When hacking is mentioned, what is the first thing that immediately pops into your mind? A bunch of indecipherable code flashing across a black screen? Loss of critical data and leaked information? What about your impression of hackers? No thanks to Hollywood and media reports, most people would think of them as evil geniuses who use their knowledge of technology to wreck havoc and create a public nuisance.
Recently, Computer Guys has been approached by the local media a few times for comments regarding cyber crime and unauthorised duplicates of official websites. And given the recent hacking incidents, we thought that this might be a good time to clear up some common misconceptions about hacking. Do read on!
Not all hackers are bad
When a hacking incident is reported in the media it is because something – be it access to a website or confidential information – is being compromised. But do you know that companies are actually paying hackers to attack their own systems as well? These ethical hackers, also known as “white hat” hackers, find ways to get into an organisation’s information system and then alert the company about them so as to minimise security lapses.
Hacking is simple
Coming up with ways to hack into something can be really tough, but once someone has figured it out and posted the tutorial online, pretty much everyone else can do the same by following the step-by-step instructions.
What’s more, there are plenty of easy-to-use hacking programs that are available for free, which only makes hacking easier for anyone who is familiar with using a computer. IT security expert Rob Rachwald claims that it only took 15 minutes for his 11-year-old learn how to execute an SQL injection attack, a common method used for stealing private data from web-databases.
Hacking looks really boring in real life
Funky-looking software, furious typing on the keyboard and sometimes, a fierce code battle with whoever’s on the receiving end. These Hollywood interpretations of hacking could not be further from the truth, which looks something like this:
What happens is that the hacker has to run these tools for a period of time, maybe go for a cup of coffee, and then come back to see what weak spots the tool has found before he can start breaking into the system. So…yeah we kind of understand why television and movie producers have to add in all sorts of fancy schmancy effects to make hacking look more exciting than it really is.
Hackers cannot get to confidential information over the Internet
Many people seem to have the idea that hackers can get into any computer system through the Internet, which will then lead them to a treasure trove of super secret data. There is just one problem: no organisation will leave their confidential documents out on a public-facing database, because that is akin to keeping your precious belongings right outside your front door under a flimsy luggage padlock.
Instead, critical data is stored internally and on a private network, so it is highly unlikely that any outsider would be able to access it remotely. Still not convinced? Think about what happened in the US with the NSA leaks and other classified documents. Neither Edward Snowden nor Chelsea Manning did any hacking to get the information. They were given access to the classified databases in the first place because they were working within the government.
Do you have any questions about hacking? Drop us a comment below and we will try our best to clear any confusion!
Leave A Comment