Hacking of computer refers to gaining access to a system by unauthorized people (Conway & Cordingley, 2004). Gish (2014) described computer hacking as the unauthorized break into a system of a computer in order to change, destroy the information or steal by using dangerous malware. Anyone using a computer is susceptible to computer hacking, the susceptibility increases for computers connected to the internet due to many predators who use phishing scams to gain access to Random Access Memory (RAM), the main memory for a computer that stores data for various programs that are stored in the computer (Rodriguez & Martinez, 2013).
Tools Used to Hack Computer Memory
Organizations need to be a step ahead of the hackers, and they should understand how hackers gain access and ensure that the information is secured in a confidential and integrity manner through which only authorized personnel can access the information. According to Conway and Cordingley (2004), hackers use malicious software in order to gain access to information stored in RAM. Rodriguez and Martinez (2013) noted that for hackers to gain entry, they locate vulnerabilities by use of hacking tools in the computer device and systems and capitalize on weaknesses established to gain access. The usage of the tool depends on the skills of the hacker and the vulnerabilities. For instance, in network exploration, hackers use tools such as Nmap tools, the tools identify the services and host system utilized by a computer owner. In advent, the hacker accesses a lot of information on the system; he locates vulnerabilities in the system that can be used to access vital information.
Probe tools are also used to gain access to computer devices and systems. Probe tools were initially a kind gesture designed by system administrators to boost the security of computer devices (Rodriguez & Martinez, 2013). Nowadays, hackers use probe tools to establish where to start an attack, an example of a probe tool is LANguard Network Scanner that hackers use to determine where a system is more vulnerable. Hackers also use scanner tools that analyze the performance of a network. For instance, use of reconnaissance tools such as the Super Scan to establish access ports, and then use the ports to exploit further access data stored in RAM. In order to gain complete or partial control of an individual’s computer, hackers also use remote administrator tools such as Antillamer (Rodriguez Martinez 2013). They overload computer devices or systems so that they are not in a position to respond to standard commands and prompts such as passwords. The standard protection measure against hacking is by use of passwords. Computer owners use passwords as a means to restrict unauthorized people to the information stored in computer devices. Hackers make use of tools such as LastBit, Password Recovery XP, and other password crackers to decode passwords (Conway & Cordingley, 2004).
Measures to Protect Computers from Hacking
Sharing and storing of information in modern society is over the internet; organizations, governments, and individuals store critical information on computers. With the increased internet use and the subsequent increase of computer hacking, there is increased public awareness on measures to take to ensure the information is only accessible to authorized people. According to Gish (2013), an unprotected computer is comparable to an open door in which thieves can use to gain access to company premises. Hackers make use of unpatched vulnerabilities in order to hack computers. Therefore, to protect computers, all security patches must be installed to act as security updates in which a user can be notified in case of attempted entry and subsequently block vector attacks (Gish, 2014). Internet users should also avoid opening malicious links such as spam emails and links that the user has not solicited. Passwords play a critical role in protecting information. Users should leverage strong and unique passwords that cannot be easily guessed by online criminals. To minimize, risk, users should also use different passwords for different programs. The operating system should be regularly updated and use genuine anti-spy software (Conway & Cordingley, 2004).
Significance of Hacking
The hacking of computers leads to access to confidential information that can be used for defamation, insubordination, and corporate espionage (Gish, 2014). Organizational information accessed by unwarranted people can be used to ruin the public image of an entity. Access to financial information can be used to siphon money. For instance, in 2011, the single hacking of Sony led to a loss of over $170 million while in 2005, Google lost $500,000 (Gish, 2014). In addition to the financial cost, hacking leads to loss of time whim is detrimental to organizations in a modern fast economy.
The world has embraced modern technology in which many processes and services are conducted by the use of computers. Society has also experienced an increase in cybercrimes where computers hackers gain access to information by use of malicious software. Information stored in computers is a vital asset for individuals and organizations. Computer users need to be aware of the threat posed by hackers and put measures to protect their computers from computer villains.
Conway, R. and Cordingley, J. (2004). Code hacking: Developers guide to network security. Hingham, Mass: Charles River Media.
Gish, W. (2014). The effect of computer hacking on an organization. California: Houston Chronicle.
Rodriguez, C. and Martinez, R. (2013). An ongoing commitment to web application security. New York: Frost and Sullivan.