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Hacking is an act of performing illegal operations to identify the weakness of a computer system or network in order to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information for some illicit purpose. Example: using password cracking algorithms to steal a system password.

To better understand hacking, one needs to first understand Hackers. A Hacker is a person who keeps exploiting the weakness in computer systems or networks. Usually, a hacker is considered to be intelligent and highly skilled in computer programming with the knowledge of computer security. In particular, these hackers could always hack on any high-security level systems to solve the problems and espionage on competitor’s systems to interpret a code. These hackers now hold a conference, argue in forums, have meetings, generate publicity and write software code. They are deeply engaged in formulating network and computer technologies, and more focused on the creation of technical infrastructures that are used to take other actions.

Hackers are categorized according to their intent actions:

  • White hats are also called as Ethical Hackers who gain access to systems with an intention to fix the identified weakness by performing penetration tests and vulnerability assessments.

  • Black Hats are also known as Crackers, who gain illegal access to systems with an intention to steal corporate data, violating privacy rights, and illegally transferring funds from bank accounts.

  • Grey Hats are the hackers who fall in between the two categories black hats and white hats. These hackers break into computer systems without any authorization and reveal the necessary information to the owners.

  • Script Kiddies are non-skilled persons, who have no knowledge about hacking but can gain access to systems through readymade tools.

  • Hacktivist is a hacker who uses hacking methodologies to send any social, religious and political messages by hijacking the websites.

Ethical Hacking

Companies are performing Ethical hacking to identify the potential threats to their connected networks. Ethical hackers bypass the system security and search for any weak points so that it can be easily exploited by the malicious hackers. In other words, ethical hacking is a kind of hacking performed with legal rights to overcome or eliminate any potential threats that bring bad reputation to an organization.

  • It is one of the preferred methods used to protect a company’s most valuable information and save lots of money.
  • Easy to identify any security vulnerability in software or hardware and reporting to the software vendors or developers.
  • Ethical hacking puts an organization a step ahead of the cybercriminals who may steal sensitive information related to a company’s business and leading to a loss.

Computers have become a mandatory device to run a successful business. Increased use of computer systems has not only paved ways to improvements in business operations but on the other side, it has opened doors to some fraudulent acts such as privacy invasion, stealing corporate or personal data, etc.

Cybercrime is performing illegal activities on computers and networks to spread viruses, online bullying, unauthorized electronic funds transfer, money laundering, ATM fraud, spam, and identity theft.

WannaCry Ransomware attack is a recent and popular cyber attack performed through crypto worms targeting the systems running Microsoft Windows OS by encrypting data and demanding payments. It a biggest cyber attack ever in the internet history, affecting thousands of machines.

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