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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Breaches

Skepticism Grows Over BitGrail’s Supposed $167 Million Hack

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A relatively unknown cryptocurrency exchange by the name of BitGrail has informed its users of a coordinated cyber attack targeting Nano (XRB) tokens. However, the incident does not appear to be holding up to scrutiny after the founder of the exchange made an odd request to the developers of Nano shortly after discovering the alleged theft.

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BitGrail Exchange Allegedly Compromised

The Italian exchange issued a notice to its clients last week informing them that 17 million XRB tokens were compromised in a cyber attack. The XRB token, formerly known known as Raiblocks, is valued at $9.80 at the time of writing for a total market cap of $1.3 billion. That puts the total monetary loss of the supposed heist at nearly $167 million.

Parts of the notice have been translated into English from the original Italian by Tech Crunch, a media company dedicated to startups and technology news. According to the agency,  BitGrail has stated the following:

“… Internal checks revealed unauthorized transactions which led to a 17 million Nano shortfall, an amount forming part of the wallet managed by BitGrail… Today a charge about those fraudulent activities has been submitted to the competent authorities and now is under police investigation.”

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The notice indicated that all transactions have been put on hold until authorities complete their investigation.

Very little is known about BitGrail, as it is not listed among the 183 exchanges whose volume is ranked by CoinMarketCap.

Suspicion Grows

Unlike other crypto heists, the circumstances surrounding the alleged BitGrail attack have been met with widespread suspicion. As David Z. Morris of Fortune rightly notes, this isn’t the first time BitGrail has suspended Nano withdrawals. The same thing happened in early January when the exchange halted not only Nano, but Lisk and CryptoForecast transactions as well.

The suspension was followed by an announcement that the exchange was taking measured steps to verify users and enforce anti-money laundering requirements. It was around this time that users became suspicious that BitGrail was going to cut and run with their tokens.

BitGrail founder Francesco Firano made an unusual request to the developers of Nano following the alleged attack: he asked them to fork their record, a move that would essentially restore the stolen funds.

Nano officially rejected the request on Friday, the day after Firano supposedly discovered the stolen coins. In a post that appeared on the Nano Medium page, the team said:

“We now have sufficient reason to believe that Firano has been misleading the Nano Core Team and the community regarding the solvency of the BitGrail exchange for a significant period of time.”

Last month, hackers made off with more than $400 million worth of NEM tokens stolen from Coincheck, a Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange. The coins have yet to be recovered and the perpetrators remain at large. In 2014, a cyber heist brought down Mt Gox, which was the world’s largest exchange.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 155 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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ICO

ICO Analysis: Serenity

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During the past few decades, internet connectivity and technological advancement evolved rapidly to satisfy a large spectrum of the digital consumer crowd up to and including finance. The demand for online stock exchange, currency trading and investing has led to the development of thousands of online brokerage platforms and systems all over the globe. However, the lack of regulations when it comes to security and protection exposes the current online market with almost 90% of the platforms being unregulated. This environment attracts ‘scammers’ and creates unhealthy manipulative situations in the sphere, impacting both traders and companies that are involved in the digital markets. Here comes Serenity with an attempt to change that for good.

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Serenity’s financial services promise to create an independent marketplace based on smart contracts, where trading records will be transparent and monitored by a blockchain based platform. Blockchain guarantees transparency and lack of affiliation in order to secure traders from misuse of their funds by centralized exchange markets.

In addition to a secure trading environment, Serenity will allow users to buy, sell and exchange CFDs, futures, cryptocurrencies and even shares for cryptocurrencies all in a decentralized fashion, recorded and monitored by the blockchain in order to avoid the possibility of counterfeiting.

Over the last decade, the online trading process has not changed at all. Forex based exchanges attract popularity due to the lack of regulations while at the same time putting traders’ funds at risk since most of these platforms are not transparent (as we have observed, they can influence their users’ actions, freeze their accounts or deny a withdraw request at any time). Only 10% of the online broker companies have a license to provide intermediary services in the financial sector due to the complicated and expensive procedure that can cost from $200,000 to several millions per company, a sum most are not willing to pay. Serenity plans to radically change that approach by creating a transparent regulatory system powered by the modern blockchain technologies.

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The Token

The SRNT token, the native currency of the Serenity financial platform, will be used to purchase, sell, exchange and withdraw digital assets within the platform that will consist of a pool of brokers. After the token sale, the user is free to transfer their SRNT into external exchanges in order to trade them for possible pairs of digital assets which the platform might not support at the moment.

At the pre-ICO, the SRNT token will have a 50% discount and then a 40% to 10% discount during the public sale that will run until March 7.

According to a spokesman for the company, the total token supply will be 400,000,000 SRNT. Anything that will be left behind after the prementioned deadline will be burned. As for the circulating supply, it is not yet fixed and it will be composed after the token sale.

The spokesman tells us that 3% of the funding will be used for bounty rewards and 12% is reserved for the team. As for the rest, we must wait for further official announcements that will take place after the token sale.

Team

At first glance, we can already see a professional team with years of experience in the field. In  words, Serenity is not just another cryptocurrency platform made by GitHub coders.

Project co-founder Stanislav Vaneev is the CEO and founder of Grand Capital, an international level financial services company that has a monthly turnover of $6 billion USD and serves over 300,000 clients worldwide. Anton Vasin (co-founder & COO), has more than a decade of experience in the forex sphere and is also the head of risk hedging department. Denis Kulagin (CEO) is a marketing expert for multiple forex companies in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India. Vasiliy Alexeev (CTO) is the man behind UpTrader, a global provider of software for brokers. His ten years of experience are also focused on marketing and product development for various Forex companies.

