Not All Hackers Are the Same

Some hackers just enjoy accessing a challenging system, while the more dangerous others try to damage it.
  • 1As computer use becomes more common, the need for security is more important than ever.
  • 2One of the greatest security threats in the online world is computer hacking.
  • 3Computer hacking is the unauthorized access to a computer or network of computers.
  • 4Hackers are people who illegally enter systems.
  • 5They may alter or delete information, steal private information,...
  • 6...or spread viruses that can damage or destroy files.
  • 7But how exactly can a hacker get into a system to do these things?
  • 8Most hackers use information called protocols that are built into computer software.
  • 9These protocols allow computers to interact with one another.
  • 10Protocols are sort of like computer police officers.
  • 11When a computer connects to another system, the protocols check to see if the access is valid.
  • 12The protocols can also determine how much information can be shared between the two systems.
  • 13Hackers can manipulate the protocols to get unlimited access to a computer system.
  • 14In fact, just the act of entering a computer network is considered hacking.
  • 15This is commonly called passive hacking.
  • 16Passive hackers get a rush from just being able to access a challenging system like a bank or military network.
  • 17Another kind of hacker tries to do damage to a system.
  • 18After hacking into systems, these hackers release viruses or alter, delete, or take information.
  • 19Known as active hackers, they are by far, the more dangerous of the two.
  • 20The easiest way to protect a system is with a good password.
  • 21Long and unusual passwords are harder for hackers to guess.
  • 22For even greater security, some online services now use "password-plus" systems.
  • 23In this case, users first put in a password...
  • 24...and then put in a second code that changes after the user accesses the site.
  • 25Users either have special cards or devices that show them the new code to use the next time.
  • 26Even if a hacker steals the password, they won't have the code.
  • 27Or if the hacker somehow gets the code, they still don't know the password.