Hacking is defined as the
exploitation or unauthorized access of a system or a network. Hacking is a
broad term that encompasses something basic like logging into someone’s
Facebook account to something extreme like credit card fraud or accessing a
government agency’s private network.
Hacking is commonly referred to as the act of
stealing someone’s account, however it encompasses more than that
Hacking involves exploitation of computer
systems and networks
‘Hackers’, people who commit hacking utilizes
computer code in order to get access to private networks and systems
Forms/Methods of Hacking
Keylogging – is
the method of using ‘keyloggers’, programs that record keystrokes within a
target’s computer for the purpose of gaining sensitive information such as bank
accounts & records, passwords, among others.
of Service – is a technique wherein an attacker/hacker
uses a ‘botnet’, which is a series of infected computers, to attack a target’s
computer network with several requests to flood the network and render it
is a method wherein hackers create a fake website, for example, Facebook with a
spoofed URL and distributes it to their targets, the targets would think that
the given URL is the real website and would enter their login information on
it, which would then be sent to hackers.
Virus/Trojans – are
programs that can be unknowingly installed into a system which would then send
information to the hacker about the target. These programs may also damage the
target’s computer such as giving the target unnecessary advertisements when
browsing the internet (adware), locking the user’s files and demanding a ransom
for them to be unlocked (ransomware), among others.
Force – Brute Forcing is the method of using a
wordlist/character list to essentially ‘guess’ an access code or a password.
Brute forcing involves software that would continually ‘guess’ a password from
the given wordlist until it manages to guess the right password when it is
given access to the account.
& Hacking Culture
Hackers are people with
advanced technological know-how that performs the exploitation of computer
systems. He/she performs the ‘hacking’. Hackers are usually antisocial and make
up for their communication barrier by hacking.
Hacker culture is mainly
driven by curiosity. Hackers are curious of the vulnerabilities that a new
computer system or network brings, and it gives them fame and reputation
whenever they are the first person to determine and/or exploit a vulnerability
There are two main types of
Black hat hackers are the people who are mostly portrayed in mainstream media
as ‘hackers’. These hackers have ill-intentions and they violate security for
their own gain. Black hat hackers are exceptionally skilled in computers, but
they use their skills unethically. Most, if not all black hat hacker methods
are against the law.
Some common things black hat hackers do: denial of service attacks, ransomware,
identity theft, keylogging, vandalism, theft
also known as ‘security hackers’ or ‘ethical hackers’, white hat hackers use
their skills to breach and exploit computer systems & networks for the
purpose of reporting these breaches and exploits to the organization
responsible for the systems and networks so that the organization can improve
A number of organizations
provide bounties to white hat hackers to give them incentive to purposefully crack
their systems so that they can ‘patch’ them afterwards.
Grey hat hackers are those who fall in-between the two types. Grey hat hackers
somewhat do the same thing as white hat hackers, but in the process of hacking
a system/network, they may commit crimes while doing so. Grey hat hackers may
also, instead of privately disclosing the vulnerability to the organization,
may publicly disclose the vulnerability. The main difference between black hat
hackers and grey hat hackers is that grey hat hackers will not use the
vulnerability for their own benefit.
Examples of Hacking
Madison (2015) – In 2015, the popular dating website targeted
at married individuals, Ashley Madison, was breached and the user data of 37
million people and consequently scattered the data all over the internet.
Virus (2017) – The WannaCry virus was a ransomware that
spread in May 2017. The virus spread to millions of computers including those
of government/public use, such as hospitals and transportation systems. The
virus locked out computers and demanded Bitcoin for them to be unlocked.
is a form of bullying that takes place in digital media such as the internet.
Since technology has been more prominent in the past decade, it has paved the
way for cyberbullying to exist. Cyberbullying mostly occurs in social media,
messages & emails. Cyberbullying in most countries is punishable by law.
Cyberbullying exists in many forms such as:
which makes online users feel that they are not part of a social activity
wherein the user is targeted with abusive and hurtful messages, as well as
being defamed and described in a derogatory manner
involves exposing a user or any embarrassing actions to the public/the
involves threatening another user instilling fear and anxiety. Mostly done
through messages and email.
involves abusive actions in a more frequent and repetitive manner, such as
constantly messaging a user, constantly threatening a user, blackmail, etc.
Theft – wherein a hacker attempts to steal the identity of a
user for their gain, such as purchase using a user’s credit card, or to harass
the user, such as posting nude photos on behalf of the user, claiming it to be
the user who is posting.
Stalking – a
form of harassment wherein an attacker constantly sends messages and gets
involved with another user’s activities without their desire or consent.
of Service – involves a hacker using a botnet to
effectively disable someone’s internet access.
HOW TO AVOID BEING HACKED OR CYBERBULLIED
Never use the same password twice
Use complicated passwords and change them often
Always check the URL of the website you are
Do not click suspicious links and avoid
Do not talk to strangers online that have no
connection to you in real life
Do not send or post explicit content that you
do not want to be revealed online
Don’t open attachments (unless coming from a
reliable source) as they may contain viruses
Refrain from sharing sensitive personal data