Hacking means gaining unauthorized access to information in a computer or network. While ethical hacking keeps data from being misused or stolen by cybercriminals, hacking is an unlawful activity done for financial gain, information gathering, protests, or just for fun.
Major cyberattacks caused by hacking
In September 2018, hackers took advantage of bad code in Facebook's “View As” feature and gained control over more than two billion user accounts. This resulted in the theft of personal information like relationship statuses, location check-ins, email addresses, gender, and usernames.
In May 2019, cybercriminals hacked Perceptics, a security contractor for the US Customs and Border Protection. Hackers stole images of license plates and the faces of thousands of individuals from its database.
How hackers can penetrate your network
Hackers are constantly thinking of ways to bypass cybersecurity measures and infiltrate computer networks to steal information. Here are some of their common techniques:
Cybercriminals create fake emails that look like they come from a reputable organization like a bank in order to steal your personal information. Phishing emails attempt to build up panic or urgency to fool recipients into providing confidential details like financial account details and passwords.
For instance, you get mail from your bank stating that your passbook has been disabled, and you must confirm your account number and PIN to reactivate it. All banks have a disclaimer stating that they will never ask for your personal data, so this has to be a phishing scam.
Malware is malicious software that is programmed to illegally access a computer or network to steal data from it. These applications perform tasks such as secretly tracking a victim's activities on the affected device, changing some of the core functionalities or settings on a computer or network, or deleting or stealing sensitive data.
The following is a list of the most common forms of malware:
Virus: A program that infects an application and disables or modifies the main functions or settings of a system. It makes copies of itself onto data files and the hard drive to make a device inaccessible.
Spyware: Once this malicious application is in your computer or network, it will hide in the background and make a log file of your activities, like your chats and surfing habits, as well as gather personal information like your credit card numbers and passwords. The hacker can then retrieve that log file and use your information for his purposes.
Keylogger: This program works with spyware by recording your keystrokes. Hackers can use this to figure out your passwords and other confidential information.
Trojas: This malware creates a hole in your cybersecurity solution, enabling hackers remotely monitor your activities. You may get Trojans from running an obsolete or counterfeit version of an operating system, installing pirated programs, or clicking on a malicious website link.
Fake mobile apps
You may think that downloading any app from the iOS App Store or Google Play store is legitimate and safe, but this is not always the case. Fake mobile apps may contain malware that can threaten your privacy and security.
Connecting your device to a network without cybersecurity measures can open a door to cybercriminals gaining control over your system. They can steal all your passwords and bank account information, or inject malware into your favorite websites.
Connecting to a public internet hotspot like those in a coffee shop or airport is dangerous, especially if you are performing sensitive activities like browsing office email, banking, and engaging in private conversations. Free networks are often unprotected, allowing hackers to easily snoop on computers without any security solutions.
PC LAN TECHS helps organizations in South Florida get more out of modern technology. We provide them with an outsourced IT department they can depend on. Call us today to be free of IT-related stress.