For as long as network infrastructures and computers have existed, hackers have made it their goal to intrude and worm their way through them for one reason or another.  We may be familiar with viruses, malware, or other forms of malicious software and code which can wreak havoc on our computers, but understanding where they come from and how they got there is an important way of learning how to protect ourselves and data from hackers in the future.

Why do Hackers Hack?

There are dozens of reasons why men and women alike decide to take up the hacker monochrome and root around in our computers and networks.  Some do it out of boredom, while others may be doing it for a living.  The valuable data that they are after could be sold on the dark web.  Data such as passwords, bank account numbers, social security numbers and the like are all highly valuable targets for hackers.

We believe hackers fall into three categories:

  • People "having fun", typically young adults or even adolescents who are essentially just internet vandals developing their skills and seeing how far they can go.
  • Recreational hackers whom are more computer savvy that intrude on networks and computers because they feel they have a reason to.  Possibly because of a grudge they have against the people they are hacking or feel some sort of moral obligation to disrupt that companies work flow.
  • Finally, there are the professionals: hackers who may be employed to do a nation or organization's bidding on the web.  Some of these hackers are not unlike the ones who hacked Sony Pictures many years ago to disrupt the release of one of their movies.

Hacking has been around since the early days of computing, and there's no end-all be-all solution to stopping them.  So long as technology continues to advance, hackers will be around to try and break into it.

How Hackers Get Into Your Network or Computer

There are a variety of methods which hackers employ in order to do what they do.  Many use programs, called scripts, that are developed by other hackers and sold around the web.  Some of these scripts do things like log key strokes on a computer and send them to a remote location.  Still others may continuously attempt to guess passwords from a list provided by the hacker.  Still others may simply generate traffic to overflow a server hosting a website causing its performance to degrade or, eventually, bring it offline entirely.

Once a hacker is able to penetrate your network or computer, they can leave all sorts of malicious software on your computer.  A hacker may not even need to bother with getting into your specific computer, but rather wait for you to come to them.  Most hackers may target a popular website, infiltrating an advertisement space just waiting to be clicked on by an unsuspecting visitor.  Clicking the ad will trigger a series of events which will eventually leave your computer vulnerable, or teeming with malicious software.  Websites are a very popular target for hackers to leave traps in for the sites visitors.  When you visit a website, your computer automatically downloads a series of items such as cached data, or cookies which your computer uses to better work with said website.  This makes it very easy for intruders to gain access to your computer or network simply because you visited the infected website, however, you can negate much of these intrusions by being proactive about your IT security.

Preventing Hacks and Malware

It's no secret to the major technology industry players that hackers are always trying to subvert their software.  So, they take measures to always plug up holes in their own security, and push out updates to their users whenever possible.  Those Windows Updates aren't just there to try and sell you on some new feature or slow down your computer or device.  It's important to keep your computer up to date, be it a Windows PC, a Mac Computer, or a server hosting your website.

Using complex passwords that are unique and not easily guessed by computers as well as keeping a strong and updated anti-virus running is important in stopping hackers or malicious software from getting onto your computer from compromised websites.  Likely, one of the most secure methods of keeping your workstations and servers safe is by utilizing a live managed IT services team, who can monitor and take action right away when something suspicious is taking place.

Natural Networks is one such company who takes IT security very seriously.  We are a fully managed IT services company, and we can help you take the proper steps in securing your workstations and servers.  If you want to know more, we encourage you to contact us right away, and, as always, stay safe.