Introduction to Information Security

Introduction to Information Security
Table of Contents

What is Hacking?

Let's just start with an example.

Say, there is a family happily living in a house, they are enjoying their family time. As of a sudden, there is an idea in the wifey's mind to go to Darjelling, to  enjoy the summer vacations. Everyone liked the idea, and the father booked the tickets.

Slowly, the days passes, and there's summer vacations, from next week. Then, seeing the time to travel has come, the family members began to pack up things  in their backpacks. The family was very happy, as always.

When they went on the trip to Darjelling, near her home, a theif used to roam around to check if the house was fully empty and there is no man inside, it. Once, he is confirmed there was no human inside the house. He began to start finding a way to get inside the house, so that he could do a robbery there.

He went on the main gate, on checking, he came to know that the main gate was very strong and was locked with extensive security. Slowly he began to make a round of the house, so that to check any open windows on the house, he noticed that one of the windows were made purely of glass, and other was made of wood.

Then, he thought that he can break into the glass window, and rob the house.

He did that! He broke the glass, and entered the house. Slowly he began to look for a almira, where usually a locker is placed. He stepped in the bedroom, he found the almira, the almira was not locked, so he just opened it.

Upon, opening the almira, the thief sees a locker, which was to be unlocked, using a combination of 4 digits numbers, he tried the most common 4 digit number passwords. After a good amount of tries, he cracked the password.

He put all the money, gold, jewellery, in his bag. And headed to the window from where he entered.  He successfully robs the house.

Why am i telling you all this? Let me explain.

A theif, tries multiple ways to enter the house and finds a possible entry points which can let him enter the house.

A hacker, tries multiple ways to enter the system and find possible entry points which would let him enter the system.

We could jot down a few observations here.

  • The main entry was strong and secure.
  • The windows were closed.
  • One window was made of glass, and was easily breakable.
  • The locker was easy to find.
  • The locker had a password, which was easy to guess.

In the above the one's that are marked with red. Are the Security Loopholes, of the house.

Loopholes, are small thingss that could be exploited to cause a big problem.

Yes, the example we saw was of HACKING, it can be defined as:-

Hacking, is the art or technique of finding and exploiting security loopholes in a system.

Types of Hacking

Now, i know you might be thinking. Hacking equals Stealing! Hacking is Bad! But let me tell you, hacking depite of being a bad thing, could be used for GOOD.

Hacking, is classified into 2 types.

1. Ethical Hacking

2. Unethical Hacking

First, you know, about Unethical hacking.

Unethical Hacking: When a hacker uses, his knowledge to steal or to cause harm to other people, it is known as unethical hacking. This type of hacking, when done, is pubishable by law.

Before moving into ethical hacking, let's bring back the example we saw before.

When the family, arrives home, from their Darjelling trip, they see their home is robbed. So, they informed the police about it, but they want to also do it something by themselves too.

Then, the father contacted "Security Professionals", which came to their house, analyzed the house. And did the same thing, as the thief would do if he came to rob the house. After doing this, they analyze and prepare a report. 

This report, consists, of the list of Security Loopholes with fixes. All this is done, legally. And now, you know how this was ethical hacking!

Ethical Hacking, can be defined as.

Ethical Hacking: When the hacker, helps an organization or an individual, with finding the security loopholes and possible fixes, with their permission, and legally, this is called Ethical Hacking. This is  a type of hacking, which is considered GOOD Hacking.

According, to the Cyberlaws & IT Act it is illegal to:

  • Use a computer, to attack other computers. For example, unethical hacking, virus/worm attacks, DOS attacks, etc.
  • Use a computer, as a weapon to commit, real world crimes, like cyber terrorism, credit card fraud, etc.

Types of Hackers

Slowly, as hacking evolved, we can notice, 3 types of hackers. I am not saying, this the legends say it, and people belive this. That is why i am writing all this.

The first one is the White Hat. These are the good people, and are often called "Security Professionals". They help people to strengthen their security.

The second one is the Black Hat. The bad guys! These people hack people and steal information for professional gains, and because of them, there are jobs in Cybersecurity carrier. If there is no black hat hacker, you might not even know, there is a term called "Cybersecurity". 

And there's a third one, known as the Hybrid of White and Black Hat, known as the Grey Hat. These people are both, white hat hackers and black hat hackers. They are like your ex-girlfriend, who changes as per their need. 

In short, there are 3 types of hackers.

1. White Hat - The good people, also known as Security Professionals.

2. Black Hat - The bad people (but because of them white hat hackers have their jobs)

3. Grey Hat - This is the hybrid of White and Black Hat Hackers.

Next Post: Hacking Metholodogies and Auditing

This post, that you just read, is a part of Ethical Hacking Post Tree.

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