By Sana Asim Khan
Crackers and Hackers
The first interesting thing to know is that there is a difference between a hacker and a cracker. A hacker tries to test a system for possible security and network breaches, tries to learn as much as possible from a system and tries all strategies to check the system for its optimum performance level. That is all positive and no malicious intent. Whereas a cracker tries to bypass system's security checks for achieving his evil gains such as:
- Stealing data about the registered users
- Getting hold of credit card numbers and passwords for obvious reasons
- Financial or business information
- Some other information for providing potential damage to the owner of the system
- They can get passwords with usernames and personal pictures and photographs of family and dear ones
- Our computer can also be used for Denial of service attacks on other PC's
- Crackers can then sell on this stolen information to online spammers. This can eventually lead to an alarming increase in the traffic to some organizations' website for possible crash down of its server. The PC can also be used as spam bot
There is so much that a cracker can do that there is not limit. One thing for sure is: every system that goes online needs to be protected against such attacks. The bigger the website or organization, the more risk it is at.
Why do Passwords Leak
If you are into playing computer games and visiting online gaming websites, you should be aware of the potential cracking threats that your system is prone to. Gamers have the tendency to create accounts on many websites' forums and bulletin boards to get informed of the latest updates and cheats etc. When they create their accounts on many websites, they leave their usernames and passwords with them. The more information you have on internet, the more at threat you are. Moreover, humans are designed to be inclined towards simple and easy paths so we choose passwords that are easy to remember and this makes them much easier for the crackers to crack.
Various methods can be used to crack passwords like the brute force attack where a system is bombarded with commonly used words from a dictionary and this is where easy to remember passwords can be really helpful for the crackers. Downloading game mod is also a potential security threat. Such software can also contain viruses that are downloaded with them and settle in the PC, hidden from your reach and knowledge. Such viruses can also save keystrokes and hence your passwords and usernames or any such information can be leaked.