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Synthesis Paper

Secret World of Hackers

Vennela Chatla

Period 2

Ms.Bakhru
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It’s Friday night, most people decide to go on their computers and play some games,

connecting to a whole other internet world. All of this is good until an outsider starts opening up

files that do not belong to you, this is what we call a cyber crime. The concept of hacking and

hackers are becoming more and more relevant as an increasing amount of internet-connected

devices are being made. Hackers have no specific shape, they can come in all shapes and sizes.

Information from across the world is stored on computer systems are networked to other

computer systems through the Internet. It has in turn created a world in which information is

extremely important and easy to access, which in turn has created a government, business, and

etc which of whom is dependant on the networked information. However, this network has its

drawbacks; it enables people who need to use the information or for personal use to gain access.

Gaining access to a computer system that is not supposed to give you an entry is called hacking.

Hacking causes many problems for information that is on the network. Hackers manipulate

information and destroy the computer system. In order to prevent the increasing amount of cyber

crime, proper regulations must be in place as well as ethical hacking should be promoted. A

recent facebook scandal came to light showed how widespread that cyber attacks. It was

estimated that almost 80 million users data was accessed by hackers and they were able to see

anything that a user could see on his/her profile. Hackers exploited a feature that allowed users to

see how their profile would look to the public. This feature was added by facebook three years

prior to the incident and fast forward, it has led to many a major scandal. This event was a major

eye-opener to many people. It showed the need for more protection online and also that major

companies such as facebook can not be trusted with private, personal information. Although this
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scandal makes hacking look cruel; hacking can be beneficial in many ways. Hackers can be

categorized in one of three categories : White hat hackers, grey hat hackers, and black hat

hackers. White hat hackers use hacking in ethical ways such as helping to improve cybersecurity

on databases and servers. White hat hackers that are employed by companies can be referred to

as the red team. The read team’s job is to find loopholes in the given company's database in order

to improve their cybersecurity. This sort of ethical hacking can be extremely useful in modern

age. Black hat hackers use hacking for more unethical endeavors. They illegally obtain private

information from companies as well as private information from users. Unethical hacking can led

to millions of dollars lost by companies and almost identity theft. Grey hat hackers are a mix of

white hat hackers and black hat hackers. They perform both unethical hacks and ethical hacks.

Overall, hackers are visionaries. They see new ways to use computers and to think outside the

box. The rise of internet-connected technology comes with more problems. (​ Information

Management & Computer Security, pp. 178–183.)​ Although it can be argued that hackers are the

problem, they are also the solution. The expansion of inter-connected devices will not stop, so

the need for protection of personal information becomes more demanding. Ethical hacking can

help protect companies and individuals alike from malicious attacks. The need for cybersecurity

is stronger than ever, and it will only become a stronger demand from the upcoming future.

In our ever evolving technology, we must become aware of the importance of

cybersecurity. Cyber theft is becoming more increasingly common alongside the increased

amount of internet connected devices. Cyber theft is not only limited to personal devices, it can

also be used to exploit government information. This can prove to be very dangerous and can

lead to the loss of millions and millions of dollars. Cyber theft can also play a hand in damaging
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the economy on a global scale. One thing that every person that uses an internet connected

device should know that any information that is on the device is vulnerable and in a sense : not

private at all. This can be seen played throughout many scandals especially in the facebook

scandal that was mentioned earlier. Personal information can include but is not limited to : debit

cards/bank account information, social media platforms, and even personal identity. All of these

things are vulnerable in the eyes of hackers, and hackers are able to manipulate and access these

networks in order to obtain this information. Any information that is out on any personal social

media platform should be limited and should be looked over, as it could be vulnerable to

potential cyber attacks. Two - way firewalls are a great way to also prevent cyber attacks. They

can be helpful and make cyber attacks harder for the hackers. Firewalls can help keep long,

strong passwords for social medias and websites. This can lessen the chance of hackers access

private accounts and personal. (​The New York Times, 12 Oct. 2018) ​Advanced malware push

these criminal technological boundaries, which has shown to be threat, has recently seen a

significant increase in business emails and can easily trick companies and businesses alike.

Instead of relying on malware and links to these potentially dangerous websites, which can be

easily detected by many of today’s advanced cyber threat tools, the company, The Zurich

Insurance Company utilizes a red team within their cybersecurity teams, all while using

techniques to attack these social engineering media profiles and making sure to get rid of

phishing emails that are alarmingly realistic (Zurich Insurance Company, Cyber Policy). Social

engineering, a tactic used by crackers, utilizes scams and viruses to trick users into revealing

private information. They can retrieve a payment or even gain access to your personal

information/data. Social engineering can be grouped with other methods used by crackers.
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Overall, they can make users more likely to click on links, download malware/viruses, or any

other malicious scams. ​Phishing​ is another practice that consists of sending fraudulent emails

that seem to be realistic emails from reputable sources. The overall aim of this scam is to steal

private data like bank card numbers and passwords. Phishing is the most common type of scam.

