Hacking

Top 3 Dark Web Podcasts in 2020

in Deep Web
Dark Web Podcasts

The dark web can be very confusing. There is a lot of jargon and misinformation that makes it hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. However, all hope is not lost. Besides the numerous online communities, there are also dark web podcasts that can help you learn more about the deep web, dark web, and darknet.

In this article, we introduce you to our top three favorite dark web podcasts that you can listen to in 2020.

Darknet Diaries

darknet diaries

Darknet Diaries is a podcast that was started in 2017 by Jack Rhysider. This podcast is dedicated to “covering true stories from the dark side of the Internet. Stories about hackers, defenders, threats, malware, botnets, breaches, and privacy.”

While Jack wanted for such a podcast to exist, he found out that there was none. That drove him to create the Darknet Diaries. The first episode for Darkent Diaries was aired in October 2017. For the most part, Jack worked alone on the first 40 episodes.

After the 40th episode, Jack got additional researchers, editors, writers and graphic designers to help with the work. Besides the Darknet Diaries, Jack also runs a tech and podcasting blog and has also appeared on several podcasts. Since its establishment, Darknet Diaries has produced over 60 episodes.

Cyber Talk Radio

Cyber Talk Radio

Cyber Talk Radio is another great darknet podcast that you can listen to. Brett Piatt is the host while James Woodward and Juan Diaz both work as producers for the podcast. The show is sponsored by Jungle Disk, LLC, which is a cybersecurity suite designed for small businesses. Bret, James, and Juan all work for Jungle Disk, LLC.

Cyber Talk Radio is a weekly podcast that focuses on computer security and the Internet. Their tagline is “From the dark web to your radio dial.”

With over 150 episodes under its belt, this show has also hosted guests for various episodes. With the guests, Brett has been able to host expert interviews on matters of cybersecurity.

The Dark Web Vlogs

Dark Web Vlogs

The Dark Web Vlogs is another exciting and thrilling deep web podcast. The podcast is hosted by an ex-CIA agent known as The Ghost. Today, The Ghost works as an Independent Operative focusing on mysterious and unbelievable cases. The host responds to requests to assist in some of the most bizarre cases that exist in the world. Individuals who reach out to the host do so because they cannot get help elsewhere or it is just not possible. In her podcast, she talks about these requests and how she helps the individuals. To ensure complete privacy, she does not use the real names of the people who reach out to her. The Ghost does her podcasts in the form of stories where she narrates the requests and the events that unfold once she accepts a request.

According to The Ghost, “These jobs are outrageous, mysterious, and unbelievable, from reaching out to other dimensions and worlds to other beings, as well as the paranormal, CERN, The Vatican, humanoid robots, and inner earth. Lizard People, Giants, Aliens and more.”

If you are looking for a thrilling podcast to listen to, The Dark Web Vlogs is a great place to start!

If you want to learn more about the dark web, you can read our article on the best dark web books or just keep browsing the Dark Web Journal.

Top 10 Hacking Tools, Apps, And Software You Should Know (And Probably Fear)

in Hacking
hacking tools

In this article, we discuss some of the most known hacking tools, apps, and software to make you aware of some of the most pressing cyber threats out there.

John the Ripper

John the Ripper also referred to by its initials JTR, is one of the most well-known password crackers. This hacking software can crack even the most complex passwords out there. It’s an excellent security tool to use to test password strength in your operating system. This password cracking tool mainly performs dictionary attacks. It takes text string samples from a text file that contains complex and popular words that can be found in a dictionary or from real passwords that have been cracked before. It encrypts them in a similar manner as the password that’s being cracked and compares the results to the encrypted string.

Although it’s an ethical hacking tool, John the Ripper can be used to decipher algorithms and passwords such as Kerberos AFS, Hash Lan Manager, DES, MD5, Blowfish, and MySQL, among others. In addition, it’s an open-source, multi-platform tool available for Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux. 

AndroRAT

One of the most commonly used hacking apps for Android is AndroRAT. AndroRAT is an abbreviation of Android and RAT, which stands for Remote Access Tool. This tool enables hackers to remotely control almost everything on an infected device, such as call logs, contacts, and even locations via Network/GPS.

In addition, a hacker can also open a URL on the device’s default browser, take a picture, stream videos, and sound from the microphone or any other source. They can also place a call or send a text message.

Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker

Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker is one of the most dangerous hacking tools for iOS. In fact, most government organizations use this tool. The tool was initially designed to help extract scientific information. However, its ability to copy any targeted gadget remotely transformed it into one of the most famous iOS hacking apps. It’s for this reason that the Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker is more of a hacking gadget than it is a programming tool.

