From the beginning of the time, humans were always curious to discover new things and to break the rules. As a human, we have a basic tendency to know the working of things and to use it in our favor. The All-father Odin gave away his one eye to obtain more knowledge this shows the extent to which human beings are ready to go to obtain knowledge.

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In today’s tech-savvy world where computing devices are the basis

of knowledge and power. Its human nature to know and understand

them and to use it in his advantage.

Now as we start understanding the working of things we also start to find the loopholes in their working so that they can be exploited to fullfill. some purpose. It can be malicious or aiding but a purpose is a purpose. As once a thinker said

there is nothing wrong or right it’s just the perception of the masses, the society that grades something to wrong or right, for the human is a Social Animal who is controlled influenced and moralled by the society.

northner

The same thing happens in the Digital World which is filled with loopholes ready to be exploited and/or corrected. And here the cool geeky terms like Hacking, exploiting, penetration testing comes into play. But the biggest question is

What is hacking?

For many of you hacking is having a cool laptop with nerdy looking black and green pattern and controlling the world from that laptop. Many of you might even think that hacking is all about the clicking buttons on a computer but believe me when I say that its much more than that meets the eye.
In a common definition, we can define hacking as
its the art of finding the working of any object and of finding any weakness in that working in order to exploit it in one’s advantage, or to fulfill one of the strongest human urge ie. Curiosity

In terms of todays Digital World we can define hacking as the

” Attempt to exploit a computer system or a private network’s weakness to get inside a computer. Simply put, it is the unauthorized access to get control over computer network or a system for some illicit purpose.”

Hacking isn’t just knowing many programming languages or knowing many tools, but hacking is understanding the whole system and using various methods to exploit it. Hacking can’t be defined by a single definition but it rather is a huge domain having tons and tons of subdomains.


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Hackers!

The persons carrying out the hacking are generally coined with the term “hackers”. They can be defined as the

“Persons who find and exploits the weakness in the computer system and/or network to gain access. ”

There are various type of hackers which are divided into various subgroups according to their intentions and ways used behind the hacking. The hackers can majorly be divided into following subgroups

  • White Hats(Ethical Hackers)
  • Black Hats(Cracker)
  • Grey Hats
  • Red Hat
  • Script Kiddies
  • Hacktivist

White Hats

Also known as ethical hackers, White Hat hackers are the good guys of the hacker world. 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 and must be certified to pursue a career in hacking. The most popular certification is the CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) from the EC-Council.

Black Hat

Also known as crackers, these are the men and women you hear about in the news. They find banks or other companies with weak security and steal money or credit card information. The surprising truth about their methods of attack is that they often use common hacking practices they learned early on.

Grey Hat

Nothing is ever just black or white; the same is true in the world of 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). These hackers comprise most of the hacking world.

Red Hat

These are the vigilantes of the hacker world. They’re like White Hats in that they halt Black Hats, but these folks are downright SCARY to those who have ever tried so much as PenTest. Instead of reporting the malicious hacker, they shut him/her down by uploading viruses, DoSing and accessing his/her computer to destroy it from the inside out. They leverage multiple aggressive methods that might force a cracker to need a new computer.

Script Kiddies

These are non-skilled person who gains access to computer systems using already made tools. Majority of the game cheaters are script kiddies.

Hactivist

These are the ones who use hacking to send social, religious, and political etc. messages. They are like the Red Hat hackers but they target anyone who they think is causing something wrong in this world. They mostly work in groups.


Phase in Hacking

Any type or form of hacking consist of these five basic steps or phases.

  1. Reconnaissance
  2. Scanning
  3. Gaining Access
  4. Maintaining Access
  5. Covering Tracks

Reconnaissance

This is the primary phase where the Hacker tries to collect as much information as possible about the target. It can be defined as a preliminary survey to gain information. It includes Identifying the Target, finding out the target’s IP Address Range, Network, DNS records, etc.

Scanning

In this step the information discovered during reconnaissance is used to examine the network. A hacker may employ various tools during the scanning phase such port scanners, network mappers, and vulnerability scanners. In this phase the hackers are seeking any information that can be used to perpetrate attack such as computer names, IP addresses, and user accounts.

Gaining Access:

By the end of initial two phases the hacker have a clear blueprint of the network and its attributes. Now its time for the real hacking. Vulnerabilities discovered during the reconnaissance and scanning phase are now exploited to gain access. The hacker can use various methods to connect to the target, such as LAN, WiFi, Internet, or even offline by the use of infected devices. Examples include stack based buffer overflows, denial of service (DoS), and session hijacking.

Maintaining Access

Now whats more important than winning first place in class is keeping that place. Hence once a hacker has gained access, they want to keep that access for future exploitation and attacks. Hackers can maintain their accesss to the target system by securing their exclusive access with backdoors, logic bombs, rootkits, and Trojans. Once a system is compromised then it can serve various purpose such as being a Bot/Zombie system and much more. That system even becomes a threat for the other system in the network.

Covering Tracks

In the last phase of the hacking, once hackers have been able to gain and maintain access, they cover their tracks. This is necesssary to avoid detection by security personnel, to continue to use the owned system, or to avoid legal action. Hackers try to remove all traces of the attack, such as log files or intrusion detection system (IDS) alarms.


That was a basic idea of what hacking is. But do you know “Why most hackers are young?”

Most hackers are young because young people tend to be adaptable. As long as you remain adaptable, you can always be a good hacker.

Emmanuel Goldstein, Dear Hacker: Letters to the Editor of 2600

So stay young, foolish and hungry for more knowledge.


Editorial Team
editor.theinformatica@gmail.com

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