What triggered me to write this page, you ask? Well, this very site got hacked and spammed all over earlier and yet, I haven’t gone phishing…
Instead, I went on to understand the most common threats to web application security and what I can do to reduce the risk of this site being hacked.
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Hacking is an attempt to exploit a computer system or a private network inside a computer. Simply put, it is the unauthorised access to or control over computer network security systems for some illicit purpose. To better describe hacking, one needs to first understand hackers. One can easily assume them to be intelligent and highly skilled in computers. In fact, breaking a security system requires more intelligence and expertise than actually creating one. There are no hard and fast rules whereby we can categorize hackers into neat compartments. However, in general computer parlance, we call them white hats, black hats and grey hats.
- White hat professionals hack to check their own security systems to make it more hack-proof. In most cases, they are part of the same organisation.
- Black hat hackers hack to take control over the system for personal gains. They can destroy, steal or even prevent authorized users from accessing the system. They do this by finding loopholes and weaknesses in the system. Some computer experts call them crackers instead of hackers.
- Grey hat hackers comprise curious people who have just about enough computer language skills to enable them to hack a system to locate potential loopholes in the network security system.
Grey hats differ from black hats in the sense that the former notify the admin of the network system about the weaknesses discovered in the system, whereas the latter is only looking for personal gains. All kinds of hacking are considered illegal barring the work done by white hat hackers.
Not even the dark web, the hidden part of the Internet, is safe to browse (download Tor). It definitely has more extra-ordinary things than the normal web we browse daily. Be aware: The dark web is also a digital home to criminals, a place for people to sell and buy literally anything. In other words, it’s a place on the Internet, where most of the illegal activities take place. But you already know all this. One thing you may not know is how this dark web works. Are you really anonymous while using this dark web? Or is there a way someone can figure out your identity even on the dark web?
Then, there’s Spamming
Is SPAM a Monty Python sketch or Stupid, Pointless, Annoying, Malware or even a brand of canned cooked pork? It’s all of the above and more. Spam is any kind of unwanted, unsolicited digital communication, often an email that gets sent out in bulk. Spam is a huge waste of time and resources. The Internet service providers (ISP) carry and store the data. When hackers can’t steal data bandwidth from the ISPs, they steal it from individual users, hacking computers and enslaving them in a zombie botnet.
Software providers invest resources creating email applications that try to filter most of the spam out. Consumers waste time sifting through whatever makes it past the spam filters. According to Oracle Dyn the total cost of spam in terms of productivity, energy and technology adds up to USD 130 billion. It’s an annoying and endless cycle! If there’s an inbox, spammers will find a way to clog it. Spam can also be found on Internet forums, text messages, blog comments, and social media. Email spam, however, is by far the most prevalent and often the most threatening to consumers.
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