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Definition of Hacking

 Definition of Hacking

The words “hack” or “hacking” are thrown around regularly when referring to a computer and its systems. But where did the term come from? The literal German definition of “hack” means to “chip away with an axe” or “one who chops to make furniture”. 
However, when the term is in reference with a computer, it takes on a different meaning. The term “hack” (or “hacking”), when relating it to a technological standpoint, was first invented by a man named John Nash, who was a practicing mathematician.
In 1951, John Nash became a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and would often bring this term up while teaching his classes.  When the term was first used against his students, it actually meant using a short cut as a means to solving a technical problem.
The term “hacker” became more common in the 1960s and was meant to point out someone who commits a “hack”. The term hacker was initially used in a more light-hearted context as someone who would often mess around with technical codes out of curiosity or as a means to make discoveries. The term became more popular in the 1960s when computer education centers across the United States were using it as a common expression. With the rise of computer use in the 1980s, a popular book was released called, “The Hackers Dictionary”.
However, in more recent years the word “hack” has also taken on a much more sinister meaning. With the rise of computer crimes, law enforcement as well as the public take the term much more seriously. The term “ugly hack” directly refers to a hack that is used for a more malicious intent. 
Cyber terrorists can perform the function of “hacking” in order to obtain information as a means to commit a cyber attack. Also, most computer crimes (i.e. fraud, identity theft, information warfare, etc.) involve a criminal trespassing into a private computer account by “hacking” into it.
Although the term can be used in a negative context, the terms “cool hack” or “neat hack” refer to the original form of hacking, which carried with it a more positive approach and results. In the past, “hacking” was normally used as a simple form of a short cut or as an experiment hoping to find a short cut to a technical obstacle. Certain forms of calculators and even video game systems can even be considered tools to help one commit a “hack”.

Is There Any Kind of Ethical Hacking?

Is There Any Kind of Ethical Hacking?

There are two types of hacking: unethical hacking and ethical hacking. But what is ethical hacking? Most people are familiar with the act of unethical hacking, but hacking can also be used as a positive function. This is where ethical hacking comes in.
 
 
Ethical hacking is used as a means to hack into an account for the purpose of helping computer owners or for research. Ethical hacking is often done in order to help the owner of the computer recognize certain weaknesses that might encourage an unethical hacker to enter and infiltrate the computer's system.
 
 
Many times a person who commits ethical hacking is often referred to as "the good guy", "the hero", or the "white hat". The term "white hat" comes from the western movies when the good cowboy would be identified as the one in the white hat. 
 
 
Ethical hacking can be carried out by physically hacking into systems by using hacking programs. Most producers of hacking programs encourage the use of those hacking programs in an ethical manner, as opposed to committing criminal acts of hacking with the misuse of hacking programs. Hacking programs can help an ethical hacker retrieve lost or stolen passwords, locate corrupt files, or to pinpoint security weaknesses.
 
 
Many large companies tend to have professionals who can perform ethical hacking on hand in order to help maintain secure cyber systems and to help the overall function of the businesses’ computers. Ethical hackers are also known as penetration testers and certificates can be issued to people who are specially trained or certified in ethical hacking.
 
 
Certificates may be given out when passing an education course provided by the E-Council Continuing Education. However, there is controversy over the idea of people being allowed training in order to hack. Some also argue that hacking should never be considered a positive or ethical act and that there is no such thing as an ethical hacker.

What are Some Famous Hacking Cases?

What are Some Famous Hacking Cases?

Whether or not hacking is tried as a Federal crime, some of the most famous cases involving hackers prove that hacking usually leaves some amount of damage behind. Take these cases and the hackers involved in them for example:
 
 
In 1983, seventeen-year-old hacker Kevin Poulsen infiltrated many different computer networking systems. He continued to hack into computers until he was caught in 1991. In 1994, he was sentenced to four years in prison. 
 
 
One of the most talented hackers reported in American history is Adrian Lamo. Adrian has been known to make his way into highly secured systems of big name businesses like McDonald's, AOL, Cingular, and even NBC's news network during an interview between a news anchor and himself.  Although under the Government's watch for years, this hacker is currently free and works as a computer expert in security. 
 
 
Hacker John Draper (a.k.a. The Cap'n Crunch) committed one of the first nationally-known hacks when he used a whistle that was obtained from a box of Cap'n Crunch cereal as a means to hack. Due to the whistle's pitch, it mimicked the tone of a phone receiver enabling him to access free phone calls. He was eventually found guilty and he spent two months in prison, though he would still bear the infamy of being one of the earliest hackers. 
 
 
In 1981, a computer mainframe owned by Pacific Bell (a Los Angeles-based phone company) was hacked by seventeen-year-old hacker Kevin Mitnick. He was able to obtain personal data, allowed himself free phone calls, and interfered with customers’ phone calls. 
 
 
He was eventually caught and spent three years in a correctional facility and had one year of probation. In 1983, Mitnick once again hacked into a computer system, only this time it was the Pentagon's. Mitnick was caught and sentenced to six months in a detention center, showing the dire penalties that await hackers when they are caught.       
 
