Hacking, which has been a part of computing for over 50 years, is a very broad discipline, which covers a wide range of topics. The first reported hacking was in 1960 at MIT and the term ‘Hacker’ was used.
For non-geeks, here is a short introduction. Computer software consists of computer programs, which give instructions on how the hardware should perform certain tasks. These softwares are often prepared by programmers, who have full access to the entire programs. The programs are then sold to users with strict rules or protocols by which they are accessible only to certain authorized persons (usually with passwords) for reasons of security. Theoretically, nobody except these authorized persons have access to use these.
How can others obtain unauthorized access?
1. The original programmers, who have prepared the source code, and have invariably provided their own entry points trap-doors and passwords.
2. Earlier users who are no longer authorized users, but whose passwords have not been deleted.
3. Other unscrupulous persons who wish to access the system for ulterior motives.
4. Since there is so much activity and business run by computers, and most computers are connected by the Internet, they are open to be accessed by various persons via the internet.
5. Computers are also prone to attack by malicious software (mal-ware) and virus attacks, which leaves them open to attack by hackers and mal-ware.
These ‘virus infections’ and ‘worms’ are introduced by persons who wish to hack into the system and steal information or make entire systems crash or destroy the entire data stored. Find more Invest Records articles
Just as virus attacks in computers are prevented by anti-virus software like MacAfee, etc. companies protect themselves from hacking by employing ethical hackers. EC Council defines an ethical hacker as ‘an individual who is usually employed with an organization and who can be trusted to undertake an attempt to penetrate networks and/or computer systems using the same methods and techniques as a malicious hacker.’
It refers to the act of locating weaknesses and vulnerabilities of computer and information systems by duplicating the intent and actions of malicious users.