Introduction to Hacking - Hacking by Solis Tech: How to Hack Computers, Basic Security and Penetration Testing (2014)

Hacking by Solis Tech: How to Hack Computers, Basic Security and Penetration Testing (2014)

Chapter 1: Introduction to Hacking

If you search the key phrase “how to hack” in Google, you will get 129,000,000 results in .48 seconds. That means that there are too many websites in the world that actually teach how to hack. What makes hacking such a popular practice, anyway?

Hacking is actually a misunderstood term. It has been a subject of debate for many years. Some journalists refer to hackers as those who love performing computer mischief. However, hacking actually goes beyond simply playing pranks on other people with a little help from technology – it is the practice that involves resourcefulness, creativity, and great computer knowledge.

What is Hacking?

When you hear the word hacking, you immediately think of accessing another person’s computer, stealing all the files that you need, or making sure that you have total control of the device even when you are away. You think of hijacking it, and making it do all things that the user would not probably want to happen in the first place.

However, hacking as a tradition is far from this thought. In the beginning, hacking is thought of as the practice of making computers function better than what manufacturers intended them to be. Hackers are technologically skilled people who like discovering new processes and techniques to make things more efficient. Malicious hackers, on the other hand, turn this noble goal into something damaging. Instead of improving how things work, they explore how to exploit vulnerabilities and learn how to attack and hijack computers, and steal or destroy personal files.

Here is a definition of the word hacking that people would agree with: it is the practice of exploring how programmable systems work and how to stretch their uses, compared to normal users who would prefer to only make use of the minimum necessary for their consumption.

What makes a hacker then? A hacker desires to know how computers work and wants to make full usage of the information he acquires in order to know how to stretch the technology that is in front of him. At the same time, all hackers believe that all knowledge about computers is good, and should be shared with other people who have the same goal as them.

Types of Hackers

Hacking goals have drastically changed due to the numerous innovations and technological issues that are available nowadays. There are also hackers who make it a point to differentiate their methods, goals, and hacking skill level from another hacker.

These are the hackers that you are most likely to encounter:

1. Malicious Hackers

Also called criminal hackers, they use their skills to infiltrate computer systems in order to extract information without permission or through illegal means, create malwares and viruses, or destroy computer networks for personal profit or pleasure.

2. Gray Hat Hackers

These are hackers who may attempt to infiltrate a computer system, with or without permission, but they do this not to cause damage. They aim to discover vulnerabilities in order bring these to the owner’s attention. However, no matter how noble the idea is, they may still aim to compromise a computer system without getting authorization, which is considered an illegal activity.

3. White Hat Hackers

These hackers are also known as ethical hackers and they function as experts in thwarting any attack that may compromise computer systems and security protocols. They also exploit possibilities in optimizing security and other processes in order to make computers more secure and efficient.

White hat hackers are often hired by organizations to test their computer networks and connectivity in order to discover breaches and vulnerabilities. White hat hackers also make it a point to report back to the computer’s authorized user all the activities and data that they collect to ensure transparency and enable him to update his device’s defenses.

Most ethical hackers claim that learning how to set up defenses and identify attacks is becoming increasingly relevant to society today, especially since attack tools are also becoming more accessible to aspiring malicious hackers. For this reason, the demand for ethical hackers is growing within offices as more people learn that they need to prepare for more sophisticated attacks.

This book will teach you how to fight malicious attacks by learning how hacking tools and techniques work. After all, ethical hackers need to think like the enemy in order to prevent them from infiltrating the systems that they are trying to protect. At the same time, you will learn how to make sure that you know how to set up a secure computer network and prevent your own devices from being attacked by malicious hackers.

How to be a Hacker

If you want to learn how to hack, you need to have the following skills:

1. Computer Skills

This means that you need to have skills that go beyond Microsoft Office and basic web surfing. You have to be able to manipulate your computer’s functions using the command prompt, set up your networking system, or edit the registry in order to allow or block specific processes.

2. Linux Skills

Hackers consider Linux as the operating system for hacking tools. This open-source operating system also allows users to perform tasks that purchased operating systems like Windows and Mac would not allow.

3. Networking Skills

Since most of the attacks that you will learn to launch and protect yourself from will be networking attacks, you need to familiarize yourself with how computer networking works. Make sure that you know the different networking terms and how to change networking settings on your computer.

4. Security Concepts and Current Technologies

Hackers are knowledgeable when it comes to networking and computer security protocols. In order to launch a successful attack or thwart one, a hacker must know what kind of attacks can actually bypass security systems that are available.

5. Wireless Technologies

Since most devices nowadays rely on wireless connectivity, it is important to know how these devices work and how to bypass security. For this reason, you need to learn how encryption algorithms work, as well as how connection protocols work.

6. Web Applications

The Internet serves as a fertile ground for malicious hackers to launch attacks against Internet users. Whether you want to hack a computer or protect yourself from any attack, you need to learn how attacks using web applications and websites work.

7. Scripting

The way attacks are coded is vital in setting up a defense against malicious hackers. Ethical hackers know that most of the malwares that they are trying to prevent are actually rehashes of the older ones and are designed to bypass newer defense protocols. Malicious hackers, on the other hand, learn how to write scripts in order to discover new attacks that will possibly bypass security protocols that tend to get more sophisticated every day.

8. Digital forensics

Learning when a computer is infiltrated takes more than just running an antivirus kit and waiting for it to say that there is something wrong. All hackers, criminal and ethical alike, know that it is impossible for a single tool to actually know all the possibilities of possible hijacking or phishing. For this reason, any hacker should learn to think ahead and cover their tracks, especially when they need to defend their devices from an attack or prevent people from learning what their activities are.