How Does Hacking Work?

  • A hacker is a word that refers to a person who tries to crack a computer's security systems to get into personal information of an individual or a company. Low-level hackers try to break into another person's email or social networking account such as MySpace or Facebook. They may delete emails or change a person's Myspace profile. Some only attack large companies to see if they can get past their advanced security systems without getting caught. Regardless of their intentions, anyone who attempts to access someone's personal information without permission and through the use of technology, is considered a hacker.

  • Hackers crack complex security systems, steal private information and may try to corrupt a company or person's website. There are many reasons for this. They may have a grudge against the person or company, or just find it funny. Many hackers don't do anything once they get past the company's Internet security. While some hackers are dangerous and can steal information (identity theft), others simply get a thrill out of the challenge.

  • All websites and computer-related programs are run by some sort of code. Whatever program was used to design it, such as HTML, C++ or JavaScript, hackers try to exploit the code and find its weakness. They try to find a way to get around the security codes by using special programs or writing their own codes to try and alter the original. How strong a company's defenses are determine how hard it will be for the hacker to get through. Some sites are currently unable to be hacked, and these are the sites hackers target the most, since these sites present a challenge. Hacking creates a sense of accomplishment, but the risks are high: Hackers face jail time and heavy fines if they are caught.

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