A cyber breach – an incident in which hackers gain access to vital commercial or customer cyber systems – can come with a big price tag for your small business. In the computer security context, a hacker is someone who seeks and exploits weaknesses in a computer system or computer network. Hackers may be motivated by a multitude of reasons, while they are notorious as criminals, that’s not always the case. Some hackers might be motivated by profit, some hack in lieu of protest or to challenge the system. Hit amongst them are those who to evaluate vulnerabilities in the system and help businesses minimize the chances of being hacked into. They are also known as ethical hackers as they not only look for loopholes in the system, but also play a constructive role in removing cyber vulnerabilities.
The subculture that has evolved around hackers is often referred to as the computer underground. Let us discuss some of the techniques used by hackers to get into a corporate network:
- Social engineering: Social engineering refers to the method of influencing and persuading people to reveal sensitive information in order to perform some malicious action. Using this tricks, attackers can obtain confidential information, authorization details and access details of people by deceiving or manipulating them. An attacker can take advantage of the human behavior and nature to commit social engineering attacks. Human nature of trust itself becomes the main basis for these social engineering attacks. Sometimes social engineers go to the extent of threatening targets in case their requests are not accepted.
- Denial of Service (DoS) attack: It is that prevents authorized users from accessing a computer or network. DoS attacks target the network bandwidth or connectivity. Bandwidth attack overflow the network with a high volume of traffic using existing network resources, thus depriving legitimate users of these resources. Connectivity attack traffic requests, consuming all available operating system resources, so that computer cannot process legitimate user request.
- Sniffing: Packet sniffing allows individuals to capture data as it is transmitted over a network. Packet sniffer programs are commonly used by network professionals to diagnose network issues. These programs are also used by malicious users to capture unencrypted data, such as passwords and usernames in network traffic. Once this information is captured, the user can then gain access to the system or network.
- Virus and worms: Computer viruses have the potential to wreak havoc on both business and personal computers. A virus is a self-replicating program that produces its own code by attaching copies of it into other executable codes. This virus operates without the knowledge or desire of the user. Like a real virus, a computer virus is contagious and can contaminate other files also, however, they can infect outside machines only with the assistance of computer users. A worm is a malicious program that can infect both local and remote machines. Worms spread automatically by infecting system after system in a network, and even spreading further to other networks. Worms have a greater potential for causing damage because they do not rely on the user’s actions for execution.
- SQL Injection: SQL Injection is a type of web application vulnerability where an attacker can manipulate and submit a SQL command to retrieve the database information. This type of attack mostly occurs when a web application executes by using the user-provided data without validating or encoding it. It can give access to sensitive information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, or other financial data to the attacker and allows an attacker to create, read, update, alter, or delete data stored in the backend database. It is a flaw in web applications and not a database or web server issue. Most programmers are still not aware of this threat.
Being aware of such attacked can help organizations in staying alert. It is important to test the IT System and see if there is a room for any such vulnerability. Avancer offers extensive Testing Services that is designed to extensively analyze external and internal vulnerabilities of a system. It is a detailed process based approach to test threshold performance levels and examine system vulnerabilities of the implemented technology. It generates a detailed risk scores and a prioritized remediation list through a detailed testing of operating systems, network devices, services and software such as databases and web applications.