Hacking - page 2

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 Outdated software is more susceptible to security breaches.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?

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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 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

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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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