Why hackers Hack?
Computer technology and network connections have grown to become a staple in our lives today. With the increased usage and dependability on computers, it's logical the crimes associated with them would rise in popularity to match this growth in usage. As a result, hacking has become a prevalent issue, and most of the time the consequences of a hack have adverse results to the victim. Hacking has a long history dating back to approximately the 1960s. At the time, the term "hacking" was denoted as a positive one since computer usage was not widespread and the people involved with computers typically were interested in how technology works. The growth and integration of technology into most facets of our information dependent society has changed the dynamics and over time the term "hacking" has taken on a negative connotation due to bad publicity and the increased occurrence of computer crimes. When trying to determine why hackers hack, it's important to differentiate there are two types of hackers nowadays, each with different motivators. In the computing community, it has been tried to distinguish "good" vs. "bad" hacking by referring to the "bad guys" as crackers. However, the term is pretty interchangeable these days, and society pretty much refers to any unauthorized computer entry as a hack.
So why do they do it?
Crackers ("black hats") typically break into systems to do damage and/or commit crimes. They install tracking software, viruses, Trojans and numerous other kinds of Malware. Hackers ("white hats"), on the other hand, normally do it for intellectual stimulation, utilizing their skills to identify "vulnerabilities in systems and improve security" . Usually their objective is to discover weaknesses so fixes can be implemented. The primary difference between the two kinds of hacking is one appears to do it for altruistic reasons to benefit the good of the whole, while the other is doing it for criminal reasons and personal gain. The crackers typically release malicious code they've stolen or downloaded off the Internet to find unprotected computers. Hackers, on the other hand, have the knowledge and are usually high-skilled. Motivators for hacking include financial gain, notoriety, and personal satisfaction in knowing they have this power over others; there is the claim from some they do it for selfless reasons to try and assess vulnerabilities in order to combat computer crimes. The latter can have positive results if it encourages strengthening systems and educating about computer security; however, there is a lot of controversy as to whether or not this is ethical, despite its claims of unselfish purposes.There is a definitive difference between the two types of hackers and the motivators are what distinguish them. Both kinds of hacking have significant issues attached to them; since cracking is associated with criminal activity and intentional harm being invoked, therein lays the difference. This type of hacking for personal profit has obvious consequences, but hacking for the intellectual reasons still has significant costs as network administrators use up a lot of time and energy trying to deal with an unauthorized entry as they don't know when an entry is trying to do harm or not. When unauthorized entry is discovered, it takes up time and resources to identify the source.Hacking can be harmful regardless of the motivators, and it is an activity we, as a society, will continue to have to be vigilant about.
ARE HACKERS OMNIPOTENT?
I don't imagine that there would be many people out there who regard computer hackers with much more than disdain unless they know some of them personally and actually like them. The hacker community at large has not tended to project an image of omnipotence. But it is one perpetuated by its intermittent "denial of service" attacks that flood popular websites with useless information and shut them down. While impressive in their intensity and duration the effects of these attacks are actually quite brief (though they feel like an eternity) and the public image of hackers remains one shrouded in some mystery but inspiring less than awe of late.Hackers have been able to steal credit card information. But they have not been able to crack large credit databases and erase the information. Presumably for some companies that have large debt this could result in a multi-million dollar winfall if they were to pay some hacker enough money to erase any evidence of what they owe. The incentive is there but no hacker, at the behest of any corporation, has done it presumable because the firewalls used by financial insitiutions are simply impenetrable. Also, paper trails still exist detailing consumer and corporate debt.Hackers, also generally know what they know and go little beyond adding to it. They do not seek as much expansion of their knowledge as they because they already have so much more in their own milieu than most people do. They also constantly update the knowledge in their own milieu leaving little time for the fields of endeavour outside other than passing curiousity. Their worldview is mercifully small in scale and they act largely as conduits of information, rather than interpreters of it. If it were not so, then chaos of unprecedented proportions could be in the offing. But that presumes that hackers are of a singular view and that it is a malevolent or self-absorbed view. No community is without divisions and the hacker community is not the exception to that rule. The type of hacking seen in movies like War Games, Hackers, Firewall and Swordfish just isn't done and never was. It is a thorough misrepresentation of the boring reality that the limits of technology still enclose around us. The perceived hacker capacity and urge to steal information and/or destroy it is a source of occasional amusement and at times, continual annoyance in the hacker community. Your typical hacker also does not look like Matthew Broderick, Angelina Jolie or Hugh Jackman .Presumably if the desire existed, hackers would target their enemies like politicians on the political right, the mainstream media and anyone or anything that works towards the goal of restricting free speech or the flow of information. But first, hackers would actually have to identify these groups as enemies and too few of them actually do to make much of a difference.
