The cybersecurity threat landscape has changed dramatically. With cloud-based applications in the data centre, data protection is much easier now than it was years ago when the cyber threat landscape was simply unknown. Because it’s so easy to find and monitor data, it makes it easier for hackers to steal personal information like usernames, passwords, addresses and dates of birth.
Today’s news is full of stories about hackers. Some steal user names and passwords, others hack payroll systems. Still, others use SQL injections to find loans in the mid-process. You’ve also probably heard that your computer could be hacked via IP address for example your Nigeria IP address. Thankfully, there are proxies and most internet service providers use firewalls in protecting you against that.
What do all these stories have in common, besides the bad guys? Well, when a hacker finds a way to steal stuff from your website or your network it’s not because you’re stupid, it’s because they have clever ways of getting around the technical shortcomings that you’ve already fixed but which haven’t been back.
Hackers gain access to systems through a number of methods including DDoS, malware infections, password leaks and social engineering. Hackers can steal data from any of the methods listed above or any combination of them. The easiest way to protect yourself against hackers is by using a strong password and using standard management software.
So, in this blog post, we would be seeing how hackers can steal your data, and how to prevent it from happening.
first off, let’s know what hacking is.
Table Of Contents
- What is Hacking?
- Who is a Hacker?
- Some Ways On How Hackers Can Steal Your Data
- 1. Brute Force Attacks
- 2. Dictionary attacks
- 3. Phishing attacks
- 4. Spidering attacks
- 5. Use of Keyloggers
- 3 Best tips to Prevent Hackers From Stealing Your Data
- 1. Don’t access personal or private data with public Wi-Fi.
- 2. Choose your apps selectively.
- 3. Make Use of a Good password, lock code or encryption.
What is Hacking?
What is Hacking? The term ‘hacking’ refers to the method of gaining unauthorised access to computer systems and networks for purposes harmful to computer systems or networks, typically with the purpose of causing financial harm.
Hacking can be performed by a single person or as a joint effort of hackers from many different countries and/or organisations. The term ‘hacking’ was coined in part by Kevin Mitnick, an American computer criminal and security researcher.
Hacking sounds like a dirty word. Anyone who has heard of it knows it has negative connotations. And that is exactly what it is. Hacking is a form of cybersecurity and Information Security.
If you have been applying for a credit card on the internet, you have most likely come across hackers. They are very good at getting access to information from companies and then using that information to scam people out of money or get access to systems that should never have access to the public.
Hacking has been around since World War II. It was first used by governments to attack their enemies and gain information. It wasn’t until the damage inflicted by 9/11 made people realize that certain systems were vulnerable. Now, anyone can go online and try to break into any computer system they want.
They just need the right tools. Hacker tools are designed in a way to make it easy for hackers to get what they want without hurting themselves or anyone else.
They could also hack top tech companies like Facebook and steal a lot of user data which would be a gold mine of cash.
Having known what hacking is, who is really one that performs such activity.
Who is a Hacker?
A hacker is a person or an organisation that gains unauthorised access to computer systems. Hackers are known for creating devastating viruses, malware, and other destructive pieces of software. Hackers are also known for creating tools for system administration such as anti-virus programs and debugging tools.
To be a hacker in the modern age is to be extremely successful. Because hackers have made it their business to exploit weaknesses in systems and companies, there are a lot of people in the world who might be vulnerable. This is true for law enforcement and any institution that requires data for research or use.
In the following, I will explain how hackers can steal data when you least expect it. This journey will take you through many different fields and will be filled with ethical and moral crises that drastically impact our current ways of living.
Some Ways On How Hackers Can Steal Your Data
The best way to protect your data is to know how hackers can steal it, let’s take a good look below!
1. Brute Force Attacks
The main hack that affects bankers nowadays is known as Brute force attacks. The hack involves using unusually large amounts of data in order to guess the solutions of complex mathematical equations.
Due to the enormous growth of computer power and software, there are plenty of solutions to solve these extremely difficult computations in a short period of time. If companies manufacturing or selling products don’t take any measures in protecting their customer’s data, hackers will win big.
As we speak, Internet security is in a state of constant change. Malicious actors are always looking for new ways to break into systems and steal data. In this brand new age of hacking, there is a new tactic that attackers now use to break into systems.
This tactic is known as Brute force attack and it involves attempting to break into a system by using overwhelming force, overwhelming numbers, and in some cases, even business logic. Hackers can now use these tactics to break into even the most fortified of computer systems and take control of it with little to no effort on their part.
There are a few ways hackers can break into a computer system and steal the data, including using a virus to infect a machine or installing hidden software on a machine with the intent of stealing information. Brute force attacks come in two flavours; blind and white hat.
A blind attack occurs where hackers simply send numerous “bots” to download a piece of software or package it up, and then once the software is installed they simply flood the system with traffic until it crashes.
A white hat attack involves a small group of experts who test out new attacks and counter techniques until they are proven successful.
Cybersecurity researchers have been warning of a new threat for a while now, and it’s one that many companies had ceased worrying about – hackers trying to break into data networks without needing physical access.
For people who do business online, this has meant installing up-to-date firewalls and antivirus software.
But what if an attack could be launched remotely? I’m talking about attacks that aren’t just about getting in and stripping data (although that’s effectively what they’re about).
These days attackers can also use hacking tools to carry out ‘brute force’ attacks — attacking your website/users without entering any potentially sensitive information. Thankfully, most anti-virus systems don’t seem to be detecting these attacks anymore so it’s up to users like you and me to keep an eye on them.