With this tool, you can break passwords on an iPhone, decrypt iOS backups using GPU acceleration as well as iCloud Keychain, and files from the iCloud. In addition, this tool can download iCloud backups, sync data with or without an Apple ID password or get data from Microsoft accounts.

Metasploit

Metasploit is an open-source project for pen-testing. It’s one of the most popular hacking tools available today. The Metasploit hacking software can be described as a collection of hacking tools and frameworks that can be used to carry out different tasks. In fact, Metasploit is a must-learn tool for anyone that wants to become a penetration tester.

This software provides users with vital information with reference to known security vulnerabilities and aids in IDS testing strategies, plans, methodologies and the formulation of penetration testing for exploitation. There are three different versions of the Metasploit software:

  • Pro – suitable for IT security teams and penetration testing
  • Community – ideal for infosec students and small companies
  • Framework – excellent for security researchers and app developers 

Metasploit also supports different operating systems such as  Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows.

NMAP

hacking apps

Network Mapper, simply known as NMAP, is one of the most popular open-source hacking tools. It is mainly used for security auditing and network discovery. Thousands of system admins globally use it to monitor service uptime or host as well as manage service upgrade schedules.

As a tool, NMAP creatively uses raw IP packets to discover which hosts are present on the network, the kind of services the hosts are providing information on, the operating systems as well as the type and version of packet firewalls/filters that the target is using. With NMAP, the admin user can determine whether the associated nodes and network need patching. Also worth mentioning is that the NMAP tool has been featured in almost every hacker movie

Wireshark

Wireshark is free open-source hacking software that lets you analyze your network traffic in real-time. It has a sniffing technology that allows it to detect any network security problems. It’s also effective for solving common network problems.

Wireshark uses its sniffing technology to capture packets of data in the network in real-time and then display them in a human-readable format. This way, it becomes easier to identify any potential problems such as threats, low latency, and vulnerabilities.

THC Hydra

THC Hydra is another software that works in a similar manner to John the Ripper. It’s a very popular password cracker and has a very experienced and active development team behind it.

THC Hydra is a stable and fast network login hacking tool that uses brute-force or dictionary attacks to try different types of login combinations and passwords against any login page. It also supports several sets of protocols such as Mail (IMAP, POP3, etc), LDAP, VNC, SSH, SMB, and Databases. 

SN1PER

Sn1per is a well-known scanner for investigating vulnerabilities. It can easily be loaded into Kali Linux and has a free and paid version. This hacking app is perfect for scanning for vulnerabilities as well as for enumerations.

While Sn1per is an excellent application for ethical hackers who can find vulnerabilities on their servers or networks, black hat hackers can also use it for unsavory purposes.

Cain and Abel Hacking Tool

Cain and Abel (also referred to as Cain) is a very popular hacking tool. It was designed to operate as a password recovery tool for Microsoft Windows. However, off-label, black hat hackers can use it to crack different types of passwords by cracking password hashes or using network packet sniffing.

When used to crack passwords, this tool can use methods such as rainbow table attacks, brute-force attacks, dictionary attacks or cryptanalysis attacks. 

IronWASP

IronWASP is an excellent hacking tool for anyone that is keen on learning and performing ethical hacking. Similar to other tools we’ve mentioned in this list, IronWASP is open source and multi-platform. You can use it to audit public applications and web servers.

What makes this hacking tool appealing is that one doesn’t need to be an expert to use its main features. It’s entirely GUI-based and full scans can be done by just a few clicks.

If these hacking tools have sparked your curiosity about ethical hacking, check out our guide on how to become a hacker.

Is Hacking Illegal? Yes and No!

in Hacking
Is Hacking Illegal

“Is hacking illegal?” People often ask this question when they hear about hacking since it is mostly seen as a negative action.

In this article, we explore the legal implications of hacking based on global legal principles. The first thing everyone will want to know is, is hacking illegal? The answer is yes and no.

The answer is both affirmative and negative depending on the kind of hacking activity in question. Hacking is a very broad area that includes several activities that are either legal or illegal.

Hacking for research purposes, to find a bug or test the strength of a network with permission have no legal implications. On the other hand, hacking as part of organized crime or for political purposes will usually incur legal punishment.

Black vs White Hat Hackers

is hacking illegal

When looking at the legality of hacking, the two main divisions of hackers come to mind: black and white hat hackers.

