Here are five potentially dangerous computer hacks that hackers know but most people don't...
Many people suffer from a common misconception that computer hacks require fancy programming reminiscent of the green text sequence in the Matrix films but this is not the case in real life. As Trinity would say:
"The answer is out there, Neo. It's looking for you. And it will find you, if you want it to."
There are hardly any computer hacks that require a graphical interface in real life. It would be a waste of time for a hacker to create a graphical representation of the hack unless they were trying to impersonate a company in a phishing type attack.
The general public fails to recognise that any good hacker is trying to take advantage of our hacking misconceptions by generally being very simple and thus hard to notice. Agent Smith said it best, "Billions of people, just living out their lives...oblivious."
Are you aware of the ways that you may be vulnerable to a potential hacker? Are you prepared to go the extra mile to ensure you are secure against less visible threats? Hackers are happy to assume that you are both unaware and unprepared but have no fear, we have compiled a list of five of the most common ways that your computer can be compromised that you probably don't know about.
A Brute force attack aims to guess every possible password combinations until it comes to yours. These attacks have recently become more dangerous due to automation and the tendency to use weak passwords. As far as most computer security threats go this one is unique as the only one that theoretically attempts to try all possible alphanumerical combinations until the right password is found.
Fortunately for us, computers are now far more capable in the way they create passwords. Using a password manager, you can create long and difficult passwords that the program will remember for you. That is one sure way to ensure that any hacker would need at least thousands of years to attempt a brute force hack on your private account.
USB devices can emulate other devices if the operating system (OS) that they are plugged into trusts physical devices absolutely. In this situation, a USB device can emulate a Keyboard and execute a malicious code as an Admin. This malware could do anything from completely taking over your PC to deleting your entire system directory.
These kinds of Hacks take advantage of both your unsuspecting nature and the way your computer operates to create a scenario in which trust becomes your worst enemy. The way to be safe against these types of attack is to use tools that monitor for and scan USB drives as they are connected to your PC.
Phishing is the attempt to get usernames and passwords from unsuspecting users by pretending to be a genuine agency or company. Hackers who use phishing techniques often design fake login pages that look similar to the login pages of genuine websites. The main idea is to use some type of situational context to trick you into providing your sensitive data.
For example, let's say you received an email from PayPal asking you to confirm your billing address. It looks like every other email you've ever received from PayPal so you click on the link to continue to the web page and update your account.
This is how simple it could be for a hacker to gain access to your money. Always remember to check hyperlinks and URLs as well as to enter false information on your first time entering a page to see if it reacts in the correct way.
Drive by Downloads
There is no difference between code and data. Inside of a computer, all code is data, and all data can be executed just like code. This means that the abstraction that makes sense to us as users can be exploited by hackers to allow them an opportunity to install malware onto your device.
Those free movies, music and apps that you love are often accompanied by malware and viruses. Hiding behind a VPN won't help here I'm afraid, the embedded code can often still be executed as long as the hacker can get the execution pointer to jump to the correct point in your computer's memory.
Hackers know that computers have internal systems and that these internal systems are easily accessed and changed. What could appear as magic to me and you can literally be child’s play to a hacker seeing as everything that a computer program can do is stored in memory that can be changed.
There are a few programs out there that attempt to prevent this kind of attack and they often offer adequate protection against them.In this situation, being aware of the problem is the first step in making yourself secure but using a program does not change the fact that this issue is caused solely by the type of computers we use today.
What Can We Learn?
Hackers have two main traits that set them apart from the average user. First, they want to know how stuff works, as deeply as possible. Second, they are patient enough to get to the bottom of things.
These traits combined with the fact that computers are not magic and can always be understood can create a dangerous environment. It is best to remain proactive using antivirus tools to protect your devices.