Monday, 14 September 2015

The Business of Fraud- HACKING & ETHICAL HACKING...

Thanks for the encouragement and response to my previous blogs that keeps me motivated to write on a wide range of subjects. In the quest to keep you, my reader, engaged I am choosing to write on an engaging topic of hacking which, I promise, would reveal a new world to you.

The explosive growth of the Internet has brought many good things like E-Commerce, easy access to all information with a click of a button, new avenues for advertising & distribution of data to name a few. As with all good things, comes the bad.  In this case it is the existence of Hackers or Criminal Hackers.  Governments and individuals want to be a part of this internet revolution but they are constantly living in the threat of some hacker intruding their privacy.

So who exactly are these Hackers we generally get to hear or read about? Well, this term has a dual usage in the computer industry today. Originally it meant a person who enjoys learning the details of computer systems & how to stretch their capabilities & a person who programs very enthusiastically. In modern times, hackers are anything but what's mentioned above. Nowadays there are different types of hackers such as the Old School Hackers who don't have malicious intent, but do have a lack of concern for privacy & proprietary information. The other type are the Cyber Punks who are bored of school and get caught due to bragging online. Their main intent is to vandalize or disrupt computer systems. The third type and the most dangerous of these are the professional criminals or Criminal Hackers who make a living by breaking into all types of computer systems illegally & providing information taken from them for money. They are the most dangerous of the lot who are really brainy and who have their way most of the time.

These are the Edward Snowden who we get to read in the news or the 007 we see in Hollywood thrillers. They are the most suave, sophisticated and destructive of the lot who automatically get noticed due to the damage they can cause.

With the magnanimous growth of the Internet since the millennium, computer security has become a major concern for businesses & governments alike. In their search for a way to approach this problem, organizations came to hire independent hackers to test their systems to evaluate intruder threats. Thus was born Ethical Hacking.

Ethical Hacking is a methodology adopted by security professionals to discover the various vulnerabilities existing in the information systems that we use day-to-day. This is legal and the hackers are allowed access to companies’ systems after a thorough background check and signing of legal contracts including privacy agreements. Based on the system and information structure, the hacker chooses to use one of the many types of attacks to grab the information. Some of the attacks used in ethical hacking include insider attack, outside attack, stolen equipment attack, physical entry and social engineering attack. An Ethical Hacker's evaluation of a system's security seeks answers to very important questions such as what can an intruder/ hacker see on the computer systems?, what does a hacker do with that information?, what are you trying to protect?, what are you trying to protect against?, how much time, money & effort is a company or a government willing to expand to obtain adequate information?

Despite the efforts taken by the companies and governments, hacking continues to be a monster threat for users like ourselves. But the good news is you can still do a few things to protect your privacy at a basic level. 

Despite the efforts taken by the companies and governments, hacking continues to be a monster threat for users like ourselves. But the good news is you can still do a few things to protect your privacy at a basic level.
·         Always secure your phone with passwords
·         Keep your passwords more complex than just your dear ones’ name or your birthday.
·         Never sign-up or provide your email on websites that offer free money, gifts. If it seems too good to be true, be assured it is not true.
·         Always secure your credit card number, bank account details or anything related to your financials

For all you geeks & Tech freeks out there who will read this blog post, there are  various courses such as Black  Hats, White Hats, Grey Hats, Hactivism  wherein budding Ethical Hackers can get the adequate learning required to become one & bear in mind the fact that these people get picked up by the best firms & also governments so they are well respected and get paid really handsomely too.

Finally for all those who got excited by this article and are looking forward to be the next James Bond 007, there are courses like Black Hats, White Hats, Grey Hats, Hactivism that can help you take the next step. Be assured these are hot jobs in the market and fetch you a handsome salary too! Remember to stay ethical in your quest to become a professional hacker.

Until I meet you in my next blog on a completely different topic, see you soon!!

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