There are many hacking techniques and tools that can be used by hackers to access your data and wreak havoc. Let’s look at some of the easier and most common methods used on the internet today.
How many times have you been to a cafe, hotel or airport and searched for a suitable Wifi connection to use on your phone or laptop? How certain are you that you’re connected to the actual establishment’s secure Wifi? Using a fake WAP (Wireless Access Point), the attacker simply sets up a wireless router with a convincingly legitimate name. Once you access this, the attacker can easily steal sensitive data or download malware on to your device.
This is based on the assumption that many people use the same password for multiple websites – Unfortunately true! Once the attacker has managed to access your login for one particular website, they then attempt to reuse this information to access other, more sensitive websites.
This can happen when the website itself is insecure. In websites that use the SQL programming language, attackers can insert code into text fields in the website (like a contact form for example) that an insecure website will run. The code can then be used to extract information from the website itself.
Bait and switch
This is when a hacker uses an online advertising network to fool users in to visiting malicious websites. Fortunately, large advertisers like Facebook and Google have a number of security implementations in place to prevent this from happening for the most part.
Browser lockers are very common but most people are aware of these scams now. Once a device is infected, a user may find that their browser is locked out – a popup displays over the screen which is impossible to close, usually posing as some sort of antivirus alert which encourages the user to visit a bogus technical support link or bogus support phone number. Here they are asked to pay for the “virus” to be removed and unwittingly give out their credit card details to the hacker.
There are many more ways to gain confidential information through the internet but we won’t go in to detail here. They range from cookie theft, session hijacking, macro malware documents, DDoS attacks, phishing and DNS spoofing. There are so many different vulnerabilities out there that is impossible to know them all but it is good for everyone to know the basics so that you can do your best to stay secure.