Black hat hackers are individuals or groups that disregard ethics. They gain unauthorized access to computer systems and use it for financial gain and malicious intents.

Acts like hacking a company or a person without their permission are viewed as an offense under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 in the United Kingdom and the General Data Protection Regulation by the EU. 

A classic example of a black hat hacker who got into trouble with law enforcement for his actions is, Daniel Kaye. Kaye attacked a Liberian phone operator in October 2015, causing the nation’s internet to go down. The British hacker is now serving a three-year term in prison as a result of his actions. 

White hat hackers are on the good side of the law. They respect ethics and the global view of what is right. Due to this, their actions support organizations in making the security of their computer systems more robust. 

Nevertheless, white hat hackers can still get into trouble with the law. In 2017, an 18-year old ethical hacker was arrested after he had discovered a bug and reported it to authorities. 

In the middle of black and white hat hackers are grey hat hackers who do not believe in ethics but usually hack with good intentions. Hackers that fall in this category stand a higher risk of facing legal repercussions than white hat hackers. 

Punishment For Hacking

The punishment for crimes related to hacking differs depending on the severity and the extent of the violation.

In the US, obtaining national security information will put you behind bars for ten years while trafficking in passwords will land you a one-year jail term for your first conviction.

To conclude, hacking is illegal when a computer system or information is being accessed without permission. With written permission of the owner of a computer system, (white hat) hacking is generally legal. However, the exact legal framework surrounding hacking differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

How to Prevent Falling Victim to Phone Hacking

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phone hacking

Smartphones have become a necessity in the 21st century. Despite its amazing uses, the smartphone is a goldmine for hackers. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to avoid falling victim to phone hacking.

How to Prevent Phone Hacking

Safeguard your password

You must keep your password to yourself or only share it with a few people you trust (like your wife). Also, avoid using the same password for different social media accounts.

Use a mix of unobvious number and letter combinations that have a hidden meaning to you, and change them periodically. Alternatively, you could use a password manager.

Avoid using a public Wi-Fi

If you can, you should always use your mobile internet data and avoid public Wi-Fi. That’s because most public WiFi services are susceptible to hacking. They are usually not secure and cannot guarantee your safety.

Another way to stay out of the clutches of phone hackers is to turn off your automatic Wi-Fi connector. You can do this by visiting your mobile setting, thus, preventing you from connecting to any dangerous Wi-Fi network automatically.

Keep your operating system up-to-date

Download and install phone updates as soon as your device informs you that a new one is available. That is important so that phone hackers do not take advantage of an out-of-date operating system. Outdated software is more susceptible to security breaches.

A significant proportion of hacks exploit vulnerabilities that have already been fixed by software providers. So, do not expose yourself unnecessarily.

You should also not use unauthorized tools to unlock your phone – known as “jailbreaking” on iOS or “rooting” on Android – unless you know exactly what you are doing. Security breaches are easier to execute on these kinds of phones as you are no longer legally protected by the software provider.

Be Careful What You Download!

Whenever you install an app on your smartphone, you are often asked to grant it various permissions, including the ability to read your contacts, messages, access your camera or listen in to your microphone. Once you grant an app access, it can pull your personal data from your phone.

There are legitimate applications that need these capabilities, but it could also be open to abuse. Especially, for applications that you are not familiar with. Do not accept any access requests without thinking. That includes even apps you download on your phone’s app store. Sometimes, it takes weeks before malicious apps are spotted and kicked off an app store.

Whenever you are trying to download a third-party app from an app store, always ensure that it is a legitimate application.

What is a Grey Hat Hacker?

in Hacking
grey hat hacker

A grey hat hacker (also spelled gray hat) is a hacker or cybersecurity professional who violates laws or common ethical standards but without malicious intent.

If a black hat hacker discovers a vulnerability, he will exploit it and cause harm to others. On the other hand, a grey hat hacker will usually exploit the vulnerability to find a fix or alert the makers of the software.

The term, “grey hat” and its direct opposite “black hat” became popular in the late 1990s. The term was first used on record by DEFCON. The biggest hackers convention used the term in 1996 when it announced a Black Hat Briefings.

The color grey, in this case, is a middle ground between black and white. White hat hackers also exist and are considered ethical. In a world of black and white, hackers who find themselves in the middle are identified by the color grey.

Grey hat hackers explore the internet and hack various computer systems. However, he or she discloses loopholes to intelligence agencies, law enforcement or the affected corporations.

In some cases, a grey hat will charge a company a fee to help fix a vulnerability they have noticed. In such situations, the vulnerability could be extremely harmful to the platform in question. 

