What is Hacking?
Hacking is the use of technology to gain unauthorized access to computer systems and networks. Despite the way they are portrayed in popular culture, hackers aren’t all villainous; they’re often just skilled individuals who like to test boundaries and overcome limitations. Some (called black hat hackers) are willing to break laws and steal information for personal gain while others, known as white hats, are ethical security professionals who use their skills to improve systems, solve problems, and identify vulnerabilities in systems and networks.
There are many different types of hacking, ranging from corporate espionage to state sponsored attacks. Some hackers are motivated by greed – they want to steal trade secrets from their competitors. Other hackers are driven by anger – they want to get revenge on people or organizations that wronged them in some way. Hackers can also be motivated by politics, with the intention of influencing or disrupting elections or accessing government and military documents.
To avoid being hacked, make sure your devices are up to date with the latest software updates, don’t click or open attachments from unknown senders, and log out of websites and apps when you’re done using them. It’s also a good idea to clear your internet browsing history. If you’re interested in learning more about hacking, start by getting familiar with the fundamental cybersecurity skills you’ll need: Networking, Linux, Windows, and scripting. Then, try a few advanced hacking techniques, such as enumeration (the act of finding out what information a system can divulge through its open ports) and Google search tricks (try this running list of Google dorks). If you’re ready to move on to more sophisticated attack methods, take our Ethical Hacking course with expert mentoring and practice exercises on live targets.