What is a Hacker

Hacker refers to a person who enjoys learning the details of computer systems and also tries to expand his or her capabilities by gaining access over other’s computer systems. A Hacker targets or finds out the loop holes in the computer system and tries to gain access over that particular computer system through these loop holes. A hacker must be able to exploit a weakness or vulnerability (i.e. loop holes in the system by which the computer can be affected) in a computer system.

The security of a computer system depends on a number of basic elements. If any of these elements gets affected, the security will get exploited. These elements are:

Confidentiality Authenticity Integrity Availability

A malicious hacker performs a number of steps to attack the system. These steps include:

Reconnaissance – gathers as much as information as possible, can be passive or active Scanning – refers to pre attack phase when the hacker scans the network for specific information Gaining Access – refers to the phase where hacker exploits the vulnerabilities in the system Maintaining Access – refers to the phase where hacker tries to retain control over the system

Covering Tracks – refers to the activities where the hacker tries to hide his or her misdeeds

There are a number of ways by which the hacker gains access to the system. Different types of attacks are performed by different-2 hackers who are classified in different classes according to the tasks they perform. These are:

Black Hatsare the ones with excellent computing skills, and lead to malicious or destructive activities. These are also known as Crackers.

White Hats – are the ones with hacker skills but are using them in a peaceful manner for defensive purposes. These are also known as Security Analysts. Grey Hats – are the individual who work both for offence and for defence at various times (depending upon the situation). Suicide Hats – are the individuals who try to break down some critical infrastructure for a particular cause and do not worry about the punishment (can be very severe) which they can get after committing that crime.

So, a hacker may not always be a person who should be punished. It can also be the one who is trying to prevent the attacks made by the attackers and this type of hacker is termed as an Ethical hacker who serves the nation for the good deeds and not tries destroys the nation.

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