Network Hacking is a very common topic nowadays, and it has been one of the most important topics in computer science since the early years of connectivity and the wide spread of computers and networks.
A very simple definition for a hacker is given as “In computer networking, hacking is any technical effort to manipulate the normal behavior of network connections and connected systems. A hacker is any person engaged in hacking. The term “hacking” historically referred to constructive, clever technical work that was not necessarily related to computer systems. Today, however, hacking and hackers are most commonly associated with malicious programming attacks on the Internet and other networks.” (About.com, 2016).
There are many techniques a hacker may use to exploit a system or a vulnerability. They can be technical or social. In the following paragraphs, there will be summarized some of the ways a computer can be hacked in the networking context.
1. SOCIAL ENGINEERING
Social Engineering is a technique used by a hacker to persuade someone in order to achieve a goal which may, get some important data, get unauthorized access. Imagine a data center and let’s suppose the bad-intentioned hacker wants to get access to that place; this person may wear like the cleaning people and fake access to get into the place. This a a very simple example of how a social engineering activity may happen. According to TechTarget, 2016, some common examples of social engineering are:
Virus writers use social engineering tactics to persuade people to run malware-laden email attachments;
Phishers use social engineering to convince people to divulge sensitive information;
Scareware vendors use social engineering to frighten people into running software that is useless at best and dangerous at worst;
2. EXPLOITATION OF SOFTWARE TECHNICAL FLAWS
Computer Software are not safe and there are many flaws which can be exploited in order to get privileged access in computers, and this is one of the most common ways hackers uses to get access to private and corporate computers.
Apache has been the most common web server on the internet since April 1996, and is currently used by 38% of all websites (Netcraft.com, 2014). The most important HTTP server in the world, the Apache HTTP Server, has one section on their website just to announce and help to detect security flaws on their software:
2. USE OF HACKING TECHNIQUES
There are some common hacking techniques in order to get privileged information. Some of them are:
DNS POISONING: Consists of handling the resolver name of internet addressees and use fake pages and information to catch user data;
SNIFFING: Consists of intercepting network information and read them in order to get privilged information;
MAN-IN-THE-MIDDLE: Consists of intercepting and faking responses in order to manipulate user activity and get privileged information;
Other commons techniques are: Spoofing, Brute Forcing and Session Hijacking.
There are many ways of exploit systems and it is really difficult to guarantee a server is 100% secure, however one of the key computing concepts that came to improve server security is the cloud computing, which servers are stored and maintained in secure data-centers and more often the security is a key aspect and most of the providers offer security tools and resources in order to improve the servers security in the business computing space.
About.com. 2016. What is a Hacker?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://compnetworking.about.com/od/networksecurityprivacy/f/what-is-hacking.htm. [Accessed 27 January 16].
TechTarget.com. 2016. Social Engineering. [ONLINE] Available at: http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/social-engineering. [Accessed 27 January 16].
Netcraft.com. 2014. Are there really lots of vulnerable Apache web servers?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2014/02/07/are-there-really-lots-of-vulnerable-apache-web-servers.html. [Accessed 27 January 16].