If you’ve been using the internet for a while now, then there’s a chance you’ve heard about ‘’hacking’’.
Do you want to know what hacking really is?
We’ll cover the basics in this post and then introduce you to some tools and techniques used by hackers.
What is Hacking?
Hacking is simply the act of subverting computer security OR the use of bugs and exploits to break into computer systems either for malicious or security purpose.
The collection of skills and tools used to gain access into a secured private network is what hacking involves.
Who is a computer hacker?
This is any skilled expert or programmer that uses their technical knowledge to either develop, change or gain access to a secured network. This can be done either for good or bad reasons.
It is popularly said that a true hacker is not a group person, but a person who loves to stay up all night, he and the machine in a love-hate relationship.
An analogy is made to learn how to engage in a combat which is seen as a skill that can be used for good (self-defense) or evil (robbery)
This is seeking to breach a network’s defense and exploit a weakness in a computer system or network.
It can be done either by an employed cyber-security operative as a way of circumventing computer security or by a cybercriminal for selfish purposes.
Types of Hackers
1. WHITE HATS
This term is synonymous with “Ethical hacker”.
White hats are hackers who work as cybersecurity operative for clients or security company to keep data safe from other malicious hackers.
This they do, by finding system vulnerabilities that can be mitigated.
The work of the White Hats is considered legal because they operate only with the consent of the system owner and are usually paid by the individual or organization they work for.
Black hats or crackers are hackers who break into a computer system for some malicious purpose and also for personal gain as well.
Their works are considered illegal as they often steal or exploit data for selfish reasons.
A subset of people under this category is called‘ crackers’. A cracker is a black hat but specifically someone who hacks to make gains and not just for vandalism. Cybercriminals fall into this category.
A grey hat hacker is a middle-man between the black hat and the white hat. They break into a computer system, not for a malicious purpose, but to fix and exploit vulnerabilities.
In other words, they find defects of a computer system and notify the administrators that their system has a security defect. In turn, they might charge them to get the defects fixed.
But even this is still seen as illegal because it is initiated without the consent of the system owners.
A script kiddie refers to the unskilled hacker who hacks into a computer system by using automated tools already written by other hackers.
A blue hat hacker is one who lives outside the system security ,but consults for a firm so as to bug-test their system, searching for a trace of exploits so that it can be closed.
A hacktivist is a hacker who uses technology to advertise ideological, religious or educational messages.
MOTIVES FOR HACKING
Four primary motives have been proposed as the reason why hackers attempt to break into
computers and networks.
First, a lot of hackers fill their purses when hacking systems as is seen with manipulating banking systems or cryptocurrency exchanges.
Second, many hackers are simply satisfied with increasing their reputation within the hacker subculture and will always leave their handles on websites they deface.
Some others leave evidence or proof that they were involved in a specific hack as seen in the popular hack of soccer team FC Barcelona Twitter Account
Third, corporate espionage allows companies to acquire information on products or services that can be stolen or used as leverage within the marketplace.
And fourth, state-sponsored attacks provide nation states with both wartime and intelligence collection options conducted on, in, or through cyberspace.
The Typical Approach Used To Hack A Network Is Listed Below
1. Network Enumeration
This simply the process of gathering information about the intended target or network.
2. Vulnerability Analysis
At this stage, hackers identify viable ways of attacking the network.
This is an attempt to compromise the system by employing the vulnerabilities found through the
In order to complete an attack cycle, there are several recurring tools and techniques used by computer hackers
and security experts.
Tools Used By Hackers
- Vulnerability Scanner
- Packet Analyzer
- Computer Worm
- Brute-force Attack
- Password Cracking
- Social Engineering
- Keystroke Logging
- Spoofing Attack
Even though the work of black hats has become the mainstream definition for hackers of all category, true ‘hacking’ remains a viable option for young Africans who are considering a career in cybersecurity.
Also, given the rise of tech start-ups springing up across Africa, it is largely expected that need for skilled hackers will be on the exponential across many companies.