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What Is Computer Hacking? What Web Users Should Know

Computer Hacking happens when someone breaks into a computing system illegally. Whether as a result of forced line entry, login credentials theft, or even during a protocol network breach. Generally speaking, hackers break-in by going around the usual security, like passwords, and getting into the computer system.

Especially through an unusual entry or a different route to the official one. As an example, it’s a bit like breaking into a house but finding a different way in other than the front door. A web server is a program that stores files (usually web pages) and makes them accessible via the network or the internet.

A web server requires both hardware and software. Attackers usually target the exploits in the software to gain authorized entry to the server.

The Emergence of Computer Hacking 

The mainstream media‘s current usage of the term may be traced back to the early 1980s. Especially when the term was introduced to wider society by the mainstream media in 1983. Even those in the computer community referred to computer intrusion as “hacking.” Although not as the exclusive definition of the word.

Due to the increased media use of “hacking“, exclusively connected with criminals, the computer community began to differentiate it.

What Is Computer Hacking?

Alternatively, in Server Computer Hacking, terms such as “cracker” were coined in an effort to maintain the distinction between “hackers.” More likely within the legitimate programmer community and those performing computer break-ins.

Further terms such as “black hat“, “white hat” and “gray hat” developed when laws against breaking into computers came into effect.  In this case to help distinguish criminal activities from those activities which were legal.

Who is a Computer Hacking Agent?

By definition, a computer hacker is any skilled computer expert that uses their technical knowledge to overcome a problem.

While “hacker” can refer to any skilled computer programmer, the term has become associated in popular culture with a “security hacker.

In general, someone who, with their technical knowledge, uses bugs or exploits to break into other computer systems. Did you know that there is a Hackathon Day?

Let’s look at some of the common vulnerabilities that attackers take advantage of.

  • Default settings– These settings such as default user id and passwords can be easily guessed by the attackers. Default settings might also allow performing certain tasks. Such as running commands on the server which can be exploited.
  • Misconfiguration of operating systems and networks – certain configurations such as allowing users to execute commands on the server can be dangerous. Especially, if the user does not have a good password.
  • Bugs in the operating system and web servers– discovered bugs in the operating system or web server software can also be exploited. In that case, to gain unauthorized access to the system.

In addition to the above-mentioned web server vulnerabilities, the following can also lead to unauthorized access

  • Lack of security policy and procedures– lack of a security policy and procedures such as updating antivirus software, patching the operating system, and web server software can create security loopholes for attackers.

The General types of Computer Hacks

Hacking is when someone breaks into a computer system. They break in by going around the usual security. Like passwords, and getting into the computer system via a different route to the official one.

It’s a bit like breaking into a house but finding a different way in other than the front door.

By classifying the type of engaged computer hack, we may achieve some of the major hacker types.

However, it is important to point out that, in cloud computing, some personalities trigger a hack process by accident.

Below is a clear example of the life of a teenage hacker.

A 15-year-old boy sits behind a glowing black monitor, typing furiously. The green text streams across his screen like a waterfall. His nervousness escalates dramatically as he sends rapid-fire commands to the strained computer. Suddenly, he lets out a triumphant laugh and proceeds to steal money.

Such is the stereotypical view of a hacker. Yet, there’s so much more to this fine art than Hollywood or the media describes.

What is a Cyber Attack?

But why do people carry out attacks like this? And is hacking always a bad thing? See more from the defined Source.

The cyberattack saw a harmful computer program spread to about 150 countries, including the UK, Spain, Russia, the US, and China. The program – which is called WannaCry – has caused chaos for many organizations.

But, the actions of a 22-year-old called Marcus – a UK security researcher who has his own company – helped to limit the damage.

He’s being called an “accidental hero” after registering a domain name to track the spread of the virus, which actually ended up stopping it from spreading.

Some hospitals had to cancel treatment and appointments, while many doctors were forced to use pens and paper to do their jobs, as their computers weren’t working.

Criminals carry out hacking attacks against businesses or organizations because they want to break into a company’s computer systems to cause trouble.

For example, they might want to steal information about customers or to stop an organization from being able to run properly.

What are the Effects of Computer Hacking?

Hacking can have a devastating effect on a company.

  • Time is lost as the company try to fix their systems and websites
  • The organization’s reputation is damaged, as it shows their systems are maybe not very safe
  • They might lose customers if people stop trusting the company and decide not to use their services anymore
  • Essential or sensitive information about customers could be stolen.
  • Companies might be forced to pay money in order to get back into their computers – and once they’ve paid the money, the criminals might not even let them back into their system anyway

Is Computer Hacking always a Crime?

When hacking is used for harmful reasons such as above, then it is a criminal offense and against the law.

However, knowing how to hack a computer system is not a crime – and you can use those skills in a positive way.

Many companies will employ people who know how to hack and ask them to deliberately try to break into their systems.

Equally important, this helps companies to know if their security is good enough and see where there are problems.

What is a Computer Hacker?

By definition, a hacker is an individual who uses a computer, networking, or other skills to overcome a technical problem.

Surprisingly, the term hacker may also refer to anyone with technical skills, but it often refers to a person who uses his or her abilities to gain unauthorized access. Especially, to systems or networks in order to commit crimes.

Hackers are varied creatures and include these 8 types.

1. Script Kiddie Hacker

During a server computer hacking process, you’ll find the most famous script kiddies.

Generally, a Script Kiddie normally doesn’t care about hacking, and if they did, they’d be Green Hats. The Script Kiddie copies the code and uses it for a virus or an SQLi or something else.

However, it is important to realize, the Script Kiddies never hack for themselves. Considering they’ll just download overused software (LOIC or Metasploit, for example) and watch a YouTube video on how to use it.

