The term hacker often reminds us of a lonely person with a hood on, in the dark behind the computer. Someone who invades our daily lives reads our secrets and steals our money. Still, not all hackers are bad or out for money. There are also ethical hackers and experts in hacking who help companies discover weak spots in their cybersecurity.
Many large companies like Google, Facebook, and even the government pay hackers to expose vulnerabilities in systems through ethical hacking. When it comes down to it, an ethical hacker will use the same process as a black hat hacker. A big difference, however, is that a white hat hacker or ethical hacker does this to gather information about security vulnerabilities in order to ultimately improve the same security. A black hat hacker will exploit the weaknesses to steal data, money, or information.
An attack is carried out in a few steps that we will discuss further. An ethical hacker will proceed in exactly the same way.
Phase 1: Exploration
The first step in hacking a server, program, or even an entire network is an exploration phase. In this phase, the hacker will try to find out more about the hardware and the software itself through the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). As a target, you will notice little of the first phase. The hacker will only do some research. For example, he or she will want to find out your IP address, your location, your network and domain name, your DNS records, and of course your mail server. Other information can also be collected, such as the names of your employees, their social media, and even phone numbers.
Phase 2: Sсаnnіng
In the second phase, the information obtained in phase 1 will be used to detect vulnerabilities in the network or in the programs. In this phase, more advanced tools will be used to obtain more information about the systems and the hardware. Services, open port programs, firewalls, and of course vulnerabilities in the operating system will be searched for.
Phase 3: Gaining access
During phase 3, the attacker or hacker will use the vulnerabilities from phase 2 to gain access to a company’s systems. He or she will then take control via one or more devices and in this way carry out an attack on other devices or programs. This makes it very important that your employees are trained in cybersecurity. Phishing links and Trojan Horses entering employees via email can make it very easy for a hacker to access the systems.
Phase 4: Maintain access
Of course, the hacker should also try to keep the connection and access as soon as he or she has managed to penetrate. This means that the hacker should, of course, be very careful and try not to get noticed.
Fаѕе 5: Erasing traces
In the final phase, the hacker will exchange his tracks. It’s best for a hacker not to get noticed, so he or she can just as easily go in next time.