Once Upon A Time, There Was A Good Hacker

Written by Chloe Harwood

Despite being everywhere in the media and popular TV shows, the stories of hackers remain deeply misunderstood. For a start, here’s a scoop for you: Nobody can hack their way into a national or international security system just by typing a few keys on their keyboard, contrary to what most films seem to imply. The kind of scenario where the team needs to get access to an encrypted file and someone sits at the computer to solve it is not entirely true. The camera zooms onto their eyes. In the background, you hear typing noises. Then the camera zooms back to the computer’s screen while the improvised hacker claimed to have decrypted the code. The reason why films don’t show you the real hacking process is that they don’t know how it works. But one thing is for sure; it involves a lot more than an amateur typing frantically on a keyboard.

What’s hacking?

Hacking refers to a cyber security threat that occurs when intruders gain malicious and illegal access to your data or your network. Depending on the profile of your company and the type of information that you handle, you may need the support of a top IT security company to protect your data. Indeed, you will find companies specialized in network security, data loss prevention, direct antivirus and malware protection, intrusion protection, cyber-analytics and risk intelligence, authentication, and mobile security.

White hat hacking for the win

It might seem impossible to picture hacking, the art of breaking private programming codes, as a beneficial skill. However, you will find a vast range of ethical hackers, also called white hat hackers, who are hired to test the flaws and weaknesses of large security systems. You’re more likely to find them working as consultants for governmental computing issues. However, large IT companies can also have a team of ethical hackers to make their code unbreakable.

Hackers breaking down terrorist websites

Good hackers don’t only work to make security systems stronger. Some of them have taken it upon themselves to fight terrorism online. As a result, they broke through the code of one of the numerous Isis site and hacked it with a message “You have nowhere to hide. You are weak.” But they didn’t stop their hacking actions to the website. Indeed, hackers have launched a cyber attack against one of Isis’s propaganda website that created a backdoor into all devices, activating cameras, logging keystrokes, stealing files and even detecting GPS locations from unsuspecting jihadis.

Hacking, an honorable career

In a word, hacking may not be all about targeting innocent bystanders and setting ransomware attacks on unwarned companies. You can also use this skill to deter crimes. That’s why 80% police forces across the UK are training their officers to run cyber security investigations. Traditional fingerprints and bloodstains can now be fought in the cyber space, where trained officers can retrieve data stored in the memory cache of a computer and get evidence of criminal activities.

This puts a different spin on the hacking force for the greater good. From helping companies to improve their security to identifying criminals, hacking may not be all about ransomware and data theft.

About the author

Chloe Harwood