The first step in protecting your systems from ransomware, viruses, malware and hackers might be to understand what actually motivates hackers to attack a network. For most individuals, it is almost impossible to imagine why anyone would get involved in illicit activities. Some hackers that allowed interviews have revealed that they do it for the thrill of hacking since it is a challenging hobby and others do it in seek of validation socially. Hacking for others is a status trip while others pursue their power of exploiting purely for financial gain.
For criminal hackers, it is all about the money, and there are numerous ways of financial gains in hacking, which ranges from credit card detail theft to personal detail or identity theft and ransomware demands system owners to pay a ransom before data will be usable or to prevent exposure of the information.
Hackers are often referred to as power seekers that are constantly testing their skill or ability to break into any system against the latest firewall or antivirus products. Hackers believe if you can control anything you have the power over it and if you have sensitive data, you can gain from it.
The hacking challenges are endless since every time a new protection system or software are launched it is an exciting event, and the challenge is to be the first to discover new programs vulnerabilities and the competition between hackers is fierce while it offers a huge adrenalin rush during the hacking activity. Targets that are reasonably secure allows hackers to demonstrate their ability. Hackers can control victim’s computer systems remotely, and in gaining control, they show dominance that gives them an ego boost in return.
The risk of getting caught is always a possibility like with any other crime, and in most cases, networks with honeypots are a favoured option or challenge. Security professionals are always finding new ways to defend systems from hackers such as firewalls, IDSs and IPSs. Every attack could get the hacker caught, and for many, it is a treasure hunt to gain access to cash, power and risk is the highlight.
Hackers belong to social groups just like most online internet users, they have peers and often breaking security systems is a way to gain respect in hacking communities. Inexperienced hackers or new members of the hacking community could be encouraged to achieve status in the group, and several have caused media havoc to get their names into the news.
Targets Most Favoured by Hackers
Anything individuals want to protect are called assets, and by conducting business or other transactions online, the data needs to be performed in a manner that is most secure.
Hackers favourite targets are quick, easy returns anything that pays off instantly and systems not properly secured are just that. A solid monetary score for any hacker is credit cards or banking details gained via remote access. Networks can be attacked via malware, span, file exchange, eavesdropping or encryption cracking. Information gained can be sold by the hacker. While some love big challenges, several hackers target easy to break systems or those without security instead of high risk or more complexed security protected systems. Endless hacking tips are available online just as security tips are available and new hackers join the world of internet crime daily.
The most typical areas of attack include:
- Typical IT Infrastructures: Allowing a Better Understanding of Hacker Targets.
- User Domain: A user domain is an individual, consultant, employee, worker or user.
- Social Engineering: Social engineering is an attack that that blindfolds individuals via relationship manipulation, lying, misdirection or clever wording and this form of attacks can get the user to provide private information by performing actions that will reduce security on their systems.
- Workstation Domain : Workstations are often less secured than LAN servers, in many cases, the security systems on these are outdated, old and not properly installed or configured, and the chances are that security upgrades are not regularly downloaded or installed.
- LAN Domain : A common target for hackers are private LAN from large corporations or SOHOs. A LAN consists of thousands of hosts or at least dozens, and the odds of everyone using the latest security is most unlikely. When a hacker gains access to one member’s system, everyone on LAN network are vulnerable, and the compromise of one host can lead to the compromise of the entire system and infrastructure.
- LAN / WAN Domain : The connection between LAN locations is the WAN connection controlled by third-parties. These are a famed target since the interfaces between the Wan connections and the private LAN can potentially have weak points and if compromised the malicious traffic is unlikely to be filtered.
- WAN Domain : WAN domains are networks such as ATMs owned by a carrier network that leases access to big companies. Rather than encryption, WAN connection is electronically isolated, and hackers focus on the carrier network rather on the LAN endpoint.
- Application/System Domains : Vulnerable targets are collections of servers and the data hosted are the hacker’s target. Often the computing power of such servers is the resource the hacker wishes to control.
Network Security Violations
Hackers, ignorance, oversight, and accidents violate network security. Hardware failures and accidents happen, what promotes ignorance is poor training and rushed staff could overlook issues that massively compromise loss. The most common threats to any company’s security network are hackers gaining information from disgruntled employees, or contract workers while the common threat group also includes professional hackers, opportunist’s hackers, and recreational hackers.
How the Hacking Process Work
The hacking process can be fascinating although it is disliked by IT professionals as the activity of hacking is random and chaotic when observed from an IT point. There is no standard list of procedures followed by hackers are often instead of seeking out system vulnerabilities they use other means to gain access. The hacking can fall into five different categories starting at activities that are post-the-attack. These include learning everything possible about the victim, the surveillance, and what data is collected both offline and online. Hackers are experts in most cases in the art of not tipping off the target or victim.
Various tools are used in confirming the information, and this stage is called the scanning, which includes ping sweeps, wardialing and post scanning.
Wardialing is a process in which the attackers use the telephone system to locate the answering and active systems.
Ping sweeps is an activity used to identify systems via network connection responding to the echo requests of the Internet Control Messaging Protocol.
The third post-attack stage is the enumeration, a process in which the hacker/s discover details about concerning their target, which includes vulnerabilities, the enumeration process includes the identification of the operating system, identification of the application, and an information extracting.
Tools used by hackers include keystroke logger to steal access via passwords, user account access via Trojan horses via attachments send via email. Spyware and Adware are often linked to record several user activities such as passwords, URLs visited, chats, screen captures, and images can be gained via webcam or system microphones.
Once hackers have identified their target and the pre-hacking process is completed the system can be manipulated in any way they please.
Security, Essential to Internet Survival
While this article hardly touches the danger and potential damage that individuals and business can suffer due to hacking, it does give users some insight into understanding the method behind the hacking madness.
The conditions are almost perfect for the attacker who never have to come into face-to-face contact with the victim although the losses suffered can be never-ending.
The best way to being safe and secure on the internet, is to stay away from it and that is one point every expert agrees on, it is impossible, and the next best advice is to stop them by making sure that all devices are always updated.
Prevention also starts by removing the one thing that could attract or be identified by hackers, and that is your IP address or IP location, it is not possible to hack something that cannot be seen.
VPNs masks users IP locations and IP address, the minute a VPN is used for internet connection the users “real” IP address changes to a random IP address and the location can be selected.
VPN service providers have placed hundreds of servers in locations across the globe allowing users for example in Australia to appear as a search from the UK and the IP address changes every time VPN users connects, which makes it impossible ever to identify the user or to track his/her online activities. VPN anonymity is the closest an individual can get in appearing that they never take part in online activities and not even Internet Service Suppliers can record or track activities during VPN use.
For peace of mind and in protecting your family or business the use of VPNs is one of the best prevention and security systems which can be used across all platforms.