How to Break into Computers: Script Kiddies,
Ethical Hackers, Crackers, Überhackers, Social Engineers,
Chapter by Carolyn Meinel, excerpted from The Hacking of America: Who Does it, Why and
How do hackers break into computers? It all depends on what
they are trying to accomplish, and who they are. There are also
a dizzying number of documented ways to break into computers,
many more floating around in the underground, and who knows how
many waiting to be discovered...
In the face of the vast possibilities for breaking into computers,
this chapter will merely reveal examples of some of the most
· remote exploits which are carried out from across the
· console exploits, which are done while sitting at the
keyboard of the victim computer; this includes hardware-based
· viruses and other types of Trojans, which hide inside
a program and are activated when a legitimate user accidentally
· local exploits, where someone who already has limited
access to a computer uses it to gain total control
· network-based break-ins, which use the particular characteristics
of a LAN or modem to get in
· worms, which sneak into a computer on their own, without
· social engineering, where someone tricks a user into
letting them get into their computer
· man-in-the-middle attacks, where the user is tricked
into thinking they are connected to one computer but actually
are connected with another.
We will also cover the main types of people who break into
· script kiddies, who simply run a program or a prepared
script to do the deed, and who break the law in so doing: digital
· ethical hackers (also known as white hats), who have
some skills with computers and analytical talents, who break
into computers legally, whether for research, in a job testing
computers, or as a competitive sport
· crackers (also known as black hats, but they usually
call themselves hackers or gray hats) who also have significant
skills but who break into computers illegally
· social engineers, who trick people into letting them
take over their computers
· phonies, who trick people into thinking they break into
Script kiddies (also known as code kiddies or haxors) are
people who want to break into computers, but only are able to
do so by running a program or following a carefully scripted
set of instructions. They aren't motivated by a quest for knowledge.
To get an idea of what drives them, check out some of the emails
they send me:
My girlfriend cheated on me and I really have to see her email
correspondence with the guy
i just have to hack in! what
is a man to do?
Many wonder if their friends
are talking crap about
them with other people. I want to know how i can intercept
One of my friends dared me to hack into his computer.
A friend of mine tells me that there is no way that I can
get into his hotmail account. I want to prove him wrong.
I need some help getting into a web site. The web site belongs
to a school in Mpumalanga. They are enemies with our school
But I'd like to hack the network
to see the teachers
i would really like to hack this one person's web page, he
is a real pain in the ***
I have lately been hacked... I would like to retaliate
Hello, Caroline! Remember those government websites that were
hacked? That was me!
We are the controllers of the new millennium, no matter what
the government tried to tell you.
I play neopets(www.neopets.com) and I wanna get a user's password
to get all of his money and stuff.
I need some experienced help to hack into the VCAA computer
and acquire a copy of the end of year exams.
I love idiots. Without idiots, there would be know (sic) way
for the smarter people to be acknowledged.