 
Hacker Robert Tappen Morris is credited with creating one of the first known computer worms while a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The worm cost thousands of dollars worth of damage to the computers at the school, and yet, Robert Tappen Morris claims that he merely did it as an Internet experiment. After being caught, the court fined him in the amount of $10,050.00 and also had him perform four hundred hours of community service and three years of probation. Thus, though he might be considered the first among hackers, it is certainly a status which he would have gladly forfeited to have avoided the penalties he faced.

The Use of Hacking Software

The Use of Hacking Software

Hackers are always finding new and better hacking programs to provide additional ways to bypass security measures in order to infiltrate computer networks. Today, many sophisticated tools and hacking programs can be found on the web. These hacking programs enable hackers to find loopholes in security measures that are taken in order to prevent a breach in security on the Internet.
 
 
Some of the hacking software created in order to help hackers accomplish this comes in the form of hacking programs or hacking software. The irony is that many of the programs that help to enable hacking are also meant to provide security measures in regards to computer programming.
 
 
One hacking program that can be downloaded online is called Nmap. Nmap is a program that breaks down the network's map (or network's grid) and can be used on large scale networks as well as a single network. This is an example of a hacking program that would be able to help a user to better understand a program. It would also help them to identify the security devices used within a program to better infiltrate it.
 
 
There are also hacking programs that serve as a device to crack passwords. An example of this kind of hacking software would be JTR (John the Ripper). The purpose of JTR is to find Unix password codes and to crack them allowing access into normally restricted areas. Wireshark is another hacking software that, when installed, allows the user to sniff around in order to browse the networks' mainframes as well as to capture content.
 
 
Although there are debates over whether or not hacking software or hacking programs should be made illegal, many companies depend on these programs as a means to access computer systems and collect data, even from within their own company's network. This exemplifies how many times the software is actually used for ethical hacking. For example, if someone forgets their own password, the JTR program would help the user to locate their password. An illegal use of this kind of software would includ someone using a wifi hacking software in order to use their neighbor's wireless account.
 

How Does Hacking Work?

How Does Hacking Work?

As technology becomes more commonplace, some computer or technology enthusiasts often start to wonder how they can learn to hack. There are many ways to go about learning how to hack. Those interested may purchase books or researching the subject matter on how to hack on the internet. 
 
 
Others may take technical classes or acquire technical apprenticeships that may greatly increase their chances of finding out how to hack. Although these are effective courses of action that can be taken, there are some other basics steps that can be taken when one wants to learn to hack.
 
 
One of the first steps in order to learn to hack is to understand computer programs (programming). Once the use of computer programming is understood, it would be easier to understand computer languages of all different types, thus making it a significantly easier task to learn how to hack in general. For example: C, C+, C++, Java script, etc., are all different languages used when initializing and building computer programming systems. 
 
 
Once it is established how to build a computer program from the bottom up, it will become much easier to recognize codes and languages often used from within a computer's system.
 
 
The next step is run an operating system on the computer. Operating systems can be difficult to understand (for example: Linux or Unix). These programming systems will actually help you to access codes and to start building the programs itself. 
 
 
This can also be beneficial for anyone who wants to learn to hack by breaking the programs into codes. This will also help when reviewing computer codes that can be used in a computer program. Building codes can also be used in hacking.
 
 
When accomplishing these feats in order to learn to hack, it is also a wise idea to know how to write for the web specifically. In other words, learning web text like html, world wide web, etc., can help one learn how to hack in cyberspace. Learning how to program on a website can also help in protecting oneself from falling victim to a hacker online.
 
 
As far as hacking goes, there have been hackers who initiated other clever forms of hacking. For example, a famous hacker by the name of John Draper (aka Cap'n Crunch) used a whistle found in a cereal box that imitated the sound of a phone receiver in order to allow himself free phone calls from a phone company.

What Does Hacking Really Mean?

What Does Hacking Really Mean?

Many computer experts throw around the term "hacking" in general conversation. But what are the means of hacking or computer hacks? Hacking can be used in many different ways for a wide variety of purposes, from hacking programs to even more mundane means, like physical methods.
 
 
Many times a hack can simply be used as a short cut around something more difficult when working on a computer. For example, when a person claims to find a "trick" inside of a video game that perhaps most players may not be aware of, this can be an example of someone hacking a system by bypassing an obstacle using technology. 
 
 
Alternatively, however, a hacker might provide computer hacks for the same computer game by creating hack programs that actively alter and rewrite the parameters of that game to the hacker's desire.
 
 
Many people who are curious about hacking can also obtain hack programs. Hack programs can either teach the art of computer hacks or they can commit the hack itself. Hack programs can be downloaded and/or purchased, or sometimes they can be viewed for free via video tutorial on the internet.
 
