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How to Hack

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How to hack

Hacking used to be a tool that government intelligence agencies utilized as a way of spying on other government agencies. Now many men and women from different walks of life and ages are learning the fundamentals of how to hack.

Learning How to Hack

Before venturing down the path of learning how to hack, it’s important to remember that becoming a hacker is not something that a person can become overnight. However, with time and a passion for looking at code, it is possible for an individual to hack like a professional.

This, in turn, could land you a job in security which covers a number of software issues ranging from exploit development to network defense.

hacker darkweb

Unfortunately, there is no hard-and-fast rule to learning how to hack. Instead, it will require a dedicated amount of reading on various programming languages as well as joining hacking community groups.

As the hackers in these groups will have been in your shoes at some point in their hacking careers, they will provide you with invaluable support and tips, giving you pointers on what you should and shouldn’t avoid.

Before starting, though, it may be a good idea to have some inkling as to where your interests may lie. Are you interested in detecting software vulnerabilities or maybe your interests lie in the security of applications? By knowing what you’re interested in beforehand will give you an idea of what area to focus on.

Code Programs

Of course, if you want to learn how to hack you will be required to delve into the world of coding programs. The key here, however, is to have an interest in the language of code. If you don’t, you’ll likely end up bored and will lack a fundamental understanding of how everything works, which is important as you develop your skills.

codes

To give yourself the best start, try looking at programs such as Python, C++, or Perl where you can learn basic coding. You should also look at operating systems such as Windows and Unix, which will aid your development and understanding of coding.

It should be noted, of course, that simply learning a programming code is not going to be enough to deepen your knowledge.

If you want to graduate from the title of script kiddie, you will need to research a range of topics and subjects on hacking. Research the history of hacking, databases, online privacy and security, and the Metasploit framework, which will aid your growth to become a hacking specialist.

Operating Systems

Next, you need to consider the type of operating system you are using and why. Just as you are learning the different programs involved with coding, you should also research into the different systems and tools that cybersecurity utilize. For example, consider looking at the open-source Linux build Kali, which is a provider of world-class information security training and penetration testing services.

Take a Course

Even though you may be reading and interacting with people through various hacking channels about how to get started, you may want to consider taking a course to cement the knowledge you have learned.

Udemy is a good place to start to better understand the fundamentals of hacking that delivers a step-by-step approach to simplified learning. Also, check out Hack this Site, which is a free, safe and legal training ground for hackers to test and expand on their hacking skills.

Stop, Look, and Listen

Understandably, as you acquire new hacking skills you will undoubtedly want to go and test them out in unchartered waters.

By mindful, however, that cybersecurity is a big issue and if you go digging around a network without the authority to do so, you may find yourself in trouble. You only have to remember the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment or the 2015 hacks of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which compromised 22.1 million people, to know that cyberattacks have become more sophisticated over the years.

Interestingly enough, a McAfee report, Net Losses: Estimating the Global Cost of Cybercrime, found that it costs the global economy between US$375 billion and $575 billion each year.

Think About Contributing

As your skills develop you may want to consider offering your skills for the greater good. People who relish a challenge and have a deep knowledge of programming, systems, and computers should consider joining GitHub.

This is a good place to network with other hackers, developers, and enthusiasts and is the perfect location to improve your skills while helping to improve code.

Learn How to Hack Websites

The good think about learning how to hack is the simple fact that there are safe websites where an interested individual can visit to develop their hacking skills. One site already mentioned is Hack this Site, but there are plenty more to discover too.

  • Hacking Tutorial: Over at Hacking Tutorial a budding hacker can read short, technical articles that provide step-by-step instructions as to how to undertake a specific hack. While the blog may be small, you will find plenty of technical tricks to help you out.
  • Hack a Day: This is another handy website to have bookmarked. What’s great about this website is the fact that it focuses on hardware, so it allows a hacker to learn how to hack electronic devices by modifying it. For those who want to learn how to hack other devices, you can learn how to construct the electronics for that too.
  • EvilZone: Despite the fact that it might not be a website that sounds too attractive to consider, EvilZone is probably one of the biggest communities when it comes to hacking and security. As it is complete with people who have the knowledge and skills to answer any questions you have on hacking, it should definitely be one of the hacking websites you visit.
  • Hack in the Box: In spite of its simple homepage, HITB remains focused on ethical hacking and security. For those interested in reading up on content related to hacking and security they will find a wealth of content-focused articles. As the website doesn’t provide many inclusive articles focusing on hacks, HITB is more of a site for hackers to get their daily hacking news. HITB is available in a print version too.

