Hacking is identifying weakness in computer systems or networks to exploit its weaknesses to gain access. Example of Hacking: Using password cracking algorithm to gain access to a system
Computers have become mandatory to run a successful businesses. It is not enough to have isolated computers systems; they need to be networked to facilitate communication with external businesses. This exposes them to the outside world and hacking. Hacking means using computers to commit fraudulent acts such as fraud, privacy invasion, stealing corporate/personal data, etc. Cyber crimes cost many organizations millions of dollars every year. Businesses need to protect themselves against such attacks.
Who is a Hacker? Types of Hackers
A Hacker is a person who finds and exploits the weakness in computer systems and/or networks to gain access. Hackers are usually skilled computer programmers with knowledge of computer security.
Hackers are classified according to the intent of their actions. The following list classifies hackers according to their intent.
Type of Cybercrime
- The following list presents the common types of cybercrimes:
- Computer Fraud: Intentional deception for personal gain via the use of computer systems.
- Privacy violation: Exposing personal information such as email addresses, phone number, account details, etc. on social media, websites, etc.
- Identity Theft: Stealing personal information from somebody and impersonating that person.
- Sharing copyrighted files/information: This involves distributing copyright protected files such as eBooks and computer programs etc.
- Electronic funds transfer: This involves gaining an un-authorized access to bank computer networks and making illegal fund transfers.
- Electronic money laundering: This involves the use of the computer to launder money.
- ATM Fraud: This involves intercepting ATM card details such as account number and PIN numbers. These details are then used to withdraw funds from the intercepted accounts.
- Denial of Service Attacks: This involves the use of computers in multiple locations to attack servers with a view of shutting them down.
- Spam: Sending unauthorized emails. These emails usually contain advertisements.
What is Ethical Hacking?
Ethical Hacking is identifying weakness in computer systems and/or computer networks and coming with countermeasures that protect the weaknesses. Ethical hackers must abide by the following rules.
- Get written permission from the owner of the computer system and/or computer network before hacking.
- Protect the privacy of the organization been hacked.
- Transparently report all the identified weaknesses in the computer system to the organization.
- Inform hardware and software vendors of the identified weaknesses.
Why Ethical Hacking?
- Information is one of the most valuable assets of an organization. Keeping information secure can protect an organization’s image and save an organization a lot of money.
- Hacking can lead to loss of business for organizations that deal in finance such as PayPal. Ethical hacking puts them a step ahead of the cyber criminals who would otherwise lead to loss of business.