A whole lot of things have been heard and said about hacking. A young chap of ten may even tell you a little about hacking.

So, you can always conclude hacking isn’t a new concept. How does hacking work? What exactly is it? Why do hackers hack? The answers to these questions are just a few lines away.

What is hacking?

Hacking refers to any sort of activity that is associated with unauthorized intrusion or attempt to bypass the security mechanism of a network or computer.

It can also be described as non-malicious activities that involve improvised or unusual alterations to digital gadgets (like smartphones, computers, and other equipment) as well as their security features or processes to achieve a goal is different from the original purpose of the gadget.

Anyone involved in finding or taking advantage of the vulnerability of the security system of a network or computer is known as a hacker.

Hacking requires a few numbers of skills before it can be accomplished. Some of such skills include:

  • Effective capability to work with numbers

Hackers are generally good at mathematics and numerical. Since hacking needs breaking down a huge amount of codes, algorithm and at times data. Actually, the best hackers are mathematics guru.

  • A retentive Memory and An Ability to think logically

 To hack successfully, Hackers go through the drill of arranging things like the littlest facts and details. At times they might need a lot of sources to hack just an account. You will have to admit that this might take a lot of memory space alertness and attentiveness from the supposed hacker.

  • The need to be extra patient

Although most of these hackers are bad guys, they also need to be very patient when actualizing their supposed evil scheme to avoid failing woefully or getting caught.

The act of hacking requires a lot of time and plan to carry out the executions of plans.

The motives behind hacking

Generally, hackers hack for a various reasons.

They take their time to discover the weakness in a network or computer system and use that to alter its function, download information, block regular users’ access, or access more computers that are in a network.

Other reasons might be to enhance their financial gains, stage a protest, get information that is considered private and confidential and at times, they hack just for the fun of it.

To get their job done, hackers might steal secret stuff about you or your organization, obtain your password or your company’s password, get information from your credit cards to enrich themselves or create menacing traffic on your website that might lead to a great crash.

This does not mean that all hackers or hacking processes are bad.

In fact, there’s a professional process or practice called penetration testing which was built around ethical hacking.

Types of Hackers

White Hat Hackers

White hat hackers follow the book to the letter; they are quite legitimate and have permission to try to figure out the vulnerability of a network or computer system. Most times they follow laid down rules.

Black Hat Hackers

Black hat hackers can be regarded as the evilest hackers. They are illegal hackers that carry out prohibited activities on a system for their self-gain.

Grey Hat Hackers

Grey hat hacker mostly hacks for good intentions. However, they do not have legal or legitimate backing to carry out such acts.

types of hackers

Hacking Methods

Below are some hacking methods and terms you’ll hear when discussing hackers and what they normally do.

1. Buffer overflow method

This method strives at delivering vicious orders to a computer system by overrunning the buffer of an application.

2. Denial of service method

DDoS aims to cripple an unsuspecting victims’ system or website by slowing down its normal traffic system. It works by flooding the system or website of its victim with fabricated and invented traffic to slow it down, crash it or prevent it from handling normal traffic.

3. Introduction of virus method

The hackers introduce self-replicating programs or data that quickly spreads by introducing copies of themselves into other weak and fragile files and documents in a system. An example of this type of virus is the email worm sent to a victim’s system like the normal and regular email messages.

4. Cracking of password method

The hackers try their best at recovering passwords from stored data on a victim’s computer system or those transmitted by computers in a network.

5. Spoofing

Hackers that have a special website uses this method. On their website, data are falsified to look like that of an approved and legitimate website. An unsuspecting victim might download such data thinking it is legitimate and from trusted sites.

6. The Trojan horse method

This method will look like a helpful application. However, its major target is to trick the computer operator into downloading or opening the program only to invade the system unaware. It is a backdoor (secret pathway) in the computer system where a hacker can use to gain entrance into the computer system.

How to safeguard yourself

If you are an organization, you could seek the help of legitimate hackers to constantly use their hacking skills to find loopholes in your organization’s website, security or computer system to prevent theft, ruin to your organization’s identity and other stuff that could cause harm to your organization. Using a decent antivirus and VPN services might be enough to keep yourself safe.

If you an individual always update your computer system (especially your operating system and antivirus programs) from time to time to avoid attacks on your system.

You should also create and use different and hard to predict passwords for different accounts and change your passwords often or as much as you can. 

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