To stop attacks that would come frequently you should make yourself accustomed to the hacking methodology. Here, we will in detail explain the phases that one needs to perform to call oneself a hacker. Let us start to the exciting world of the hacking process.
- Foot-printing the system
- Scanning the targets
- Getting access to the system
- Using the access for exploitation
- Continuing the access
- Creating backdoors in the system
Here, we will in detail explain the six phases in detail. We will give out some example tools which can be used for individual phases.
1. Foot-printing the system
A good hacker would always at first try to know a lot of information about the target he is going to attack. This collection of information about the target is known as reconnaissance. Many hackers use social engineering techniques to get information from the users themselves.
A good hacker has good communication skills that can help him to manipulate things to get information about the target he is trying to attack. To say using an analogy a hacker works like a detective to track the target. He looks at all the publicly available information and will form a roadmap for a better strategy to attack.
As said before hackers manipulate individuals to perform tasks like resetting passwords or sending one-time passwords using social engineering techniques.
A lot of hackers also use Google search in-depth to get as much information about the target. This is one of the most important phases of hacking.
2. Scanning the targets
This is considered the second phase of the hacking process. In this step, we will try to scan the target and find any ports that are open to getting a successful linkage to attack. We will also use a concept called enumeration in this phase to get a lot of advanced information about the users. All this useful information can be further analyzed by hackers to get varied results.
In this phase, the attackers usually start network scanning using the available network tools like Nmap. These network tools are made available to run on systems so that the available open ports can be detected. Open ports are vulnerable and can help us to create a backdoor to the system.
However, the attackers should keep in mind that fast searching of the systems or sending a lot of packets can give a huge increase in network traffic and can make the system administrators alert. For this reason, experienced hackers extend this phase for at least a week so that they send packets slowly in such a way that the very advanced intrusion detection systems can never detect the attack that is going on.
In this phase, we can even analyze the ports to know about the operating systems and technologies that are being used. A lot of hackers after this stage will search databases like exploited to find the open vulnerabilities for the version of the software. If lucky, you can find a vulnerability that can be further used to attack the system.
Many novice hackers use automatic scanners like burp suite to detect the vulnerabilities that are present. Even though of being advanced scanners they will not accurately detect them always. They can be used for learning the basic implementation of scanning but not as a sole tool that can scan the targets. That is all about this phase and let us move on to the third one that is when we get successful access to the system.
3. Getting access to the system
This is an important step in the hacking process. After having a brief scan and obtaining information about the systems in this step hackers will start attacking the system using various methods. A good hacker always chooses his way of attacking according to the environment that he is attacking on. A novice hacker can read hundreds of books but if he cannot use this information depending on the environment and resources, he has then there is no way that the access will be cracked.
There are infinite ways of getting access to the system. Out of all these, the most classical way is to use social engineering abilities to trick the users that are present in the network area. It may be by sending an attachment to the receptionist or by getting connected to the modem of the LAN network using someone’s landline phone. Getting access to the system doesn’t result in successful exploiting because of less or void permissions. Some introduction detection systems can detect your access to system providers with a message.
After getting access to the system a hacker will further move to the deeper areas of the network that is to the closer areas of the root directory for full administrative privileges. Follow along with the next phase to understand what one can do using the exploitation abilities.
4. Using Access to Further Exploit
After having successful access in the next stage hackers try to stay as much as the time in the system. An attacker usually tries to extend his capabilities or reach in the area and tries to acquire the root privileges which can help him get additional use cases to perform.
The main reason why hackers can get succeeded in this phase is because of bugs and vulnerabilities that are present in the web application systems or the login interfaces that the system users use. Professional hackers use hardware hacking devices like keyloggers to know passwords or secret root directories. In the next phase, we will describe the most important phase of hacking in detail.
5. Continuing the Access with the Systems
Hackers are crazy and like to do things that can be repeated. When a hacker compromises a system, he tries to expand the time he spends therewith using tools called rootkits. Rootkits are hackers’ tools and will delete everything or footprints that he leaves while hacking effectively. Apart from this hacker also has a fudge to get access as many systems as possible. For this character trait, they usually try to get access to /etc folder and access all the user passwords that are present. Rootkits will help the hacker in extending his connection or relation with the system in a definite way.
If the hacker is gaining money with this method, he may get accustomed to the fact that many are trying the same. So, he will make sure that the vulnerability he has found is not available to anyone. For this reason, he makes shell scripting code that will spoof the other attackers and make them not access the system. Hackers also in this process exploit as much as they can and will back up important files or sensitive information into their directory using network packeting tools and delete those traces forever.
6. Creating Backdoors in the System
After getting access to a system for a long time and understanding every pathway and directory system intelligent hackers create backdoors to continue their exploitation even if the vulnerability is patched. It is often difficult for security administrators to determine a backdoor until it causes system damage because they are often cleverly inserted into the system by hackers. In this phase, we will discuss backdoor and how to make one.
How to make a backdoor:
- First of all, look at the system as you are in-depth and try to change the system code in a way such that you can easily get access to the system for the next time.
- Backdoor injection tools will have the ability to send the password changing information using its exploitation tools that are present.
- Backdoors can also be created in a clumsy manner and of a lot of variables with weird names so that the programmers can never detect the original attacker. This anti-spoofing mechanism will lead to a change of the system code which will be easily obtained by the hacker using the other backdoors he has implemented.
By this, we have given a complete tour of how a hacker’s mind works. It may feel overwhelming sometimes, but hackers work it out in a hard way. So, if you want to be a professional hacker you need to create your working process or follow this straightforward methodology that has been said by many famous hackers.
Let’s discuss the ethical hacking toolkit or prerequisites a hacker should be aware of before starting web hacking and network hacking for testing the quality of the systems. Follow along with this checklist and use it whenever you are starting an attack:
a) Get permissions
First of all, if you are attacking a system with a ton of security and intrusion detection systems you need to get valid permission from the system owners. Otherwise, this may land you in trouble even after using a lot of safety tools because forensic investigators of the industries are always working hard to find the traces of the attackers.
b) Don’t use a lot of tools
Usually, hackers overwhelm themselves with learning a lot of tools. Tools are just a way to make the process work. You need tools to automate things but not to change your perspective on looking at things. For this exact reason try out as many as tools that are present and select the best tools that are working for you.
A lot of software’s now a day are providing well-reported analytics of the performance of the system for an easy understanding of the situation that is going on. Hackers should be aware of all of the technical terms dealing with analytics for better productivity and understanding of system analytics.
Usually when a test is performed penetration testers use manual skills to pitch a report of the attack. It is always best to do a manual report because in no way a machine can think about the effect of this vulnerability to the organization in a humane way. However, it is time-saving to use inbuilt features in the web application interception software to report the pen testing reports. By this, we have completed a detailed explanation about how hackers work and even given a checklist of things that need to be done by or testers.