Hacking: Become The Ultimate Hacker - Computer Virus, Cracking, Malware, IT Security (2015)
Chapter 1: Cracking - An Act Different From Hacking
In this chapter, you’ll learn about cracking and how it differs from hacking.
Cracking can be defined as an act of breaking into a computer. It is usually done on a secured network. There can be a number of reasons for a cracker to crack into a computer like for entertainment purposes, for his/her profit, or as a challenge. Some crackers do it for pointing out a website’s security flaws. They break and enter into a site and report to the administration of the website about the security flaw.
For a person to perform cracking, strong hacking skills aren’t a necessity. You can be a cracker with the help of some popular tools which are used on known flaws in the site's security. With these tools, anyone can crack by searching for known weaknesses of certain websites. So, you can assume that most of the crackers are not professionals but are just mediocre level hackers. Hacking and cracking are two different terms and one should not be confused with the other.
A cracker can be defined as a person who, without permission, breaks into a person’s computer on a network. They intentionally break into the computer breaching the security of the system. They bypass passwords and compromise the license of the programs in the computer.
Hacking vs. Cracking
Both hacking and cracking are two different forms of computer security breaches on the internet. As the pronunciation of these words is similar, most people get confused between the two words. But you should keep in mind that both are malicious cyber activities. Listed here are the differences between these two activities. We'll start by looking at the meanings of those words in a technical vocabulary.
Hacking is defined as an act of forcibly retrieving or stealing data that could be either personal or private. This is done without the knowledge of the owner. Hacking also includes stealing of passwords or any other malicious action which disturbs the privacy of a person without their consent or knowledge.
Cracking, on the other hand, is creating original programs and using them for personal purposes. With cracking you can edit source codes of a given program or even create your own programs which can be used for breaching the security of a program or a system. Programs like key generators and patches are all part of cracking. These programs will trick the software application into thinking that a process occurred.
For example if you use a key-generation software, it will trick the application to think that the key entered is a licensed key and it will also stop the application from verifying it with the server. In simple words, cracking is nothing but searching for a backdoor entry into the software. It involves security breach and exploitation of the software.
If you observe, you can see that a hacker is someone who uses his extensive knowledge on programming and code for illegal and malicious purposes while a cracker is one who exploits a program and searches for backdoor entries. Cracking is usually a lot less harmful when compared to hacking. But one should not get an impression that cracking is of no harm at all. Hackers usually deal with internet hacking. For example, hackers use several techniques and tools for password lifting, stealing data and other things which harm the victim's privacy.
Password cracking can be considered as the process of recovering passwords. It can be done by recovering data from a secured location or from the data transmitted by a computer system. Brute force attack is one of the commonly known approaches for password cracking. It is a program which continuously guesses the password within the given password hash (cryptographic hash).
Password cracking is a useful process where the user can recover a lost password for gaining access to their system or account. However, the same can be used by the hacker to gain unauthorized access to the system. One might consider that resetting the password isn’t a security risk, but it'll need administration privileges.
With several people trying to crack passwords, there are a lot of password-cracking tools available on the Internet. Some of them are available for free whereas few of them are paid. The popular software’s used for cracking passwords are John the ripper, DaveGrohl, ElcomSoft, Cain and Abel, Hashcat etc. some of the litigation support software come with these password cracking functionalities too. These include password cracking strategies with both dictionary and brute force attacks. This combination proves to be very efficient.