Types of Security Attacks

As your journey of learning how to hack continues, you will come across the different types of attacks that you should be aware of. These are:

  • DoS: Denial of Service attacks. This is when a user or company has been denied access to a resource from a perpetrator using a single Internet connection.
  • DDoS: Distributed Denial of Service attacks. This occurs when attacks take place from a number of devices that have been connected are dispersed across the Internet. These can be undertaken by a number of people and/or devices.
  • Trojan Horse: This is a form of malware that presents itself as legitimate software. Once activated by an unsuspecting individual, cybercriminals or black hat hackers can steal valuable information and gain backdoor access to your computer.
  • Virus: This type of attack is another form of malicious software when the virus attaches itself to a program before replicating itself when executed. It can also modify a computer’s systems when it passes through.
  • Worm: A computer worm is a malware program that copies itself so that it can infect other computers.
  • Logic Bomb: This form of attack is typically malicious and is a programming code that has been inserted deliberately so that it can be executed under certain circumstances, such as a date, trigger, time, or action.

You can view a more extensive list here.

What Next?

Now that you learned the basics of hacking you need to decide why you are hacking in the first place. Hopefully, you will be hacking for ethical reasons; however, there will be others who hack for malicious reasons too.

Even though hackers, in general, tend to be tarnished with the same brush, it’s imperative that you appreciate that there are different groups of hackers.

What a newbie hacker should recognize is that the world of hacking is one of twists and turns; however, with the right attitude, dedication, and motivation, it can deliver a wealth of satisfaction through the challenge of solving problems for the greater good.

Images from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Cryptocurrencies

Crypto Pump and Dumps Have Generated $825 Million in Activity This Year: WSJ

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Price manipulation involving ‘pump and dump’ schemes are alive and well in the cryptocurrency market. According to new research by The Wall Street Journal, organized cryptocurrency groups have generated at least $825 million in trading activity over the past six months.

Pump Groups Thrive in Nascent Crypto Market

In a comprehensive review of trading data and online communications among crypto traders between January and July, WSJ identified 175 pump and dump schemes spanning 121 different coins. Among the 50 pumps with the biggest increase in price, nearly half had lost their value.

Among the dozen pump groups analyzed by WSJ, Big Pump Signal and its 74,000 Telegram followers have had the biggest impact on markets. The group engineered 26 pumps resulting in $222 million in trades.

Pump schemes have exploded over the past 18 months as initial coin offerings (ICOs) garnered mainstream attention. More than $12 billion has flowed into coin offerings since January 2017, according to ICOData.io, inviting a new form of speculation in markets that remain largely unregulated to this day.

Analysts say most pump and dumps following a similar pattern: the group announces a time and exchange for a pump; at the set time, traders execute the signal, creating a short-term buying frenzy; after a set time (usually a few minutes), the coin is sold for instant profit.

One of the biggest pumps in recent memory came in early July after Big Pump Signal commanded its followers to buy cloakcoin (CLOAK), an obscure cryptocurrency that purports to be “fully private, secure and untraceable.” After the call was made, CLOAK spiked 50% on Binance before plummeting more than 20% after two minutes.

Stopping the Fraud

Although the pump and dump is one of the oldest forms of market fraud, regulators have struggled to stem the practice. As WSJ reports, similar practices were banned in the 1930s, but that hasn’t stopped pump and dumps from proliferating at different points in history. Jordan Belfort, whose life was chronicled in the movie “Wolf of Wall Street,” pleaded guilty in 1999 for running pump and dumps costing investors more than $200 million.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regularly deals with pump and dumps in the stock market, but has yet to bring a case involving cryptocurrencies. In the meantime, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has offered a reward for anyone who warns the agency about potential pump and dump schemes involving cryptocurrencies.

“If you have original information that leads to a successful enforcement action that leads to monetary sanctions of $1 million or more, you could be eligible for a monetary award of between 10 percent and 30 percent,” a CFTC memo, released in February, read. That translates into a potential reward of at least $100,000.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 547 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Breaches

MyEtherWallet Compromised in Security Breach; Users Urged to Move Tokens

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Popular cryptocurrency service MyEtherWallet (MEW) is urging users to move their tokens after the platform succumbed to its second cyber attack of the year. As the company reported earlier, hackers targeted MEW’s popular VPN service in an attempt to steal cryptocurrency.

Hola VPN Users Compromised

Rather than target MEW directly, hackers took control of the Hola VPN service, which claims nearly 50 million users. For the next five hours, MEW users who had the Hola chrome extension installed and running on their computer were exposed.

