What Is Hacking

In the near future, I will be writing articles related to testing security on information technology systems, so I feel like I need to be very clear in my intent: The articles I write are for informational purposes only. By describing how to hack an encrypted wireless network, for instance, one may test his or her own network to ensure that it may not be easily hacked by malicious users.

It is illegal to gain unauthorized access to computer systems in most jurisdictions, and you will be prosecuted for doing so. Be responsible with the information you have.

All that aside, what is hacking, anyway?

Hacking is building. The term ‘hacker’ has for a long time been widely deemed as a derogatory term for a criminal of technology. Another term, ‘cracker,’ should be used instead to describe a hacker with malicious intent. A hacker is actually a builder, not a destroyer. Hackers are generally security experts and work to test multiple technologies for security vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities can lie in applications, operating systems, networks, and processes. By finding and exploiting these vulnerabilities, patches and work-arounds can be developed and implemented to mitigate any possibility of the vulnerabilities being exploited by crackers. Hackers generally work proactively, searching for and closing security holes before they are found by unauthorized users looking to steal intellectual property or to cause havoc.

Many companies cannot afford to be exploited because of the risk of losing proprietary and confidential information, as well as lose the confidence of their client base. Therefore, they will hire or contract security experts (hackers) to find any vulnerabilities and propose solutions to close the vulnerabilities.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in Security, consider software testing, penetration testing, or becoming an IT architect. Well-known and respected security-related certifications are offered by CompTIA, EC-Council, Microsoft, Cisco, and more.

Any questions? Post a comment. :-)

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