Companies are now looking to ethical hackers/white hat hackers also known as red team, to help

protect their information and resist these types of attacks(The Atlantic Media Company).

Information, now a days is a very valuable thing and is also the thing that hackers are after.

Cybersecurity, whether it be in a company or in a government agency should be stronger and the

way to that is to hire a red team and they can prove to be extremely useful. A red team is group

of ethical hackers whose job is to find loopholes on the databases and fix them before any hacker

can exploit these loopholes. Hackers can have access to private information. This can help

prevent dangerous occurrences such as hackers stealing identities and bank account information.

This loss of personal information can negatively impact the economy especially when it is from

companies and government agencies alike. In all companies, cybersecurity is a necessity and is

needed in some form by all. This can prevent from large hacks which could lead to identity theft

and many other problems. hackers utilize target systems, defeat production schemes, write

malicious code, and exploit flaws in Windows and Linux systems. Malware analysis within

databases, perimeter testing, Phishing, and Web security are also talked about and how they

pertain to cyber attacks. It always shows that hackers all have different motives, some have good

motives, others have bad motives. The red team is a group of hackers that work for a company in

which that constantly hack the company's databases and help fix any loopholes the company

might be vulnerable to. Internet interconnections have led to the growth of cyber attack incidents
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that can lead to disastrous consequences. Malware is another weapon of choice of the cyber

weapons, it is used to exploit existing vulnerabilities within databases. It also helps point other

techniques used by crackers and as why they do or do not work. Malware generally refers to a

large amount of attacks that are meant to attack the system in a continuous amount of DDOs

attacks, these can be utterly devastating to computers and can have long, lasting. Because more

and more of the world are being reliant on technology. More people have technology including

cell phones now more than ever. (​Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e7720.) ​Alongside this cyber

crime rates will also increase. Technology can be very vulnerable without the right protection

from hackers. With more and more people connected, there is more of a demand for

cybersecurity. So what is cybersecurity? Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems,

networks, and programs from digital attacks. These ​cyber attacks​ are usually aimed at assessing,

changing, or destroying sensitive information; extorting money from users; or interrupting

normal business processes. Implementing effective cybersecurity measures is particularly

challenging today because there are more devices than people, and attackers are becoming more

innovative with their attacks. From massive Denial of Service, or DDos attacks, to malware and

brute force password cracking there are a lot of ways for hackers to gain access to your data.

With the increasing use of newer technology and computers, there has also been a tremendous

growth of cyber attacks. Governments and companies are investing a lot of money in increasing

cybersecurity so that they are less vulnerable to these cyber attacks. Network security includes

activities to protect the usability, reliability, integrity and safety of any network. Effective

network security targets a variety of threats and stops them from entering or spreading on the

network. Network security components include: Anti-virus and anti-spyware; Firewall, to block
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unauthorized access to your network; Intrusion prevention systems (IPS), for identifying

fast-spreading threats, such as day or hour attacks, and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), to

provide secure remote access. (CISCO, cybersecurity). Until recently, most people never gave a

second thought to the security of our private data online. When recent news broke on a large

scale social media data breach, millions of users were alarmed and demanded that their

information be better protected by more cyber security.While these scandals have been covered

majorly by the media, the problem that is highlighted a problem that isn’t exactly unique or new

to the modern world. Almost every organization that holds customers’ personal data is

responsible enough to protect this information especially those of users. Most customers are not

aware of who has access to their sensitive material. The most pressing issue, however, is the

companies that are in charge of protecting the private data, may not know ​who has access​ either.

Most people envision a hacker to have a specific profile. This is not the case most of the

time. They can virtually be anyone and can come from all sorts of backgrounds. For example in

1999, a 15 year old was caught hacking into NASA systems. He managed to shut down NASA

for 21 days. He has now admitted accessing around 13 different computers at the Marshall Space

Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for two days in June 1999 and downloading $1.7 million

worth of NASA proprietary software that supports the space station’s environment, including

temperature and humidity. Many people were surprised that a child as young as 16 could exploit

government information and disrupt systems in this way. This case shows the growing technical

sophistication among hacker as they are finding new ways to invade into restricted systems.