What is hacking and reverse engineering?
The term Hacker is a misconstrued term. Traditionally the term hacker was applied to anyone who was good with computers, specifically when it came to programming them. The media then got hold of this word and applied it to anyone that committed crimes using a computer. The present writer is going to assume that for this articles sake the term hacker here is going to be synonymous with computer criminal.A hacker is someone who uses a computer for malicious intent. They can range from people breaking into mainframes for profit to a kid spreading a destructive virus for their own personal amusement. Hackers know computers and networks inside and out. They find flaws in systems and learn how to exploit them.There are different types of hacking as well. Computers cover a wide range of subjects and material. It is hard to be an expert in all aspects of computing. Therefore hackers are often specialized in one particular area, or set of areas. For instance some hackers focus on hacking phone systems while others focus on hacking mainframe computers. One particular type of hacking has to do with software, specifically proprietary software. What is meant by proprietary software is that the source code is not available. When a piece of software is written it is written in a language that human beings can readily understand. It is then compiled into machine code which is a series of ones and zeros. The compiled program is generally an executable file. Open source software is distributed with the executable file and the source code. This means that anyone can make changes to the source code and therefore the program. Proprietary software is distributed with the executable file alone. There is a patent on the software and it is illegal to make changes to the program without permission. Reverse engineering is a process that tries to take the executable program and extract the source code from it. Doing this would allow a hacker to find security flaws in the program, or distribute the source code to a competitor. Reverse engineering can also have its benefits as well. Groups of people are dedicated to plugging security holes in software. They use reverse engineering to find security flaws and plug them. Often times they will send these patched programs back to the company to implement and redistribute.
How to detect a hacker attack?
Everybody knows what hacker attacks are and that they can cause a lot of harm. So, naturally, the best thing is to avoid being attacked, know how to detect an attack right away and act immediately. Unfortunately, hacker attacks can be pretty hard to detect, especially if you are a novice user. Here are a few tips to help you:
1. Suspiciously high outgoing traffic for dial-up and ADSL is the first thing that should attract your attention, especially if you’re not uploading anything at the time. So, if you notice that your outgoing traffic is all of a sudden unusually high, it could mean that your computer has been compromised and used either to send spam or viruses to all your contacts. Cable users, don’t fret – with cable it is quite normal to have the same amount of outgoing and incoming traffic.2. Look out for strange looking files in the root directories of your drives and/or too much disk activity. Usually hackers run a thorough scan of your system after they’ve successfully hacked into it. They do it to steal your personal information – like passwords, credit card details, PayPal account details etc. So, increased disk activity and suspicious files might be an indication that your system has either been hacked or is infected with malware.3. If your personal firewall is reporting blocking large packets of data from the same IP address, that could mean that someone is probing your defences and is trying to break in. The good thing about it all is that if your firewall is blocking the attacks, then it most likely will continue doing so. Remember – having a personal firewall is essential if you want to keep your computer away from harm.4. A lot of hackers still rely on trojans and backdoors. So, if your anti-virus software starts finding a lot of those, try increasing protection, use an Internet security suite instead of a basic anti-virus. If you don’t want to purchase a security suite and prefer using free anti-virus and antimalware software, then download Malwarebytes’ – it can be installed alongside your anti-virus and will detect infections that are often missed by other software.Hacker attacks, identity thefts, and other cyber crime are the bane of modern age. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to even the slightest changes in your computer behavior and take preventive measures. Also better to be safe than sorry.