Hacking techniques are constantly growing and keeping up with new threats. Using easy hacks, a hacker can find unauthorized personal information that you do not want to expose. Understanding typical Hacking techniques and methods like phishing, DDoS, clickjacking, and more may benefit your safety.
Unethical hacking is the illegal act of gaining unauthorized access to information by manipulating a system’s features and exploiting its vulnerabilities. Nowadays, hacking techniques give hackers more chances to get illicit access to unclassified information when most things happen online, such as credit card data, email account credentials, and other personal information.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the most popular hacking techniques and actions you can take to avoid them.
Common Hacking Techniques
1. Cookie Theft
When you visit different websites, the cookies (tiny text files) saved in your system or browser cache can contain information about you, such as personal and financial information, passwords, and user credentials.
Cookies can be saved in plain text or with various levels of encryption (depending on the website). Moreover, the usage of browser add-ons has enabled the decades-old practice of cookie theft to become a more profitable and easy target for hackers.
After being hacked, cookies can be read or decrypted to reveal your information or to impersonate you online (e.g., if they include your passwords). Cookie theft may also occur with a fraudulent WAP attack or a hijacked session.
Your best option is to avoid using public or unsecured private networks. It’s also a good idea to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) such as AVG VPN to encrypt and tunnel your connection on your phone or mobile device. Furthermore, regularly cleaning your browser and system caches will decrease the number of cookies accessible to steal.
2. Waterhole attacks
You can connect to the waterhole attacks if you watch Discovery or National Geographic. To poison a location, the hacker, in this case, selects the victim’s most accessible physical location.
For example, if the river source is poisoned, it will affect the whole length of animals during the summer. In the same method, hackers select the most often visited physical place to attack the victim. That point could be a cafeteria, coffee shop, and more.
Once the hacker knows your timings, they can use this attack to establish a bogus WiFi access point. They can use this to change your most visited website to lead people to you to get your personal information. Since this attack gathers information on a user from a particular location, recognizing the attacker becomes much more difficult. Implementing basic security measures and keeping your software/OS updated are two of the most excellent methods to defend yourself from such hacking attempts.
Hackers use this method to passively listen in on a network connection and monitor and capture as much high-value information as possible. Packet sniffing, data transfer interception, and other monitoring methods may be employed. However, this attack’s effectiveness depends on the hackers not being detected or seen.
Unsecured networks are once again the best friend of eavesdroppers. Users of public WiFi should use a VPN to connect. Corporate networks may use Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Intrusion Prevent Systems (IPS) to prevent eavesdropping.
Keylogging is one of the simplest and oldest hacking methods. It allows attackers to use essential software to record the keystrokes you make on a keyboard to a log file (or, in more sophisticated cases, the clicks, and movements of a mouse). These log files may contain sensitive information such as passwords and user identities.
Virtual (on-screen) keyboards that scramble or encrypt your text input as you click each key are a barrier to this kind of assault. That is why they use by so many banking and e-commerce businesses. They’re also accessible as personal applications, and they’re worth having.
Malicious software is one of the most potent weapons in a hacker’s inventory. Viruses, Trojans (innocent-looking files and applications that eventually contain a harmful payload), worms (for persistent network penetration), and ransomware can all offer a huge salary if you let them into your system. There are many ways available to convince unsuspecting users to do so.
When dealing with email messages and attachments, use care and due attention to prevent infection. To avoid the temptation to click on pop-up windows, disable them in your browser. You should limit software downloads to authorized app shops and trustworthy suppliers. Furthermore, keep your anti-malware and security software up to date.
Phishing is a hacking method in which a hacker duplicates the most-visited websites and traps the victim by delivering a fake link. When combined with social engineering, it becomes one of the most frequent and devastating attack vectors.
When the victim attempts to log in or input data, the hacker gets the intended victim’s sensitive information by abusing the trojan operating on the bogus site. Hackers that targeted the “Fappening” breach, which included many Hollywood female celebrities, used phishing through iCloud and Gmail accounts as their attack technique.
7. ClickJacking Attacks
ClickJacking is also known as UI Redress. In this assault, the hacker conceals the actual UI where the user is supposed to click. Unfortunately, that is reasonably frequent on in-app downloads, streaming videos, and torrent websites. While they primarily utilize this method to generate advertising revenue, others can steal users’ personal information.
In other words, the attacker hijacks the victim’s clicks that aren’t meant for the particular website but for a page where the hacker wants you. Then, it fools a web user into doing an unwanted activity by clicking on a hidden link.
8. Bair and Switch
An attacker can purchase advertising space on websites using the Bait and Switch hacking method when a person clicks on the ad, leading them to a malware-infected website. They might also install malware or adware on your system. This method’s advertisements and download links are highly appealing, and visitors expect to click on them.
The hacker can execute a malicious application that the user thinks is genuine. Then, the hacker obtains unprivileged access to your computer after installing the malicious software.
9. Virus and Trojans
Viruses and Trojans are harmful software programs that infiltrate a victim’s system and continue to transmit the victim’s data to the hacker. They can also freeze your files, offer fraudulent advertisements, redirect traffic, sniff your data, and spread to all devices on your network.
10. Denial of Service (DoS\DDoS)
A Denial of Service attack is a hacking method used to bring down a website or server by flooding it with so much traffic that the server cannot handle all of the requests in real time and ultimately crashes.
In this standard method, the attacker floods the targeted system with hundreds of requests to overload the resources, preventing the actual requests from being completed.
For DDoS assaults, hackers often use botnets or zombie machines with just one purpose: to overwhelm your system with request packets. The scale of DDoS assaults becomes more significant as software and hacker types improve each year.
Never connect to untrusted open WiFi networks. Just because something is free doesn’t mean it’s also safe. Rather than randomly connecting to any available network while at a café with WiFi, ask the employees for the WiFi you can join.
Avoid conducting financial transactions or accessing sensitive information when connected to public WiFi.
Instead of Open or WEP security, use robust encryption such as WPA2 on your home and business WiFi routers.