Junivelies are even capable of hacking into protected systems (Wilson, “15-Year-Old Admits

Hacking NASA Computers”). In most cases when a person is asked to describe what they think a
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hacker looks like, it will be the along the lines of : a middle aged man, sitting in his basement,

surrounded by monitors, and typing away furiously at the keyboard. But in reality, hackers can

be anyone. This can even include cybersecurity professionals. Cybersecurity professionals can

either work for the government or for companies. This types of ethical hackers are meant to

benefit companies. But not all hackers are certified professional hackers. So what is a computer

hacker? A professional hacker is a programming expert with the skills needed to identify

loopholes within a computer system or a network in order to come up with a solution. (Khan

Academy, Cybersecurity). Most people believe hackers make a profit off of hacking security

systems and stealing personal information/data, hackers who crack systems with malicious intent

are referred to crackers. Government departments and corporations hire red teams to identify

where crackers can find a loophole in the system and to come up with clever solutions to help

make it less vulnerable. The ever-evolving nature of security risks has proven to be the most

important and demanding problem in the cybersecurity world. Organizations and the government

agencies have traditionally focused their cybersecurity resources on database security to protect

most crucial system components and defend against crackers. This approach can sometimes

prove to be insufficient, threats only continue to get worse and advance all while changing more

quickly than organizations can keep up with. As a result, security agencies promote more

efficient and effective approach to cyber security in all aspects. The National Institute of

Standards and Technology (​NIST​), in recent years, has set guidelines for its risk assessment

framework​ on cybersecurity. They recommend that it should shift toward monitoring all areas of

systems. This data-focused approach to cybersecurity is different from the past approach.
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In the new technological age, Cyber security has proven to be more important than ever

before because the entire globe is now involved and connected. The devices we use to read

articles are all connected to the internet.. When so much of our lives depend on the internet then

it has the power to take away our private, personal information . This is where cybersecurity

needs to come into play due to the fact that there is a need for something there to keep our

information safe and secure from outside forces. Cybersecurity is very important now because

the risks are greater as well as complicated and has been shown to be more challenging than ever

before. Many mass efforts have been put in effect in order to steal information by crackers whose

intent is to seek disruption in businesses and commerce on a international scale. Most people in

the modern world have smartphone or any other device which can immediately bring the risk as

well as a problem that once was not there. Cybersecurity teams adapt quickly as well as

efficiently by creating firewalls they create help keep this information secure. Being hacked is is

not only a threat to companies’ intellectual property. It can jeopardize relationships with

consumers, and could result in significant legal trouble. With the addition of this new

technology, from internet connected cars to internet-connected security systems, the dangers of

cyber crime are more apparent than ever. Although hacking is frowned upon it is necessary to

protect information, it can useful to keep hackers out and make systems and databases stronger.

(Fortune Magazine). Ethical hacking can help smaller companies. It can help keep their

information private and away from the public eye, Hacking is a useful skill and hackers are

visionaries. Hacking is a skill that lets you see many ways to use a computer. Every company

should have a Red Team (Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution). Red teams (Information

& Management). Although hackers are often thought as not common in our day to day activities,
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cyber attacks are becoming more and more common. Increased security as well as placing

regulations on will help reduce the number of cyber attacks worldwide. Cybersecurity is needed

in every arena, including government, companies, and even from person to person. Ethical

hacking should be promoted and people should be aware of ongoing cyber crimes. Overall, the

message: Information that is put online is not private, should be common knowledge.

Works Cited:

Ben-Asher, Noam, and Cleotilde Gonzalez. “CyberWar Game: A Paradigm for Understanding
New Challenges of Cyber War.” ​Advances in Information Security Cyber Warfare,​ 2015, pp.
207–220., doi:10.1007/978-3-319-14039-1_10.

Khan Academy,​ Khan Academy,


www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/nova/cybersecurity/cyber/v/the-secret-lives-of-hackers

“Figure 2f from: Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) Taxonomic Revision of Rochefortia Sw.


(Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e7720.
Https://Doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.4.e7720.” doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f.

Smith, Alan D., and William T. Rupp. “Issues in Cybersecurity; Understanding the Potential
Risks Associated with Hackers/Crackers.” ​Information Management & Computer Security​, vol.
10, no. 4, 2002, pp. 178–183., doi:10.1108/09685220210436976.

KOVÁCS, László1, KOVÁCS. “NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY AS THE CORNERSTONE


OF NATIONAL SECURITY.”

“What Is Cybersecurity?” ​Cisco​, 16 Jan. 2019,


www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/security/what-is-cybersecurity.html​.