulnerabilities that everyone knows about— is the need of the hour and is absolutely critical.
When you know hacker tricks, you can understand how vulnerable your systems are.
Hacking preys on weak security practices and undisclosed vulnerabilities.
[+]As hackers expand their knowledge, so should you.
What is an exploit?
An exploit is a piece of malware code that takes advantage of a newly-announced or otherwise unpatched vulnerability in a software application, usually the operating system, a web browser or a program that routinely activates through a web browser (PDF reader, media player, or other ‘plug-in’). A zero-day exploit is an exploit that takes advantage of a vulnerability on the same day
that the vulnerability is announced.
What is vulnerability?
Software applications, such as the Microsoft operating system or your web browser are complex feats of engineering, often with millions of lines of programming code. Inevitably, errors creep
into the code, and some of these errors create security vulnerabilities that malefactors can take advantage of with exploits and other malware.
I know this topic seems queit boring but interested one might love it.. ❤
Hacking has been a part of computing for 40 years.
The Dawn of Hacking
The first computer hackers emerged at MIT. They borrow their name from a term to describe members of a model train group at the school who “hack” the electric trains, tracks, and switches
to make them perform faster and differently. A few of the members transfer their curiosity and rigging skills to the new mainframe computing systems being studied and developed on campus.
Hacker Message Boards and Groups
Phone phreaks begin to move into the real of computer hacking, and the first electronic bulletin board systems (BBSs) spring up.
The precursor to Usenet newsgroups and e-mail, the boards–with names such as Sherwood Forest and Catch-22–become the venue of choice for phreaks and hackers to gossip, trade tips,
and share stolen computer passwords and credit card numbers.
The Morris Worm
Robert T. Morris, Jr., a graduate student at Cornell University and son of a chief scientist at a division of the National Security Agency, launches a self-replicating worm on the government’s
ARPAnet (precursor to the Internet) to test its effect on UNIX systems.
The worm gets out of hand and spreads to some 6000 networked computers, clogging government and university systems. Morris is dismissed from Cornell, sentenced to three years’ probation, and fined $10,000.
The Mitnick Takedown
Serial cybertrespasser Kevin Mitnick is captured by federal agents and charged with stealing 20,000 credit card numbers. He’s kept in prison for four years without a trial and becomes acause célèbre in the hacking underground.
After pleading guilty to seven charges at his trial in March 1999, he’s eventually sentenced to little more than the time he had already served while he awaited a trial.
Russian crackers siphon $10 million from Citibank and transfer the money to bank accounts around the world. Vladimir Levin, the 30-year-old ringleader, uses his work laptop after hours to
transfer the funds to accounts in Finland and Israel. Levin stands trial in the United States and is sentenced to three years in prison. Authorities recover all but $400,000 of the stolen money.
The Cult of Hacking and the Israeli Connection
The hacking group Cult of the Dead Cow releases its Trojan horse program, Back Orifice–a powerful hacking tool–at Def Con. Once a hacker installs the Trojan horse on a machine running Windows 95 or Windows 98, the program allows unauthorized remote access of the machine.
In one of the biggest denial-of-service attacks to date, hackers launch attacks against eBay, Yahoo, Amazon, and others.
Activists in Pakistan and the Middle East deface Web sites belonging to the Indian and Israeli governments to protest oppression in Kashmir and Palestine.
Microsoft becomes the prominent victim of a new type of hack that attacks the domain name server. In these denial-of-service attacks, the DNS paths that take users to Microsoft’s Web sites are corrupted. The hack is detected within a few hours, but prevents millions of users from reaching Microsoft Web pages for two days.
Now if you’re thinking, “Oh boy! Being a hacker sounds awesome!”, Then I have a question for you. Does it sound cool to live in a cell the size of your bathroom and be someone’s butt buddy for many years?