 
Many times computer experts can let the curiosity of hack value overtake them. They will often wonder about computer systems and their hack value. A hack value becomes a challenge for computer wizards in achieving the accomplishment of completing a hack on a certain program or system that many other experts may not be able to, or it may block hack programs. In rare cases, the growing interest of hack values among computer experts has been known to grow into an obsession.
 
 
Although most of these scenarios are not considered anything that should cause concern, there are other occasions where computer hacks can be used for a more devious intention. Many criminals use the art of hacking into a computer as a means to illegally gather information that is not rightfully theirs as a means to steal, commit fraud, or to harass. Criminals will also use hacking as a way to wage attacks on people or even the government.
 
 
Many times, hackers are known to be spies or even terrorists that will hack in order to advance a cyber terrorist attack. A cyber terrorist attack is a serious threat that involves terrorist obtaining information using the computer and/or internet as a means to cause real world destruction.
 
 
Many argue that "cyberterrorism" is not a real threat and that the term is merely being confused with actual computerized threats that can be carried out. These attacks can include denial of services attacks and information warfare.
 
 
Both of these attacks may involve computer hacks and they are similar in nature in that they are both normally acted out when a criminal hacks into an account to obtain information to be used against an opposing party. However, denial of services attacks are more associated with harming a computer's function, whereas an information warfare attack is associated with exploiting someone's personal data as a means to create chaos via the internet/computer.
 

The Facts on Network Hacking

The Facts on Network Hacking

Many times the term hacking is used in reference to obtaining information as a means of trespassing into the victim’s private accounts (i.e. bank account, credit card accounts, etc.). However, hacking can also be used to find information in other areas of interest. Hacking can often take place via wireless hacking, which is a particular technique of hacking. Wireless hacking, or wifi hacking, is committed when a hacker obtains the victim’s wireless network signal and is able to use it for his/her own personal use.
 
 
Available wireless hacking software enables the hacker to decode the victim's network connection and then the hacker will actually intercept the connection. Other programs may help locate the signal in order to commit wifi hacking and crack the password used in order to gain access onto the victim's network.
 
 
Wireless network "sniffing" is another form where a hacker using a program via wireless connection. It is a form of eavesdropping on a wireless network in order to copy codes in the victim’s wireless service network. The hacker may also use sniffing as a device to collect addresses in order to spoof (or fake) a wireless connection.
 
 
Even though most wifi hacking involves computers, that is not always the case. A passive scanner is also another type of wifi hacking program that involves a hacker gaining access to the victim's radio channels. The scanner is contained on a wireless card and allows the hacker to be able to listen in on each radio channel for a few messages. 
 
 
Although some hackers are quite crafty when it comes to wireless hacking, there are ways to prevent becoming a victim of wireless hacking. One way is to obtain a secure wireless router. A good router will not allow unauthorized parties to access your wireless service network.
 
 
In choosing a router name and password, try using something more abstract and nothing too obvious that would help the intruder to gain access to your signal. You can also choose to hide your router name which will make it even harder for a hacker to identify your connection. Installing a WPA2 may also make it harder for hackers to decode your encryption code, making your network harder to attain and lessening the chance that wifi hacking will occur. By limiting how often you use your network, it will become less likely for your network to be identified.

Purpose of Hacking

Purpose of Hacking

When hacking began in the early 1950s, it began with a purpose of finding simple solutions or ways around technical problems when dealing with computing systems. The term “hacked” or “hacks” was first used by a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology describing the situation when his technology students would look for short cuts, or even to perform it as an experiment. These kinds of experiments often served the purpose of making certain functions easier through technology. They were also curious to see what computing obstacles could be “hacked”, or bypassed, when using the computer as a tool for hacks.
Calculators and even video game systems can even be utilized as a common way to perform simple hacks (otherwise known as a “cool hack”). However, more recently, the purpose of hacking is normally associated with computer crimes and it is used as a means to commit more malicious actions (often referred to as an “ugly hack”).
Many computer crimes committed today involve the perpetrator hacking into accounts without authorization in order to obtain private information as a means to inconvenience, steal, or commit fraud against their victim(s). Hacked computer systems remain one of the most dangerous and frightening fears of the modern era, not least because often it is unclear that a computer system has been hacked until it is too late.
Computer fraud is one of the most common computer crimes, which involves a criminal illegally collecting secured information with the means to deceive, and it is often used a means to gain finances and/or materials.  A common form of computer fraud, involving hacks, is when a violator makes his/her way into a private account online to gather another individual’s credit card information. This information is used to help the criminal access items, but it is at the victim’s expense.
One of the biggest computer crime threats that the United States faces today involves criminals hacking into Government computers as a means to commit cyberwarfare. Cyberwarfare is implemented when the terrorist hacks into a private account to obtain classified information as a means to cause real world harm.
When a Government computer is hacked, it leaves Government officials to question our country’s network security system and our safety. Warring countries may commit espionage when a spy hacks into the Government’s computers and they can use this information as a means to commit cyber warfare.
Government reports concluded that China hacked or attempted to hack into the United States Government’s computers, which prompted President Barack Obama to create the position of a cyber security tsar and a cyber security office within the White House.