Did you know that more than half of business websites are NOT prepared for cyber attacks? Learn more about what is website hacking, the different types of website hackers and the methods they use.
What is Website Hacking?
Hacking refers to the identification of weaknesses in computer networks and systems to exploit them and gain access. A lot of businesses are now relying on computers and networks to conduct their activities smoothly. These computers have to connect to others in external systems, and this exposes them to third parties and hacking. Hackers use computers to propagate fraudulent acts like privacy invasion, fraud, stealing personal/corporate data and much more. It is one of the most prevalent and dangerous forms of cyber crime afflicting a lot of businesses today due to the massive monetary losses. Here is a brief history of this vice and overview of the types of hackers, how it occurs and the various tools and techniques used by hackers.
History of Web Hacking
It is fascinating to note that the history timeline of hacking sometimes began in the 1960s. During this time shortcuts were being developed to improve or bypass the standard system’s operation. It was designed for a good cause back then as it helped people quickly evaluate as well as improve systems that were faulty by optimizing them. In the 1960s, mainframes were the available computers, and they had to be locked in glass and temperature controlled areas. Running these machines used to cost a lot of money meaning that the programmers had little or limited access to the computers.
A group of smart students from MIT who had an immense curiosity to find out how things worked was involved in the creation of “hacks.” These hacks were programming shortcuts aimed at completing the computing tasks at a faster rate. There were instances where the hacks were way better than the original programs. In 1969, two Bell Lab employees who formed part of its think tank created a Hack. The hack (UNIX) had the ability to act as an open set of rules that were used to run machines from the computer’s frontier. The two were Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie. In the 1970s, the whole world was ready and primed for hackers. For the hackers in this era, they had the time to study the working of the wired world and hacking went from being a simple, practical joke to a more dangerous thing. The 80s saw the vice reach the peak regarding its seriousness. The vice increased due to the increase in the usage of computers following the introduction of personal computers by IBM in 1981.
6 Types of Website Hackers
A hacker is a party who finds and then exploits the weaknesses present in computer systems or networks to gain access. Hackers are mostly highly experienced computer programmers who have a sound knowledge of web security. The intent mainly classifies various types of hackers read from their actions. Here are the different types of hackers.
1.Ethical Hacker (White Hat)
An ethical hacker is a type that gains access to computer systems with a view of fixing the weaknesses identified. They also carry out vulnerability assessments and testing.
2. Cracker (Black Hat)
A Cracker refers to a hacker who gets unauthorized right of entry to a computer system for their gain. Their primary intent is a violation of privacy rights, steal corporate data as well as transfer money from some bank accounts, etc.
3. Grey Hat
A hacker who occupies the rank between black hat and ethical hackers. This type of hacker will hack into the system without the owner’s authority to find the weaknesses in it and convey the same to the proprietor of the scheme.
4. Script Kiddies
Script Kiddies Refer to a person who is not skilled but relies on already existing tools to gain access to the computer systems.
A hacktivist is the type of hacker that uses hacking as a tool for sending religious, social and political messages. Hacktivists usually hijack websites and leave their message on the hijacked sites.
A phreaker, on the other hand, is a hacker who identifies and goes ahead to exploit weaknesses in telephone networks as opposed to computers.
Major Web Hacking Techniques and Tools
Hacking is utilized for both finding flaws in computer systems and malicious activities. The techniques and tools used by hackers are well known to them as they know the best ones that will suit their intended purposes. Examples of commonly used hacking tools include Angry IP scanner, Cain & Abel, Kali Linux, Burp Suite, John the Ripper, Ettercap, and Metasploit among others.
Top 3 Hacking Methods Used by Hackers
Hacking is a real threat to all types of businesses regardless of their size. Hackers use some ways and techniques to attack sites on the internet. Here are some traditional methods that hackers use to gain access to sites and destroy your business.
1.Injection attacks are one of the methods employed by hackers especially if there are any flaws present in your SQL libraries, SQL database or the operating system. Hackers send files that seem credible, and your employees might open them and unknowingly activate “injections” and commands. When this happens, hackers gain access to your private data.
2. Another common method they use is the cross-site scripting attacks or XSS attack; this occurs when a URL for an application is sent to the user’s browser window, and it bypasses the validation process. When an XSS script is triggered, users are deceived that the compromised page is the legitimate one.
3. Hackers also exploit the user verification system if it is weak via broken authentication and session management attacks. A hacker will use the session and authentication management to assume the identity of another person. Hackers can also hack your computer system using other attacks like clickjacking (UI Redress Attack), DNS Cache poisoning, symlinking, social engineering, remote code execution and distributed denial of service (DDOS).