The list goes on and from what we can see here, Serenity has a legit team with solid financial background and not just a ‘collage‘ of individuals that want to enter the blockchain game.

Verdict

In general, more than 6,000 brokers provide online exchange services using MetaTrader platforms. According to industry statistics, around 4 million traders use their platforms on a daily basis. As mentioned before, only a small percent of these companies are actually regulated and can guarantee a risk-free relationship.

Serenity is the first cryptocurrency focused exchange market that will be regulated and at the same time provide traders the ability to invest in broader options such as CFDs and futures.

Of course, regulations could mean that anonymity will be gone, which was the main reason people invested in cryptocurrencies in the first place. At the same time, this is important for professional traders who make a living out of official and licensed exchange markets. Don’t forget that regulations are unavoidable and they are necessary to establish a trusted relationship between governmental institutions and the crypto sphere.

Risks

  • Taking a look at the Serenity whitepaper can leave more questions than answers, as we had to personally seek assistance from the team in order to understand their token system and other core features. It is not an easy model to understand. -3
  • We still don’t know what 85% of the total funds will be used for and how the distribution benefits the investor or trader on an immediate scale. -3
  • Many new cryptocurrency-focused markets ‘pop up’ every couple of months, but none of them can actually compete with already established titans like Binance, Bitfinex, Bittrex etc. The Serenity team looks great but they will have to prove their unique approach with actual numbers before the end of the year. -1

Growth Opportunity

  • After multiple cases, including the recent DDOS attack on Binance and the attack on the Japanese exchange market Coincheck, a transparent and professional market is needed as soon as possible. This gives Serenitt a golden opportunity to make.a big difference. +4
  • Platforms like Bitfinex already set a minimum deposit of $10,000 USD for new accounts and it is most likely that more exchanges will follow with similar internally generated ‘rules’. If cryptocurrency platforms want to stay under the radar and have a nice flow with their respective governments, they will eventually have to be regulated. Serenity solves that issue from the outset. +3
  • Most online cryptocurrency exchange markets give you the option to exchange between several preset pairs of cryptocurrencies and only with other cryptocurrencies supported by each individual platform respectively. Serenity gives users the option to change their cryptocurrencies into fiat, CFDs or even futures all inside one platform. +4

Disposition

The Serenity team might have some good contacts in the forex scene and Mr. Vaneev’s own Grand Capital has already 300,000 active users that would possible join the new venture, but we must not underestimate “traditional” cryptocurrency markets like Binance which managed to raise 6 million active users in a matter of months.

Serenity can really be a revolutionary step in combining cryptocurrencies with traditionally regulated markets but we must not forget that people choose cryptocurrencies in order to avoid regulations and transparency.

A score of 4 out of 10 is reserved for Serenity, based on present facts.

Investment Details

  • Type: Crowdsale
  • Symbol: SRNT
  • Pre-Sale: Concluded
  • Public Sale: January 25th-March 7th, 2018
  • Payments Accepted: ETH (KYC Required)

Disclaimer: The writer has no position in Serenity at the time of writing.

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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Cybersecurity

Bee Token ICO Targeted With $1 Million Phishing Scam

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The Bee Token ICO was derailed Thursday, a mere 25 hours after launch, as criminals made off with nearly $1 million in an apparent phishing scam.

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ICO Heist

The highly anticipated Bee Token crowdsale was the target of a phishing scam on Thursday, with hackers luring hundreds of unsuspecting investors over email and Telegram. The company, which launched its crowdraise on Jan. 31, had repeatedly warned investors to be weary of fake URLs designed to siphon their funds. Bee Token also warned investors to ignore any communications claiming to represent the company.

Those warnings were echoed in a Jan. 31 tweet from the official @thebeetoken handle:

“Please do not fund ETH to addresses that have the following warning: “Warning! There are reports that this address was used in a (BeeToken) Phishing scam.”

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The company has since issued a second security announcement through its Medium blog, where it said there is only one funding address and one mode of communication with investors. The blog post read:

“The Funding Address can only be found at https://tokensaleinfo.beetoken.com. The Funding Address will not be communicated via any other means. Any other address should be considered fraudulent.”

Bee Token is a home sharing platform that connects hosts and guests over a decentralized network. Its aim is to disrupt the fast-growing sharing economy by offering lower transaction fees and better incentives without the middleman.

Hacked conducted an ICO Analysis of Bee Token last month, with the project receiving a 7.5 out of 10. That puts it among the strongest ICO candidates we’ve ever reviewed.

At the time of writing, the project had raised $4.6 million with more than 26 days left to go.

ICO Theft on the Rise

Funds raised via ICO have become more attractive for cyber criminals wishing to capitalize on the booming cryptocurrency market. According to a recently published report by big-five consulting firm Ernst & Young, 10% of the ICO funds generated in 2017 have been stolen by hackers. That represents a monetary value of nearly $400 million, based on the metric used in the study.

Cryptocurrency exchanges have long been subject to security breaches, with dozens of platforms losing billions since 2014. Tokyo-based Coincheck was recently subject to the biggest crypto heist of all time after attackers diverted 500 million NEM tokens to their accounts. The thieves have since tried to unload the coins on at least six international exchanges. Their identity or whereabouts have not been verified.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 155 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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