Top 5 Grey Hat Hackers

Here are some of the most known grey hat hackers who were motivated by varying reasons including profit and the quest to show the weakness in various computer systems.

what is a grey hat hacker

Gary McKinnon

McKinnon is known to be a very skillful hacker who was well versed in computer-related practices as young as age 14. His biggest exploit as a grey hacker involved the American Military.

McKinnon hacked 97 American military networks and left a “your security is crap” message on their network. 

Kelvin Poulson

Poulson, on the other hand, did it for recognition. He was known as Dark Dante at age 20.

He hacked into the LA phone networks to win an award on a radio show. Poulson also went as far as hacking the phone calls of “Hollywood Starlet” to prove his skills.

Anonymous

Anonymous is a very popular hacking group that is known for its various stance on global issues.

The group often hacks into networks of governmental organizations and influential websites to air their views on issues that interest them. 

Kevin Mitnick

Mitnick is another renowned grey hat hacker who began his exploits at an early age. He was reported to have made free calls using his hacked mobile phone and stole secret codes from Sun Microsystems and Novell during childhood. 

What’s more, he claims to have hacked phone calls of the NSA (National Security Agency).

“{}” 

A hacking group known as “{}”  hacked Apache.org in 2000. Instead of exploiting the loophole, the team sent an alert to the Apache crew to fix the problem. 

Despite their unethical stance, grey hat hackers are very important in strengthening the security of various networks. These hackers take bold steps to stress test various computer systems. Since they don’t pose any major danger, their work brings better results in the end.

What is a Red Hat Hacker?

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red hat hacker

There are several different types of hackers. Black hat and white hat hackers are arguably the most known. However, there is also the red hat hacker, who we will discuss in this brief guide.

Introducing Red Hat Hackers

Red hat hackers operate in a similar way as the white hat hackers. Both are considered ethical and vigilante hackers. However, to counter the bad guys, red hat hackers use different methods than their white hat counterparts.

For example, they could decide to launch aggressive attacks on black hats by uploading viruses and try to access the hacker’s computer to completely destroy it.

Characteristics of Red Hat Hackers

  • Red hat hackers operate by their own rules. Rather than reporting malicious hackers, they shut them down by taking aggressive actions.
  • They possess a mix of white and black hat hackers’ characteristics. That is, they could use unethical tools or methods for ethical reasons.
  • Red hats are among the smartest in the hacking industry and there are not too many.

How to Become a Red Hat Hacker

what is a red hat hacker

Desiring to be a red hat hacker means you want to be an ethical hacker. Here is how you can get started:

  • The fundamental hacking skill is computer programming. If you don’t know any computer languages, you could start with Python.
  • Get a security certification and find yourself a security position in an organization.
  • Learn the tools of the trade and get yourself ready to hack soonest with your Certified Ethical Hacking (CEH) approval.
  • To get this CEH, you will need to understand certain skills like penetrating testing, reconnaissance, footprinting and social engineering.
  • Learn everything about the CEH. Google is very handy. But there are also other resources that can help you prepare you for what’s ahead.
  • You will also attempt the CEH examination to qualify you for the task and you can get right on with it.

Preserving the data of computer users and saving them from the torture of falling victim to malicious hackers are golden responsibilities for red hat hackers. While their methods may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they usually get the job done.

Hacking 101: A Beginner’s Guide on How to Become a Hacker

in Hacking
how to become a hacker

If you want to learn hacking but have no idea where to start, then you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, you will discover how to become a hacker. But first, let’s talk about what hacking is, the different types of hackers, and whether hacking is illegal or not.

What is Hacking?

Hacking refers to identifying vulnerabilities and weaknesses in a system and gaining access to it without authorization. A hacker is a person that targets a system and gets unauthorized access to it. However, there are ethical hackers who have permission to lawfully and legitimately gain access to a system.

Before we delve deeper into hacking 101, it’s important to state that not all hackers are bad. In mainstream media, hackers are generalized as cybercriminals. However, that isn’t always the case.

Hackers are categorized depending on the type of metaphorical “hat” they wear – ‘white hat’, ‘grey hat’ or ‘black hat’. That said, there are 10 types of hackers but for the sake of this article, we shall only take a look at five.  

