GMAIL HACKER TERMINOLOGY PART 2 | Security Learner's Blog

Monday, 12 May 2014

HACKER TERMINOLOGY PART 2

Logic Bomb – A logic bomb is a malicious program designed to execute when a certain criterion is met. A time bomb could be considered a logic bomb because when the target time or date is reached, it executes. But logic bombs can be much more complex. They can be designed to execute when a certain file is accessed, or when a certain key combination is pressed, or through the passing of any other event or task that is possible to be tracked on a computer. Until the trigger event the logic bomb was designed for passes, it will simply remain dormant.
Malware – Simply put, malware is a malicious program that causes damage. It includes viruses, Trojans, worms, time bombs, logic bombs, or anything else intended to cause damage upon the execution of the payload.
Master Program - A master program is the program a black hat cracker uses to remotely transmit commands to infected zombie drones, normally to carry out Denial of Service attacks or spam attacks.
Payload – The payload is the part of the malware program that actually executes its designed task.
Phishing – Phishing is a form of social engineering carried out by black hats in electronic form, usually by email, with the purpose of gathering sensitive information. Often these communications will look legitimate and sometimes they will even look like they come from a legitimate source like a social networking site, a well-known entity like Paypal or Ebay, or even your bank. They will have a link directing you to a site that looks very convincing and ask you to verify your account information. When you log in to verify your information on the bogus site, you have just given the black hat exactly what they need to make you the next victim of cyber crime. Phishing is done in many forms – sometimes it’s easy to spot, sometimes not.
Phreaker - Considered the original computer hackers, phreakers, or phone phreakers, hit the scene in the 60s and made their mark by circumventing telecommunications security systems to place calls, including long distance, for free. By using electronic recording devices, or even simply creating tones with a whistle, phreakers tricked the systems into thinking it was a valid call. One of the first to find prominence was “Captain Crunch,” a phreaker who realized the toy whistle that came as a prize in a box of Captain Crunch cereal could be used to mimic the tone frequencies used by telecommunications companies to validate and route calls.
Polymorphic Virus - A polymorphic virus is a virus that will change its digital footprint every time it replicates. Antivirus software relies on a constantly updated and evolving database of virus signatures to detect any virus that may have infected a system. By changing its signature upon replication, a polymorphic virus may elude antivirus software, making it very hard to eradicate.
Rootkit - Without a doubt, the biggest fear in IT security is an undetected intrusion. A rootkit is a tool that can give a black hat the means for just such a perfect heist. A rootkit is a malware program that is installed on a system through various means, including the same methods that allow viruses to be injected into a system, like email, websites designed to introduce malware, or downloading and/or copying to the system with an unsafe program. Once a rootkit is introduced, this will create a back door for a black hat that will allow remote, unauthorized entry whenever he or she chooses. What makes a rootkit particularly lethal: it is installed and functions at such low system levels that it can be designed to erase its own tracks and activity from the now vulnerable system, allowing the black hat to navigate through entire networks without being exposed. Often, black hats will use social engineering to gain physical access to particularly well protected system so the rootkit can be directly installed from CD or a tiny USB drive (it only takes a minute) in order either to circumvent a particularly troublesome firewall or gain access to a system that is not normally accessible from the outside. Once the rootkit is introduced, the black hat has free reign and even skilled IT security departments will have a lot of trouble even seeing the activity as it’s happening. Rootkits are a definite 10 on the scary scale of cyber intrusions.
Script Kiddie - An individual who does not possess, or just doesn’t use, their own skills and know-how to hack or crack a computer system or network, but uses a pre-written program or piece of code, a script, to do the dirty work. While they may not possess the computing talent, they can be just as dangerous!
Social Engineering – In the realm of the black hats, social engineering means to deceive someone for the purpose of acquiring sensitive and personal information, like credit card details or user names and passwords. For instance, when fictitious Mr. Smith calls from IT services to inform you of new user name and password guidelines being implemented by the company and asks you to reveal yours so he can make sure they meet the new guidelines, you have been a target of social engineering. They can be very clever and resourceful, and very, very convincing. The only way to make sure you are not a victim of social engineering is never to give your personal and sensitive information to anyone you are not absolutely sure about. There are very few occasions that anyone legitimate would ever ask you for a password, and you should always be the one contacting them, not the other way around.
Spam – Spam is simply unsolicited email, also known as junk email. Spammers gather lists of email addresses, which they use to bombard users with this unsolicited mail. Often, the emails sent are simply advertising for a product or a service, but sometimes they can be used for phishing and/or directing you to websites or products that will introduce malware to your system. When you receive spam, the best practice is to delete it immediately. Sometimes you will see a note in a spam email that gives you instructions on how to be removed from the list – never do it! This will only confirm to the spammer that they have a valid email address and the spam will just keep coming. They could also then sell your email address to another spammer as a confirmed email address and more spam will show up in your inbox. Most mail services have spam filters and these should be employed whenever possible.
