usually defined as the act of illegally entering a computer system, and making unauthorized changes to the files and data contained within
In order to “hack” a system, one must first “crack” the system, hence the term “cracker.” A cracker is an individual, or group, whose main intent is to maliciously enter a network, by gaining illegal access, with the goal of damaging the system. Crackers are most commonly referred to as a cyber burglars or vandals
The most widely publicized form of hacking today is ‘criminal hacking.’ The definition of criminal hacking draws a clear distinction between hacking, simply for the purpose of gaining access to a system, versus the term ‘criminal,’ which refers to the actual manipulation of the information contained within the system, whether it be positive or negative
differentiation between general hacking and criminal hacking has provided some restitution to victims of criminal hacking attacks by providing them the option of filing a lawsuit. However even this outcome is problematic due to the reluctance of the Government, large corporations, and even some individuals to admit that their systems have been illegally penetrated. This factor illustrates the complexity in regulating this form of criminal activity
This type of software, commonly referred to as “spyware,” can be downloaded directly any computer if adequate prevention methods are not used to stop it. This software does everything from recording any passwords typed to copying and recording copies of email that is sent, as well as received. Spyware also keeps a consecutive log of all websites visited, and it even has the capabilities to allow you to specify words or phrases for which it will record matches in email, as well as any documents types in programs available through the computer’s hard drive.
It is important to be aware of these threats because they demonstrate the value and necessity of adequate security.
More indicative signals that your system could have been hacked are: discovering emails in your sent items folder that were not written nor sent by you, finding that files have been moved, or even disappeared, or observing that desktop icons and toolbars are blank or even missing
Many attacks, such as email bombs and viruses provide clear evidence of a hacker's presence.
The most important step to consider if you suspect your system’s security has been compromised is to shut off all connections to the Internet. Although this temporarily detains you from the ability to trace the PC responsible for the attack, it does enable you to first protect your information, which is probably your primary concern.
Many firewalls, Zonealarm for one, possess the ability of maintaining a detailed description of attempted intrusions.
Organizations have recently began to realize that one of the best ways to evaluate the threat of intruders gaining admission into their system is to hire security professionals to attempt to do exactly as an intruder would
In contrast with criminal hackers, ethical hackers must be completely trustworthy. The responsibility of testing a client’s systems security, could privilege ethical hackers to confidential information about the client.
The principal goal of ethical hacking is to expand the knowledge, and thought processes traditionally held by systems engineers, auditors, and security officers
The outcome of hacking cyberspace is neither good nor bad, positive nor negative, constructive nor despructive. It compromises a general strategy by which to explore and manipulate the systems of rationality by which these modes of assessment become possible, function, and make sense.