MEW took to Twitter to urge users to move their funds immediately.

“Urgent! If you have Hola chrome extension installed and used MEW within the last 24 hrs, please transfer your funds immediately to a brand new account!” the company said. It added the following message shortly thereafter:”We received a report that suggest Hola chrome extension was hacked for approximately 5 hrs and the attack was logging your activity on MEW.”

At the time of writing, MEW’s Twitter feed had no further updates.

MyEtherWallet is used to access cryptocurrency wallets, where users can send and receive tokens from other people.

The company reportedly told TechCrunch that the attack originated from a Russian-based IP address.

“The safety and security of MEW users is our priority. We’d like to remind our users that we do not hold their personal data, including passwords so they can be assured that the hackers would not get their hands on that information if they have not interacted with the Hola chrome extension in the past day,” MEW said, as quoted by TechCrunch.

It’s not yet clear how many users were compromised in the attack or how much, if any, was stolen from their wallets. MEW suffered a similar incident in February after a DNS attack wiped out $365,000 worth of cryptocurrency from users’ accounts.

Cyber Attacks on the Rise

The attack on MEW came less than 24 hours after Hacked reported another major cyber breach involving Bancor, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. The security breach compromised roughly $23.5 million worth of digital currency, including Ethereum, NPXS and BNT, Bancor’s native token.

Last month, a pair of South Korean exchanges fell prey to cyber criminals, prompting local regulators to expedite their approval of new cryptocurrency laws.

It has been estimated that a total of $761 million has been stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges in the first half of the year, up from $266 million in all of 2017. That figure is expected to rise to $1.5 billion this year.

CipherTrace, the company behind the estimates, told Reuters last week that stolen cryptocurrencies are mainly used to launder money and aid criminals in concealing their identities.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 547 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Breaches

Mt. Gox vs. Bithumb: That Was Then, This Is Now

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Bithumb now shares something in common with the Tokyo-based shuttered bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox — both suffered a hack on about the same date, June 19. It’s a club that no exchange wants to belong to and that Bithumb happened on the seven-year anniversary of Mt. Gox’s maiden attack has to be more than an eerie coincidence.

It’s a stark reminder of the risks involved with keeping funds on an unregulated exchange, vulnerabilities that cost South Korea’s Bithumb some $36.6 million in digital cash and Mt. Gox $450 million in hacked bitcoin and its future. The Mt. Gox theft unfolded over a series of hacks that culminated in 2014. Though it’s still early on in the Bithumb hack, it appears the South Korean exchange will recover from the security breach. So what do we know now that we didn’t on June 19, 2011?

Then vs. Now

Former Coinbase official Nick Tomaino, who is also the founder of crypto fund 1 confirmation, reflected on the Mt. Gox hack in what proved to be a prescient tweet given the Bithumb attack that was about to surface.

The thing to note about Mt. Gox is that the Japan-based exchange in 2011 controlled most of the BTC trading volume, approximately three-quarters of it by average estimates — more if you ask Tomaino. Since bitcoin fever caught on in 2017, there are more than 500 cryptocurrency exchanges on which trading volume is shared. Binance boasts the highest trading volume and captures nearly 15% of bitcoin trading. It’s much less than Mt. Gox days but still a little high.

The other thing to note is that the Mt. Gox hack or actually hacks, as there were multiple attacks on the exchange over several years, was a mysterious event that was shrouded in controversy and mistrust of a key executive. Bithumb, on the other hand, confronted the hack seemingly right away on Twitter and has not let any grass grow under its feet in the interim, which is a key difference in the way Mt. Gox was handled.

Also, the bitcoin price didn’t tank in response to the Bithumb hack. It traded lower for a while, but less than 24 hours it was back in the green, which is a reflection of the fact that bitcoin trading is no longer dependent on a single exchange.

Charlie Lee, creator of Litecoin (LTC), the No. 6 cryptocurrency by market cap, was among the first to respond to the Bithumb hack. He tweeted:

Indeed, Bithumb does expect to be able to cover the losses via their reserves.

Crypto Security

It’s still early on in Bithumb’s security breach, and more details are sure to emerge in time. In the meantime, it’s a good idea to use the hack as an opportunity to examine the security of your cryptocurrency investment portfolio. There are several hardware wallet options out there for you to choose from — whether it’s Trezor or Ledger Nano S, to name a couple — and as Charlie Lee advised, “only keep on exchange coins that you are actively trading.”

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 36 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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