Spoofing – Spoofing is the art of misdirection. Black hat crackers will often cover their tracks by spoofing (faking) an IP address or masking/changing the sender information on an email so as to deceive the recipient as to its origin. For example, they could send you an email containing a link to a page that will infect your system with malware and make it look like it came from a safe source, such as a trusted friend or well-known organization. Most of the true sources have security measures in place to avoid tampering with sender information on their own mail servers, but as many black hat spammers will launch attacks from their own SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), they will be able to tamper with that information. When in doubt, check with the source yourself.
Spyware - Spyware is software designed to gather information about a user’s computer use without their knowledge. Sometimes spyware is simply used to track a user’s Internet surfing habits for advertising purposes in an effort to match your interests with relevant ads. On the other side of the coin, spyware can also scan computer files and keystrokes, create pop-up ads, change your homepage and/or direct you to pre-chosen websites. One common use is to generate a pop-up ad informing you that your system has been infected with a virus or some other form of malware and then force you to a pre-selected page that has the solution to fix the problem. Most often, spyware is bundled with free software like screen savers, emoticons and social networking programs.
Time Bomb – A time bomb is a malicious program designed to execute at a predetermined time and/or date. Time bombs are often set to trigger on special days like holidays, or sometimes they mark things like Hitler’s birthday or 9/11 to make some sort of political statement. What a time bomb does on execution could be something benign like showing a certain picture, or it could be much more damaging, like stealing, deleting, or corrupting system information. Until the trigger time is achieved, a time bomb will simply remain dormant.
Trojan – A Trojan, or Trojan Horse, is a malicious program disguised to look like a valid program, making it difficult to distinguish from programs that are supposed to be there. Once introduced, a Trojan can destroy files, alter information, steal passwords or other information, or fulfill any other sinister purpose it was designed to accomplish. Or it may stay dormant, waiting for a cracker to access it remotely and take control of the system. A Trojan is a lot like a virus, but without the ability to replicate.
Virus - A virus is a malicious program or code that attaches itself to another program file and can replicate itself and thereby infect other systems. Just like the flu virus, it can spread from one system to another when the infected program is used by another system. The more interconnected the host is, the better its chances to spread. The spread of a virus can easily occur on networked systems, or it could even be passed along on other media like a CD or memory stick when a user unwittingly copies an infected file and introduces it to a new system. A virus could even be emailed with an attachment. “Virus” is often incorrectly used as a catch-all phrase for other malicious programs that don’t have the ability to self-replicate, like spyware and adware.
Wardriving – Wardriving is the act of driving around in a vehicle with the purpose of finding an open, unsecured Wi-Fi wireless network. Many times, the range of a wireless network will exceed the perimeter of a building and create zones in public places that can be exploited to gain entry to the network. Black hats, and even gray hats, will often use a GPS system to make maps of exploitable zones so they can be used at a later time or passed on to others. Wardriving is not the only way this task is performed – there are Warbikers and Warwalkers too. As you can see, it is imperative that your WiFi network is secure because there are entities out there looking for any opening to ply their trade.
White Hat – While black hats use their skill for malicious purposes, white hats are ethical hackers. They use their knowledge and skill to thwart the black hats and secure the integrity of computer systems or networks. If a black hat decides to target you, it’s a great thing to have a white hat around. But if you don’t, you can always call on one of ours at Global Digital Forensics.
Worm – A worm is very similar to a virus in that it is a destructive self-contained program that can replicate itself. But unlike a virus, a worm does not need to be a part of another program or document. A worm can copy and transfer itself to other systems on a network, even without user intervention. A worm can become devastating if not isolated and removed. Even if it does not cause outright damage, a worm replicating out of control can exponentially consume system resources like memory and bandwidth until a system becomes unstable and unusable.
Zero Day Threat/Exploit - Every threat to your computer security has to start somewhere. Unfortunately, the way most of us protect ourselves from cyber threats and intrusions, is to use detection programs that are based on analyzing, comparing and matching the digital footprint of a possible threat to an internal database of threats that have been previously detected, reported and documented. That’s why we all have to go through those seemingly never-ending updates to our antivirus programs, that’s how the database is updated and the newest threats are added to the list of what the scanners look for. That inherent flaw in our scanners is what makes a Zero Day threat so dangerous. A Zero Day threat is pristine and undocumented. From the very first day a particular threat is ever deployed (zero day) until that threat is noticed, reported, documented and added to the index, it is an unknown. As far as standard protection goes, unknown means invisible – and when it comes to cyber threats, invisible can definitely mean trouble.
Zombie / Zombie Drone – A zombie is a malware program that can be used by a black hat cracker to remotely take control of a system so it can be used as a zombie drone for further attacks, like spam emails or Denial of Service attacks, without a user’s knowledge. This helps cover the black hat’s tracks and increases the magnitude of their activities by using your resources for their own devious purposes. Rarely will the user infected with a zombie even know it’s there, as zombies are normally benign and non-destructive in and of themselves. Zombies can be introduced to a system by simply opening an infected email attachment, but most often they are received through non-mainstream sites like file sharing sites, chat groups, adult websites and online casinos that force you to download their media player to have access to the content on their site, using the installed player itself as the delivery mechanism.

FIDA HUSSAIN

I am Fida Hussain,a computer student from Pakistan. Right from the day one I was introduced to computers,I had a passion for Hacking and Information security. So,I started this blog in 2012 to share my views and ideas with the world.

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