New Hacking Methods and How to Avoid Them
Before learning about the new hacking methods and how to avoid them, let us learn what a hacker is and how they are classified according to their doings.
The Internet is one of the most fundamental elements of the modern human lifestyle. It is difficult to imagine our lives without constant communication with the rest of the world. The Internet primarily started as a means of communication and information sharing between multiple people and devices. However, today, it has limitless possibilities. You can run an entire business on the Internet without a physical office. Likewise, you can teach millions of people without an actual classroom.
Most importantly, we must understand that millions of people have their critical information stored on the Internet. This includes financial entities like bank accounts, medical records, and passwords. This is an attractive target for illegal hackers who benefit from the theft of such critical information. Companies have spent billions of dollars on robust security systems that prevent such attacks most of the time. However, hackers are continuously developing new hacking methods to breach through security measures.
Hacking is a term that gets thrown around quite a bit. Likewise, it has many different meanings and many different interpretations. Originally, the term ‘hacker’ was used at MIT during the 1960s. It referred to the individuals who had excellent programming skills in FORTRAN and other languages at that time. Today, we view hackers as hardcore computer nerds programming in a command-line interface inside a dark room. However, this is a false image.
There are three common types of hackers who are labelled according to their responsibilities. They are:
White Hat Hackers
White Hat hackers are people employed by companies and governments to detect and remove vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks. They are also called ethical hackers, and it is a perfectly legal occupation. These people typically carry out penetration testing, security systems monitoring, and risk management. This is similar to what an illegal hacker would do but for different purposes. Ethical hacking is a rewarding career, and it is taught freely in universities, training institutes, and conferences.
Grey Hat Hackers
Grey Hat hackers live between the lines of a white-hat hacker and a black hat hacker. They do not cause fatal damage, like black hat hackers. However, their actions might still be unauthorized and illegal. Sometimes, finding new vulnerabilities is beneficial to the organization itself. Therefore, hackers might ask for a fee or a reward for the detection of such risks. If things go wrong, they might also publish those risks to the world.
Black Hat Hackers
Black Hat hackers carry out cyber attacks for illegal purposes. They use advanced mechanisms to bypass security systems and steal critical information for financial gain. Sometimes, their objectives go way beyond personal gain. Over the last decade, we have seen a tremendous rise in cyberattacks against governments and militaries.
While discussing the new hacking methods, we refer to those adopted by black hat hackers as they are the ones we should protect ourselves from.
New Hacking Methods
Since hackers benefit from the theft of secure information, they are always on the move. When one of their techniques gets resisted with a security measure, they develop new ones.
Some of the recently discovered techniques are described below.
Spearphone attack is one of the new hacking methods that allows Android applications to listen to loudspeaker phone calls. This type of attack is classed under what is called eavesdropping. Likewise, it violates the privacy of speech.
Speakerphone attack works by sensing the accelerometer’s response to speech reverberations. When the phone loudspeaker generates speech vibrations, reverberation travels through the embedded accelerometer. Since the accelerometer responds to incoming vibration, its response can be used to classify the gender, speaker, and speech itself.
These types of attacks are also due to our carelessness in managing app permissions and hardware access.
Warshipping is also one of the most common and new hacking methods where attackers use malicious hardware to illegally access secured information. Typically, it is made out of cheap, portable computers supported by wireless transmission devices. For example, a single-board computer like Raspberry Pi with a GSM module for data transmission. This device could act as a WiFi router and extract users’ login credentials trying to access it. Likewise, while all of this is going on, a hacker in a remote location illegally harvests sensitive information.
Warshipping could prove fatal to individuals, businesses, as well as governments. Individuals could lose their sensitive information, such as bank accounts and medical records. Likewise, businesses would face severe loss in case of the theft of assets, information, and intellectual property. For governments, there is an even bigger threat concerning national security.
Fake Audio and Video Content
With the astonishing ability of artificial intelligence, creating false yet realistic audio and video content is now easier than ever. This is also one of the most dangerous, new hacking methods that can surpass your ability to differentiate what is real and what is not. Consider a hacker who has created a false video of a celebrity promoting a fraudulent product. With technologies like DeepFake, this is an unbelievable reality. If you have an uncontrolled habit of buying things, you are likely to be a victim. We have already seen major disruptions caused by this attack in politics and business.
At this point, you must be wondering if we are serious. However, hacker drones are a reality and one of the most devastating and new hacking methods. Their attack is similar to that of the warshipping hardware. They can imitate your trusted networks, making you believe that you are safe. Within a few seconds, it can extract all your sensitive information, including your bank account and other personal details. What makes them even more dangerous is that they can fly high enough to stay out of sight.
Preventive Measures Against New Hacking Methods
Now that we have learned about the exciting and dangerous world of new hacking methods let us learn how to prevent them. Some of the most common measures are described below.
Use Secured, Trusted Networks
One of the most effective ways to resist new hacking methods is to use only secured and trusted networks. Next time you see a free public WiFi, ask yourself if it can be trusted. Similarly, turning your WiFi off during inactivity is a great way to resist unnecessary intrusions. Even if you have a password-protected network, make sure the password is strong enough. Hackers can easily decode weak passwords through brute-force or other advanced mechanisms.
Keep a Close Eye on Suspicious Hardware
Even if you are careful about strong password protection, new hacking methods can easily fool you. For packages that come inside the company, make sure there are regular monitoring and checks. Sometimes, it is still impossible to monitor all brought in by company employees. One of the most effective measures is to keep your network control room far from the package delivery or storage room. Furthermore, you can maintain strict policies against employees to freely move personal packages in and out of the office premises.
Build a Habit of Personal Research
One of the adverse effects of social media and the Internet is people have lost the will to do their own research. This is a dangerous trend, and someone with new hacking methods can easily fool naive people. We have heard thousands of stories of people getting scammed through fake voice and video content. Likewise, scammers are using messaging platforms to pose as authorities and service providers. Most importantly, we cannot always block all of them. Therefore, being cautious and questioning every suspicious offer, news, and messages is a must.
In this blog, we have learned about the new hacking methods adopted by cybercriminals. This shows an astonishing reality about the possibilities of people with bad intentions. Likewise, we also discussed some of the ways to keep such attacks at bay. As we flow with the comfort of technology, we should make some effort to stay out of the trouble it offers.
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