How hackers hack and how to prevent it
In the past few years, technology has advanced at an extremely impressive rate. It seems absurd to think that the first few personal computers were unveiled less than 50 years ago, equipped with a fraction of the processing power that modern day Smartphone’s contain. With the rising popularity of Smartphones within society, there are more and more people afforded easy access to the Internet, and as such, it has become a part of our everyday lives.
Subsequently, many people have begun starting web sites and personal blogs and, with the prevalence of the Internet, these have become viable career options. However, many people are doing so without adequate knowledge of the dangers lurking in cyberspace, and one cannot help but imagine the hackers rubbing their hands in glee behind the glow of their computers. So what threat do hackers pose, and how should you deal with it?
Why Should You Be Interested in Internet Security?
Perhaps this situation will sound familiar? Your free-trial of antivirus security expired months ago, and you continuously put off downloading a replacement. This classic example of human nature unwittingly leaves your computer at the mercy of any number of malicious cybercriminals out there. Needless to say, the day will probably come when you will only be able to watch on in helpless horror as your computer begins to experience a disease akin to systematic organ failure.
After this it will probably lie comatose on your desk, without the ability to access the Internet, play sound or open any kind of program, yet still turning on – almost mocking you...
Of course, you don’t want your computer reduced to this fate and so you should do all you can to dodge these hackers. A good place to start would be to see how these hackers infect your computer in the first place.
How Do Hackers Hack?
One of the weapons in the hacker arsenal used to bring down websites and halt their business proceedings, is something known as a distributed -denial-of-service (DDOS) attack which involves flooding the victim’s servers with so much traffic that they begin to work at an insufficient, sluggish pace, or shut down altogether due to the sheer volume of Internet traffic. In these attacks, hackers make use of botnets, this is a collection of malware-infected computers which they use to request data from the site they wish to target, which overloads the servers and renders the site temporarily useless.
By infecting these computers, the hacker can remotely control them without the knowledge of their owners, and they effectively become “zombies” which the hacker uses to do his bidding. At this point, one can only imagine their computer stumbling along in an undead horde with the sole intention of reeking destruction on the rest of the technological world.
Even if you are a casual blogger, you are not immune to the dangers of hacking. Many blogs are the targets of hackers who wish to sell products through your blog or alternatively use your blog as a gateway for malware in the hopes of infecting any visitors to your page.
Another aim of many hackers is to “hijack” your blog and use it for their own purposes – mainly for spamming other users. Furthermore, if your blog is hacked, it will move at a crawling speed (similar to the DDOS attack results) and may stop working altogether. If you are the owner of a website and your heart rate is climbing at an alarming rate as you read this, do not fret as there are ways to prevent these kinds of attacks.
How Do You Prevent Cyber Attacks?
There are a number of ways to go about preventing these kinds of attacks. The first option is to add more servers to your web site to cope with any unanticipated hike in Internet traffic. Another option is to set up firewalls which attempt to block traffic from suspicious IP addresses or IP addresses which exceed a threshold number of requests. You could also set up a “blackhole” which involves setting up a non-existent server where the traffic from an IP address making many requests at once will be sent, and this means that it will not be processed by your working servers and won’t hinder your site at all.
It must be noted that using a free web-hosting site makes your site more susceptible to these kinds of attacks as there is a very small bandwidth limit allowed for these sites making it easier to overload the servers. These free web hosts don’t provide much support in terms of security for your website and this can leave you open to a variety of other cyber attacks.
There are, however, many more practical, common sense ways to protect your beloved blog or site like choosing a secure password. Many hackers have applications that try a variety of passwords and may eventually arrive at the right password if you set yours to something along the lines of “password1234”. Seriously, setting a password like this is just asking to be hacked. It is not difficult to come up with a complex password and, if you are forgetful, just write it down somewhere, your blog will be much safer if you do.
Another way to secure your blog is to download a capable anti-virus. This makes a huge difference; there are many free anti-virus applications available on the web. AVG and Avira are amongst the best, and these will protect you from malware that will steal your information or as aforementioned, use your computer in malicious DDOS attacks. If you don’t already have an anti-virus, go download one right now, it literally takes a few minutes of your time.
Only a fraction of the Internet security dangers out there have been mentioned and hackers are continuously coming up with new, creative ways to steal your money and information. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that you keep yourself informed on the new cyber threats out there and how to prevent them. Internet security is often trivialised, however, if you value your hard earned money, then you must do all you can to protect yourself from these threats.