In this era of technology, there are many good people trying to create excellent networks to help people like us to communicate, work with others and get information. On the other hand, there are some not-so-good people who for a variety of reasons, tend to use their computers and make way into the networks and cause trouble to others. Yes, they are the Hackers. These hackers are always at work.
Yesterday, we took a look at the signs of a hacked computer and what to do if your computer has been hacked. The next question to come to one’s mind is Why would someone want to hack my computer? Let’s try and find the answer to this question in detail.
Hacking is the process by which a hacker attempts to gain unauthorized access to computer resources with malicious intent. So, basically, a hacker wants to see and use the data on your computer or maybe use your computer to carry out online attacks on others. Hackers seem to have considered exploiting networks to be their personal mission ever since the networked computers were invented. Now, since there is a possibility of connecting all devices with each other; including the ones in our pockets, or the ones on our vehicle; the risk of information security breach is much greater than ever before.Hacking is on the rise, and now it is much easier for the hackers to access our files without our even knowing about it.
There are several forms of Cyber Attacks used against computers and networks – from malware injection to phishing to social engineering to the internal stealing of data. Other advanced but common forms are DDoS Attacks, Brute Force attacks, hacking, holding a computer system (or a website) for ransom using direct hack or Ransomware.
Why would someone want to hack my computer
When we think of hacking, we always think it’s the sensitive information being stolen and used for some financial gain. But this does not seem to be the only reason why would someone want to hack my computer.
These are the reasons why someone would want to hack your computer:
- To use it as a Internet Relay Chat (IRC) server, for Storage or for DDoS Attacks.
- Criminal & Financial gain
- Industrial espionage
- Make it a part of a Botnet
- For fun & excitement.
Let us take a look at some of these.
1. To use our computer:
Hackers can hack our computer to use it for the following reasons-
- Internet Relay Chat (IRC) server: Hackers can use our PC as an IRC Server. This is because they don’t want to discuss their activities openly on their ‘own’ servers.
- Storage: Hackers might want to use our PC as a storage device for their unlawful materials. Pirated software, pirated music, pornography and hacking tools are some examples of the unlawful materials.
- DDoS Attack: Our PC can be used as a part of a DDoS attack. The hackers control many computers in an attempt to cause resource starvation on a victim’s computer.
2. Criminal gain:
There are some hackers who use their hacking skills to shape criminal activities. Here, the hackers might hack the computer to steal services of the user and also their valuable files and information. This can be done on:
- Personal level: On a personal level, hackers attack personal computers to get access to passwords and financial information. They can use such information to defraud the individual.
- Larger level: Groups of hackers can target companies as a part of a much wider criminal operation.
3. Financial gain:
Hackers often act for financial gain. They can do this either individually or in coordinated groups. Many professional criminals use hacking to make money by using hacking techniques. They do this too:
- Set up a fake e-commerce site to collect credit card details
- Gain entry to the servers which contain credit card details
- Engage in different forms of credit card fraud
- Install Ransomware.
4. Hack for fun, thrill, and excitement:
Some hackers try to hack a system to crack a challenge. They simply hack our computers to prove the skills they have and breach the systems. They are not really the ones interested in doing anything malicious when they are in control.
5. Other reasons
Apart from these reasons, I found several other reasons why someone want to hack your computer at this excellent infographic from krebsonsecurity.com. You may click on the Infographic to view it in the larger size.
Computer breaches getting harder to prevent
While trying to find reasons behind why would someone want to hack my computer, I also found that computer breaches have become much easier to execute. Unfortunately, it is much harder to prevent for several reasons:
- Extensive use of Internet and network connectivity
- Secrecy provided by computer systems working over the Internet
- Large and growing numbers of hacking tools available openly
- More and more open wireless networks
- Tech and computer-savvy children
- Unlikeliness of being caught
Anyone connecting to the Internet is susceptible to being hacked. Also, regardless of the motivation, hacking is a serious risk to personal and national security.
To stay safe, keep your operating system and installed software updated at all times so as to close all software vulnerabilities, use a good security software and follow safe computing best practices and general Internet Security tips. Here are some more tips that will help you keep Hackers out of your Windows computer.