Cyber Security By Amelia Turner

What is hacking?

Hacking is unauthorized intrusion into a computer or a network. The person engaged in hacking activities is generally referred to as a hacker. This hacker may alter system or security features to accomplish a goal that differs from the original purpose.

Types of hackers

• Black hat: A black hat hacker is a hacker with malicious intent. This type of hacker uses their skills to steal money or data, they might knock a computer system offline or even destroy them. They tend to target big name companies.

• White hat: A white hat hacker is an ethical hacker, has a non-malevolent purpose when he gains access to an unauthorised system. They tend to be security specialists.

• Grey hat: A grey hat hacker is the kind of programmer that has vindictive purpose at whatever point he goes about breaking into PC security frameworks with the utilization of innovation, for example, a system, telephone framework, or PC and without approval. His vindictive purposes can extend from various types of digital criminal acts, for example, theft, fraud, MasterCard extortion, vandalism, et cetera. He could possibly use faulty strategies, for example, conveying worms and malignant destinations to meet his finishes.

• Script Kiddie: A script kiddie hacker is an amateur hacker who breaks into people’s IT systems using his limited knowledge or using pre-packaged automated scripts, written by professional hackers.

• Green Hat – These are the hacker “n00bz,” but unlike Script Kiddies, they care about hacking and strive to become full-blown hackers. They’re often flamed by the hacker community for asking many basic questions. When their questions are answered, they’ll listen with the intent and curiosity of a child listening to family stories.

• 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.

• Blue Hat – If a Script Kiddie took revenge, he/she might become a Blue Hat. Blue Hat hackers will seek vengeance on those who’ve them angry. Most Blue Hats are new to hacking, but like the Script Kiddies, they have no desire to learn.

Some more definitions

• Phishing - the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

• DDoS attack - DDoS is short for Distributed Denial of Service. DDoS is a type of DOS attack where multiple compromised systems, which are often infected with a Trojan, are used to target a single system causing a Denial of Service (DoS) attack.

• Pharming - the fraudulent practice of directing Internet users to a bogus website that mimics the appearance of a legitimate one, in order to obtain personal information such as passwords, account numbers, etc.

• Vishing - the act of using the telephone in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The scammer usually pretends to be a legitimate business, and fools the victim into thinking he or she will profit.

• Email scam/hoax - Email scam is an unsolicited email that claims the prospect of a bargain or something for nothing. Some scam messages ask for business, others invite victims to a website with a detailed pitch. Many individuals have lost their life savings due to this type of fraud.

How hacks can be prevented

  1. Perform required software updates for your operating system and web browser. Hackers attack where they see weakness. A system that hasn't been updated recently has flaws in it that can be taken advantage of by hackers.
  2. Install a firewall on your computer. Firewalls forbid outside threats such as hackers and viruses from gaining access to your system. Personalize your firewall settings during the setup process to reflect how much data you want to allow into your system from the Internet, and update your firewall regularly.
  3. Change your passwords often. Use a different password for each website you regularly log into, and make sure your passwords are long and intricate so that they're harder to guess. It's especially important to keep your banking and other financial accounts secure.
  4. Purchase or download anti-virus software. Many computers come pre-installed with certain anti-virus software, but if not, or if you want more powerful software, research online to find what product suits you. Anti-virus software is crucial to keep your computer healthy. A "sick" computer, or one racked with viruses, is more susceptible to hacking. Set your preferences so your anti-virus software updates automatically.
  5. Install anti-spyware/adware programs onto your system. This type of intrusion is not as dangerous as a virus, but adware places advertisements onto your browser and incorporates pop-ups into your programs. This can slow down your computer, making you vulnerable to a hacker. Spyware can survey your Internet behavior and copy your passwords to use for illegitimate purposes.
  6. Delete emails from unknown sources. Never click on an emailed link that looks questionable. It may be a virus.

High profile hacks

Tesco Bank:

On 5th November 2016, Tesco Bank customers faced suspicious transactions that they did not make resulting in money being taken out of their accounts.

Tesco said that they could not release any further information about the attack as it was part of a criminal investigation.

To prevent any further money being lost, customers cannot currently make online transactions but can still make cash and card withdrawals.

NASA and Pentagon:

A 15-year-old boy caused a 21 day shutdown of the computers that support NASA and also hacked into a Pentagon weapons system, allowing him to intercept emails, steal passwords and access information.

The boys identity has been withheld as he is a juvenile, however, his identification as a hacker is "c0mrade".

He has been sentenced to 6 months in jail in a juvenile detention facility.

Don't let this happen to you.

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