Hacking: The Basics

by Zachary Wilson Sept. 1, 2017 via SANS Institute

An intrusion can be defined as an attempt to break into or misuse a computer system. The word "misuse" is broad, and can mean something as severe as stealing confidential data, or something as minor as misusing your email system for spam. Today, both the Internet and corporate intranets are simply crawling with people from all walks of life who are continuously trying to test the security of various systems and networks. Some of these people are seeking some sort of intellectual high, while others are fueled by more treacherous motives such as revenge or stealing for profit. In any event, no intrusion is innocent and no intrusion is benign. There is no silver bullet available out there that will totally secure our networks and systems. The only thing we can do as IT professionals is to make sure that all of the doors are locked, that the alarm is turned on, and to educate ourselves on what to look for. The primary focus of this practical paper is to educate the less security-conscious IT professionals and end-users on exactly who is out there, and what they are doing to get in. By attempting to establish this baseline of security knowledge, we extend the arm of IT security to include those who present the greatest danger today: the uneducated user.