  • White hat hacker – also known as an ethical hacker is a hacker who gains access to protected networks and systems to test and assess their security. They expose vulnerabilities and improve security before malicious hackers can gain access and exploit them
  • Black hat hacker – a classical hacker that gains unauthorized access to a system or network and exploits them for malicious or financial gain
  • Grey hat hacker – a hacker who gains unauthorized access to a secure system or network but reveals the weaknesses to the said company
  • Hacktivist – a hacktivist is a type of computer hacker that breaks into a system and creates messages geared towards certain social issues
  • Script kiddie – a script kiddie is a hacker who is a newbie in the hacking field. He or she doesn’t usually cause any major damage because they don’t have the experience to

Is Hacking Illegal?

is hacking illegal

“Is hacking illegal?” is a common question on the internet. The answer is yes and no. It depends on the intentions of the hacker.

Hacking isn’t illegal until someone hacks into a system or network and causes malice. Illegal hacking, therefore, refers to a hacker gaining access to a system with no authorization with the intention of causing damage. Still, even if an individual hacks into a system and doesn’t cause any harm, it’s still illegal as long as no permission was given.

Legal hacking has been narrowly defined leaving it to the hacker to become conversant with both local and national laws relating to hacking. It can be loosely defined as hacking into a computer system with written permission. Legal hacking, also known as white hat hacking, is largely used by organizations that want to ensure their computer systems are safe. To do this, they hire white hat hackers to find vulnerabilities.

How to Become a Hacker

Now that we have discussed what hacking is, the different types of hackers, and whether or not hacking is illegal, let’s talk about how to become a hacker.

learn hacking

Start With the Basics

As a beginner with little or no knowledge, one of the best ways that you can start learning is by beginning with the basics of hacking. Instead of immediately learning how to hack, you can start by exploring topics like computer networks, firewalls, network ports, network protocols such as IP addresses, FTP, SMTP, DNS, HTTP, etc. You can also start learning about other operating systems such as Linux whose knowledge is very important in the hacking field. The more you keep learning about hacking basics, the easier it becomes to find system weaknesses.

Once you’ve mastered the basic understanding of the primary concepts, you will find it easier to grasp different hacking techniques. In addition, as you continue to gain experience, you can gradually begin to get into higher levels of hacking.

Find a Good Learning Source

A lot of the content that is available in both books and on hacking websites is for experienced hackers. Usually, they contain technical information on the latest system vulnerabilities and how to exploit them.

However, the case is different for beginners. There aren’t enough hacking tutorials or content that teach hacking in a simple manner. The majority of the ones available don’t teach the basics of hacking.

Still, there are a handful of few authors and websites that teach hacking to beginners. If you search the internet long enough, you will find them.

Learn Programming

Learning programming is an optional choice. However, If you are serious about becoming a hacker, then programming is something that you have to learn. Especially, if you have no working knowledge of it.

Of course, there are lots of ready-made programs and tools that you can use to hack with relative ease. However, there’s nothing wrong with having some basic knowledge of programming languages such as HTML, PHP, JavaScript or C++.

These languages will enable you to be in a position to build your own programs and exploit codes. They will also make it easier to handle and interpret any code that you encounter in your hacking career.

Learn Both UNIX and Windows

There are a few operating systems besides Windows and OS. If you want to become a good hacker, it’s important that you learn other operating systems to expand your hacking knowledge. Most web applications and servers run on UNIX. Besides, more companies are switching to UNIX-based operating systems because they are more secure than Windows.

Most experienced and professional hackers use UNIX as their main operating system. While there’s no denying that you can still accomplish many things using Windows, it’s not as complete and secure as UNIX. That simply means that it’s not suitable for hacking or penetrating testing. As a beginner, while it’s important to learn all operating systems, it’s important you invest your time in learning a system that everyone uses.

You should also be willing to constantly and continuously learn new things given how fast technology keeps changing.

Mastering the Art of Hacking

hacking 101

Just like with any sport or habit, you can never be perfect. And neither can you learn it in a day. You need to constantly keep up with the changes in your industry so that you don’t miss out. The same applies to hacking.

It isn’t something that can be learned overnight. And, you should never be in a rush to get going. You have to take baby steps. That means learning and improving your skills each day. You have to put in the work by making time for it.

Learning how to hack fully depends on you and the effort and dedication you put. Also, depending on the type of learner you are, it can take anything between a few months to several years to acquire all the important skills needed. Besides the available tutorials, you can read books, participate in forums such as Quora where you can cross share knowledge with other learners or professionals who have more experience than you do. Find practical examples that give you a step by step guide on how you can hack like a professional.

There are lots of resources available. Find what works for you and stick to it. Every individual can become a hacker as long as they start from the basics. If you want to learn how to be a hacker, you need to find a good source of knowledge, be passionate and be patient with yourself.

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