Hacking is in most times, an act of unauthorized intrusion into a computer system, a network or even a smart phone. It may be done by identifying weakness in the computer system and exploiting such weakness to gain access. Hackers are usually portrayed in movies and fictions as scientific gurus who tap into the computer network of governmental or big corporate organizations to perpetrate one cybercrime or the other,
but in reality and in this age, Hacking has become so popular and easily carried out that one does not have to be an exceptional programmer to be able to hack. Anyone can be a hacker including the next door teenager-through the help of the internet and several software on sales, which can easily be used by anyone.
Hacking has become a threat to not just the government, big corporate organizations, religious bodies but also to anyone that uses the internet, making people vulnerable to privacy violation, computer fraud, Identity theft, spam and other crimes that may result from hacking.
Script Kiddies This is a non skilled type of hacker who gains access to other peoples computer systems through the use of already made tools, example is the installation of a software to monitor other people’s activities on the internet.
HactivistA Hacker who sends social, religious, or political messages through hacking websites and leaving the messages on the hijacked website.
PhreakerA hacker who identifies, and exploits weaknesses in telephones instead of computers.
CrackerA hacker who gains unauthorized access to computer systems for personal gain.
Ethical Hackerthese are the minority hackers who gain access to fix identified weaknesses in a system.
Grey hatA hacker who is in between the cracker and the ethical hacker. He/she breaks into computer system without authority with a view to identify weakness and to reveals such to the system owner.
It is very important we know the various forms an hacking attack may take, and these are listed below :
DOS/DDOS-This means Denial of service, it is a kind of attack technique in which the hacked site or server is over loaded with traffic ,making it unable to process it's requests in real time, hence,collapsing such system.
FAKE WAP- A hacker may use a software to create a fake WAP which is then connected to the official public place WAP, if you mistakenly access the fake wap, it means the hacker can get access to your information
EAVES DROPPING(passive attack) - Through eaves dropping, the hacker monitors the computer systems and network passively in order to gain unauthorized information without harming the system.
COOKIE THEFT- cookies refer to the history of your personal activities on the system such as passwords, username, and browsing history. Once a hacker gains access to your cookies, such can impersonate you on the browser.
VIRUS, TROJAN etc - These are malicious software which after being installed on victims'systems, sends the victim's data to the hacker.
PHISHING- This occurs when the attacker uses a most accessed site to fish for password, financial data and other information from internet users. Example is when people 's sympathy is exploited through an aid seeking email. The email serves as a bait through which a link is sent to the intended victim to click on, once this is done, the victim downloads Trojan on his system unknowingly, making it possible for the hacker to gain access to his information. It is advisable not to click on any unfamiliar link in a mail, even when the link is familiar, it is safer to enter the address by yourself.
BAIT AND SWITCH - With this technique, a hacker runs a malicious program instead of the authentic version on the victim 's system, this way, the hacker gains unauthorized access to the victims information.
KEYLOGGER - This is a software that registers and records the key sequence and strokes of the keyboard into a log file on your system, this log files may contain personal email address and passwords. This is the major reason online banking sites usually give an option to use virtual keyboards.
I. VPN- When connected to a public WIFI network it is advisable to use a VPN-Virtual Private Network. It encrypts all your traffic, making it impossible for a hacker to see what is being transmitted over the Wifi network. But you need to be careful to use a trustworthy VPN provider as one may not be able to know if the VPN providers themselves are keeping logs of one’s activities.
II. Maintain your Privacy!-Always ensure privacy settings on social media accounts are checked so that only people you want to share information with can actually see it.
III. Look for the padlock-Before logging in or registering on secure online services, always check to ensure there is a padlock symbol in front of the URL and the web address begins with “https://“