2. Dictionary attacks
Dictionary attacks are a staple for many hackers. This sort of attacks are the manual process of finding word meanings and interpreting them in an attempt to discover data. It is often carried out by a specialist education on this subject, who will research the meaning(s) of words on the internet using different search engines, looking for results containing inputted information.
If he can find these ‘key words’, he may be able to extract usernames, passwords (also known as Account Management System) for banking services and other sensitive material stored on computers or mobile phones etc.
In cybersecurity, dictionary attacks are an extremely potent activity, because they have the potential of overwhelming most firewalls and anti-spyware applications.
So well-known targets are being scouted by hackers for their vulnerability, and then they create modified versions of their firewalls or anti-spyware applications with false positives in them, while cloaked under the guise of a genuine piece of software. The result: infections and theft of data by any mean possible.
Data breaches are becoming more frequent, and in a few months, hackers will likely have their way with E-commerce. This is why everyone needs to be aware of the risks they take when dealing with data or financial information. This will help you stay protected from hackers and thieves in one secure way: it will help you recognise dictionary attacks.
Last year, a dictionary attack came to my attention. A hacker or group of hackers was able to take over the dictionary of a local Dutch hosting provider – meaning that they had full control of every word that was available in its MySQL database.
The most common attack vector criminals use is dictionary attacks. A dictionary is a list of all possible web pages that will be included in a Google search. Your website is often included in a search for one of these terms, and when someone types in the site’s URL into the Google search box, all files and images hosted on your site are displayed.
This “Ghostscript” scripting allows them to hijack visitors’ browsers and steal sensitive information from them undetected, including passwords, private information, financial information, etc…
3. Phishing attacks
A phishing attack is a kind of fraud that targets customers’ personal information and uses impersonation techniques to trick them into revealing their private information. Hackers have always used the internet to launch their campaigns of scammers, and now they are able to do it using email and social networking.
This makes phishing attacks particularly dangerous because the criminals know that they can very well get away with sending out emails designed to look like they come from genuine sources.
The scammers know that if they trick people into revealing sensitive data, even if it’s just a little bit of data, they will be more willing to hand over all the information they have on them.
Foss Security reports that 40% of all emails sent to customers contain phishing attacks. This is alarming because 63% of consumers admit they’ve received emails from an unknown source who tried to steal their personal information or credit card information.
You might buy a new computer and forget all about it for six months. Then, you look at the security settings and realize you need to change all the things.
According to a report released on Wednesday by the Ponemon Institute, phishing attacks on employees rose 50% last year, with hackers looking for information they can pass on to others. This is due to the rise in companies having paywalls, where users require additional effort, in the hopes that they will eventually pay for services or products.
The old saying goes “if you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all,” and that’s true in the Internet security industry as well. Hackers have learned that it’s much easier to gain access to an online network and take control of its services than to create resentment in an attempt to hide their identity or activities.
As a result, phishing scams have become such common threats that hard-to-detect attacks have become commonplace in business and commerce around the world. They can even happen through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
4. Spidering attacks
There is no shortage of web hacking tools for anyone who is cutting through the security net and getting to the meat of things. Privacy concerns are at an all-time high, and new concerns about corporate data breach respond like clockwork. Hackers have a new weapon in their arsenal, however, that has been found to be effective on websites with no login required: spiders.
The technique is relatively new, hence the term “spidering.” You can read more about it in a blog post by Craig Williams at CyberScoop. The point is that they can access your computer and take all data and information present. Find out how to protect yourself from such an attack.
5. Use of Keyloggers
Keyloggers are a type of malware that makes it possible to track a user’s activities. Keyloggers are easily hidden pieces of software that are placed on a target machine and allow a user’s activity to be recorded.
They have been used by hackers since the early 2000s and were considered one of the most effective forms of information gathering until recent changes to European law made them illegal.
Keylogging is a serious matter. Hackers are actively developing new ways to infiltrate our computers and steal information in unprecedented ways.
Poof Keylogs, as they’re also known, are small computer programs that are inserted into our devices without our knowledge and can be used for any number of purposes, including stealing data and spying on us.
Keyloggers are not only used by security agencies to track down and prosecute criminals but hackers as well. In recent years by talented hackers have been able to develop methods of breaking into networks and systems of many major companies and organisations, gaining access to and gaining sensitive information such as employee credentials, credit card data, medical records, etc. Hackers have found a way to insert themselves into these systems.
3 Best tips to Prevent Hackers From Stealing Your Data
Here’s how to prevent your systems from being hacked, keep your personal data and privacy
1. Don’t access personal or private data with public Wi-Fi.
The recently reported major cyber breach at Yahoo is a wake-up call for Internet users. If you use public Wi-Fi networks to get online, consider whether it is wise to allow personal or financial data to be freely shared on the network. Avoid using public Wi-Fi in public places or networks shared with other users where possible.
Also, don’t connect your computer or mobile device to a point of presence (PO) anywhere you wouldn’t want it exposed to hackers. These are obvious things to do as part of your personal security routine and there is no reason for anyone to think otherwise.
2. Choose your apps selectively.
Sign up for apps that offer two-step verification, like Google for email and Facebook for texting. You can also add codes for extra layers of security, like fingerprint scanners or face scanners. Only use apps that come from a trusted source.
3. Make Use of a Good password, lock code or encryption.
There’s a lot of malware out there these days. Viruses and worms can take over your computer and destroy your files if you aren’t paying attention. Encrypting your files and using a password is the best defence you can use, but there are other ways to secure yourself besides using those methods.
The most common mistakes people make when it comes to protecting themselves are getting complacent and not using good passwords. This means using a strong master password, making sure that all your accounts have unique passwords for each service and setting up two-factor authentication.
There is no single answer to the question of how to protect yourself but there are some things you can do to help ensure your personal information is kept safe.