A common Script Kiddie attack is DoSing or DDoSing (Denial of Service and Distributed Denial of Service). In which they flood an IP with so much information it collapses under the strain.

Frequently, this attack is more often used by the “hacker” group Anonymous. Notably, the group that doesn’t help anyone’s reputation.

2. White Hat Hacker

Also known as Certified Ethical Hackers, White Hat hackers are the good guys of the Server Computer Hacking World. Probably, they’ll help you remove a virus or PenTest a company.

Most White Hat hackers hold a college degree in IT security or computer science. However, they must be Certified to pursue a career in hacking. The most popular certification is the CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) from the EC-Council.

The CEH credential certifies individuals in the specific network security discipline of Ethical Hacking from a vendor-neutral perspective.

A Certified Ethical Hacker is a skilled professional who understands and knows how to look for weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Particularly in target systems and uses the same knowledge and tools as a malicious hacker.

But, in a lawful and legitimate manner to assess the security posture of a target system(s).

3. Black Hat Hacker

Black Hat Hackers are also known as crackers. These are the men and women you’ll hear about in the news.

They find banks or other companies with weak security and steal money or credit card information. Surprisingly, they often use common hacking practices they learned early on.

4. Green Hat Hackers

As an example, during the Server Computer Hacking process, these are the hacker “n00bz.

But, unlike Script Kiddies, the Green Hat Hackers care about hacking and strive to become full-blown hackers. On the other hand, they’re often flamed by the hacker community for asking many basic questions.

When their questions are answered, they’ll listen with the intent and curiosity of a child listening to family stories.

5. Gray Hat Hackers

Nothing is ever just black or white; the same is true in the world of server computer hacking. Gray Hat hackers don’t steal money or information (although, sometimes they deface a website or two). Yet they don’t help people for good (but, they could if they wanted to).

For one thing, these hackers comprise most of the hacking world. Even though Black Hat hackers garner most (if not all) of the media’s attention.

The Gray hat hacker describes a cracker (or if you prefer hacker) who exploits a security weakness. Especially in a computer system or a product. By all means in order to bring the weakness to the attention of the owners.

Unlike a black hat, a gray hat acts without malicious intent. However, the goal of a gray hat is to improve the system and network security.

6. Red Hat Hackers

These are the vigilantes of the Server Computer Hacking World. Even though the Red Hat Hackers are like White Hat Hackers who halt Black Hats, they’re downright SCARY. Inasmuch as to those who have tried so much as PenTest.

Instead of reporting the malicious computing hacker, they shut him/her down by uploading viruses. And, especially by DoSing and Accessing their counterparts computer destroying it from the inside out. However, they leverage multiple aggressive methods that might force a cracker to need a new computer.

7. Blue Hat Hackers

It is important to realize that if a Script Kiddie Hacker took revenge, he/she might become a Blue Hat Hacker.

Blue Hat hackers will seek vengeance on those who’ve them angry. Most Blue Hats are n00bz too, but like the Script Kiddies, they have no desire to learn.

The Specialty of a Computer Hacking World

As a rule, the larger the network; in terms of the number of clients connected to it or the amount of data, the more likeliness to find several servers.

On the other hand, each server plays a specific role, with each dedicated to a specific purpose. Strictly speaking, the server is the software that handles a task.

However, the powerful hardware that supports this software is also usually called a server.

Of course, because server software coordinating a network of hundreds or thousands of clients requires hardware.

In particular, much more robust than what you’d buy for ordinary consumer use.

See the Common Types of Computer Servers.

How does a Computer Hack in Servers happen?

A server is a computer designed to process requests and deliver data to another computer over the internet or a local network.

The word ‘server‘ is understood by most to mean a web server where web pages can be accessed over the internet through a client like a web browser.

However, there are several types of servers, including local ones like file servers that store data within an intranet network.

Although any computer running special software can function as a server, the most typical use of the word is referenced to the specialty.

Particularly the very large, high-powered machines that function as the pumps pushing and pulling data from the internet.

Not to mention that most computer networks support one or more servers that handle specialized tasks.

Prevent Cyber Hacking with Mimecast

Despite your investment in the best cybersecurity solutions, your organization will likely fall victim to cyber hacking at some point in the future.

It’s simply too difficult to defend against cyber threats and vulnerabilities that are constantly evolving and growing in number. That’s why you’ll want to consider the latest paradigm in cyber defense: addressing cyber hacking with a strategy for cyber resilience.

Cyber resilience includes cybersecurity solutions to prevent cyber hacking as well as tools to mitigate the impact of a successful attack.

It’s about ensuring continuity during an attack, and about preventing the kind of damage that can have disastrous repercussions for your business and the bottom line.

Most cyber hacking today involves some kind of email-borne threat. Ransomware, spear-phishing, and impersonation fraud are only the latest in a cyber risk landscape that is continually becoming more sophisticated.

That’s why any resilience strategy to combat cyber hacking must include tools to protect email, simplify email backup and recovery, and ensure continuous access to email data during and after an attack.

That’s where Mimecast can Help

Summing Up,

Primarily, hacking was used in the “good old days” for leaking information about systems and IT in general.

In recent years, thanks to a few villain actors, hacking has taken on dark connotations.

Conversely, many corporations employ hackers to test the strengths and weaknesses of their own systems.

These hackers know when to stop, and the positive trust they build earns them a large salary.

By all means, hacking into someone else’s system may be illegal, so don’t do it unless you are sure you have permission.

Especially, from the owner of the system, you are trying to hack or you are sure it’s worth it and you will get caught.

Resourceful References;

  1. How a cPanel Dashboard works
  2. 11 Facts About Cyberbullying
  3. How to Hack a Web Server
  4. How to Hack: 12 Steps (with Pictures) – wikiHow
  5. What is the meaning of Cybercrime?
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