What is Hacking? 

Hacking is a process in which a person looks for the security holes of a computer to gain unauthorized access. Once a person identifies and disrupts security holes in a computer system, he then decodes the password through cracking. 

Cracking is the process of recovering a system’s password to obtain access. Anyone who tries to crack a system’s password is known as the hacker and the overall act is called hacking. 

Hackers are free to hack a single computer, an entire LAN network, email, and individual social accounts. These hackers use various password cracking algorithm programs to obtain a system’s password. 

Today, both businesses and individual users have a computer system. Organizations rely on a huge network to manage and continue their daily workflow.

Websites, computers, domains, and applications have become mandatory for enterprises to facilitate a successful flow of information. As a result of having a wide network and applications, enterprises are turning more prone to hacking. 

What are the objectives behind hacking? 

Often, hacking takes place for illicit purposes. The hackers use hacking techniques to access and take control over a network’s security system.

The hacking attempts are carefully designed to harm an organization’s finances or market reputation. Similarly, such hacking programs can also be designed for a single computer or individual system to cause detrimental stealing of sensitive information. 

Such hacking attempts to gain illegal access into a system or organizational network is illegal by law. 

However, not every hacking is intended to cause harm. Ethical hacking is hacking that is done by professionals or government law institutes. 

The purpose of ethical hacking is to identify vulnerabilities in a network or computer. It also helps government law agencies to check and reduce hacking attempts that cause disruptions to individuals and businesses. 

Common targets of hacking attacks 

Websites are one of the most common targets of hackers. It has been seen that a lot of times, online accounts, and websites got hacked. The hackers obtain access control of websites and make irrelevant alterations in the content.  

Similarly, hackers also target government and financial websites to steal money and sensitive information.

 Online retailing websites are also included in the hackers’ favorite list. Cybercriminals attack these websites to access users’ credit card information and make purchases of thousands of dollars. 

Types of hacking 

There are different types of hacking that cyber attackers might use to gain unauthorized access to your system and get your personal information. Below are some of the most common types of hacking: 

  • Phishing attack 

Phishing is the most well-known type of hacking. It is a fraudulent trick to get a username and password to access the system. In a phishing attack, the hacker pretends to be a trustworthy source and sends an email to the intended user. 

The user believes that the email is coming from someone he knows and as soon as the user clicks on the spam email, his system gets hacked. 

In a phishing attack, cybercriminals use social engineering to trick users and get sensitive information including user name, password, banking, and credit card details. 

  • Ransomware attack 

Ransomware is also a form of hacking in which cyber criminals target and encrypt any important file of an organization. Due to encryption, the file is no longer readable for the organization. 

Cybercriminals ask the file owner to pay a ransom to regain access. Moreover, the hackers also give instructions on how to pay for the decryption keys. Usually, attackers ask to pay via cryptocurrency. 

  • DDoS attack 

DDoS is a hacking attack in which a hacker throws fake traffic on a targeted website’s server. As a result of the huge amount of traffic the website’s server fails to respond to the relevant requests and sometimes crashes down. 

The purpose of a DDoS attack is to interrupt the availability of a website. It could be disturbing for a business to not respond to the legitimate user’s requests. DDoS attacks can also shut down a website temporarily.

  • UI redress 

UI redress refers to clickjacking in which a hacker forms a fake user interface and misleads users to click on it while visiting a web page. When a user clicks on the fake UI, his system automatically gets hacked.

  • Cookies Theft 

Cookie theft is the hacking attack that is only possible when you and the hacker are using the unsecured Wi-Fi connection. 

In this attack, the hacker copies session data and pretends to be a real user and access a website with malicious codes and steal cookies that control sensitive information. 

Most common hacking tools 

There are some hacking tools available that hackers might use to throw a successful hacking attack. 

  • Vulnerability Scanner 

A vulnerability scanner is a tool that helps hackers to find a system’s vulnerabilities. Vulnerability scanner doesn’t work only for computers; it can also effectively detect weaknesses in a network or communication system. 

A vulnerability scanner is a good tool that helps professionals in identifying weaknesses that reside inside the system. But, it can be equally dangerous but someone with bad intentions can also use this tool to identify someone’s system security holes. 

  • Keyloggers

Keyloggers is a unique software that keeps track of every key pressed on a system. This tool stores every keystroke made on the keyboard. Any user who clicks on a malicious link can easily allow keyloggers to be installed on his system. 

Keyloggers are a great threat to the users because they store each and every password, credit card number, visited a website, and everything that is typed in via the keyboard. 

With keyloggers, hackers can access PIN codes, passwords, account numbers, and other confidential data. 

  • RootKits 

RootKits comprises different sets of tools that allow hackers to control a system remotely. Hackers install RootKits into a user’s system through a phishing or social engineering attacks. 

When a hacker successfully installed RootKits into the system, he can freely control the system remotely and access confidential information. 

How to prevent hacking 

You just need to follow some basic security guidelines to protect your system from hacking. I am pretty sure that all these steps will help you make your device hack-proof. Below I am outlining some major security rules to follow: 

  • Use a password manager 

Keeping your passwords well-organized and encrypted is the best way to keep your system away from hacking. Using a trusted password manager helps you to create complex and encrypted passwords. It also lets you access your passwords safely across different smartphones, systems and tablets you use. 

  • Connect to a VPN 

When you browse the web without a VPN, your network directly communicates to the internet. It means that anyone who is logging your traffic can easily access your browsing history and web pages that you frequently visit. 

Moreover, without a VPN, intruders can easily access your device name, IP address and location, and its quite sensitive information. Hackers later use this information to further disrupt your system’s privacy. 

On the other hand, when you use a VPN it encrypts your traffic, hides your IP address, and assigns you with a new IP address. It means that no one can access your network information. 

A VPN works as the middle-man and there is no direct communication between your system and the internet. A VPN forms a secure tunnel and encrypts your traffic in case, if someone accesses your traffic still it’s unreadable due to encryption. 

In addition to the VPN security, the demand for VPN for Australia, USA, and Germany also upsurge during the COVID-19 global lockdown.

  • Frequently update your OS

Try to run the most up to date OS on your system. The latest version of the OS already fixes all the bugs so there is less vulnerability for malware or hacking attack. 

  • Install Antivirus program 

It is advised to install trusted antivirus software in your system to be sure about the malware attacks. Antivirus software also lets you know about malicious web pages so that you can avoid visiting them and protect your system from malicious attacks. 

  • Install a Firewall 

Installing a Firewall is important to protect your data. A firewall works as a barrier and monitors your data that is transmitting between system and servers. The Firewall helps you determine that the data is secure or not. In case, if the firewall found that data packets are not secure then Firewall rejects those packets of data as per its security rules. 

Conclusion 

New hacking tricks are constantly evolving and to keep your system well-protected it is crucial to meet the standard cybersecurity measures. Following some basic guidelines from the very start will help you protect your network from hacking and other malicious attacks. 

Keep yourself updated about the latest security tools and software to maintain 100% data protection. Always use a VPN, install antivirus programs, run frequent security scans, and get the Firewall protection. 

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