Cracking: The Most Dangerous Cyber ​​Crime and How to Avoid It

Cracking is one of the most dangerous forms of cybercrime and can cause huge losses, both financial and non-financial. 

Given that most of our information is currently stored on various websites and applications, it's better if you fortify yourself from possible cracking attacks. 

In this article, we will share information about what cracking is, its types, and how to prevent it.

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What is Cracking?

Cracking is an attempt to enter a computer system by force with the aim of illegally stealing, destroying, or viewing data.

By definition, hacking is the process of using technology to solve problems and overcome obstacles. People who do it are called hackers. 

However, when a hacker hacks into a security system, the activity is called security hacking.

Cracking is when someone performs security hacking with criminal or malicious intent — and someone who does the cracking is called a cracker. 

Difference between Cracking and Hacking

Many people often refers to the activity of hacking computer security systems or software as hacking. But in fact, cracking and hacking are two things that are similar, but not the same.

Cracking is any form of 'hacking' activity that touches the illegal realm and leads to criminalism.

In other words, cracking occurs when someone carries out hacking activities of a security system with malicious purposes that are illegal. While hacking is a practice that is generally used to find loopholes in computer security systems that need to be repaired.

Types of cracking

Cracking is a cybercrime that can be used for various purposes. To achieve different goals, of course, crackers use different methods as well.

Here are some of the most common types of cracking:

1. Password cracking

Password cracking is an attempt to obtain someone's password from data stored in websites, applications, or other databases. Today, most applications and websites have used hashing to encrypt their users' passwords.

Password cracking is done by obtaining the hash of the website and finding the algorithm used to encrypt the user's password. There are three password cracking methods that are often used by hackers:

  • Brute force cracking: Methods cracking by incorporating a mix of random characters to find the right password.
  • Dictionary cracking: A cracking method that uses words from a dictionary to guess passwords.
  • Rainbow table cracking: Uses a rainbow table to find the encryption algorithm used by the website. 

To make your passwords more difficult to crack, avoid using common words. Also, use symbols, numbers, and variations of capital letters.

2. Software cracking

Software cracking is a hacking process to turn off or eliminate the features that are in a software. In general, cracking software is targeted towards paid programs so that they can be used for free.

Software cracking can be done by three different methods:

  • Keygen: Using a key generator to find the serial number that will make the software usable without buying a valid serial number .
  • Patch: Uses a few lines of code to change the original layout of the software code . Crackers can use patches to remove and disable features in the software , including features that require the user to purchase before using.
  • Loader: Uses the application to disable security and protection features of the software while it is running. In general, loaders are used to activate cheats in online games and disable copy protection features in paid software.

3. Network cracking

Network cracking is hacking the security system of a local network (Local Area Network or LAN) with the aim of gaining access to the devices on it.

The process of hacking a wired network requires the cracker to connect his device directly to the network. But hacking wireless networks (Wi-Fi) can be done when the cracker is in the vicinity of the network signal area.

The target of network cracking is usually a public network without a password . On networks that do not have security features, crackers only need to use a sniffer to intercept data transfers that occur on the network.

Various Evil Purposes of Cracking

As discussed above, cracking is a cybercrime with various purposes.

From data theft to malware planting, crackers have a variety of purposes to hack software or computer security systems. The following are some of the most common cracking goals :

1. Data theft

When a cracker enters the server belonging to a website or company, he will get access to various kinds of data. From user information to sensitive company reports.

Crackers can then sell that data via the dark web or underground channels to other parties such as company competitors, phishers, or identity theft.

2. Corporate spy

When the cracker accesses the company's system, he will be able to see various kinds of company secrets. This is commonly done by companies that want to compete in a dirty way.

3. Data manipulation

Crackers can also change the data that is on a server to create damage. For example, a cracker who manages to enter the banking system can change the account balance data.

4. Corrupt data

Another purpose of cracking is to damage the data stored on the server to cause harm to the company or website . The loss of this data can certainly harm them in various fields.

5. Spreading Malware

After successfully entering a system, crackers can implant malware in it. This form of malware can vary from spyware to log user activity to ransomware that locks entire files to users paying a ransom to crackers .

How to Protect Yourself from Cracking

That was the explanation of what cracking is and the various types and purposes. Now, it's time for you to learn about how to protect your device and network from cracking attacks. 

1. Use a unique password for each website

Make sure you use a unique and difficult-to- use password for each of your accounts. So, when a cracker manages to hack one of your account passwords, they won't be able to access other accounts.

You can use a password generator to create passwords that are secure and hard to crack. Password manager apps usually offer a password generator and auto-fill passwords for various accounts, so you don't have to remember all your passwords.

2. Avoid public Wi-Fi networks

General public networks available in restaurants, cafes, or other public facilities usually do not have good security features. If you must use a public network, make sure you do not carry out financial transactions or other activities related to positive information.

3. Use a VPN

Using a VPN is one way to encrypt your connection. So, you will get an extra layer of protection from crackers targeting your device or network.

In addition, a VPN also serves to protect your personal information from the websites and applications that you use.

4. Change router login information

Less tech-savvy home Wi-Fi users generally don't change their network router login information. Cybercriminals usually have more knowledge of the company's default router login information. 

This means that they can easily enter networks that use the default login information .

Generally, you can access the router login via 162.198.1.1 if your devices are connected to the same network. However, the address may vary depending on each internet service provider.

5. Don't click on ads from untrusted websites 

Internet advertising is often a cover for cyber attacks, especially ads that appear on illegal sites. If you click on ads that contain malware , then your device will have a greater risk of being targeted by crackers .

6. Visit sites with HTTPS

HTTPS on a website indicates that the data transfer process on that website has encryption. This encryption process is usually achieved by installing an SSL/TLS certificate on the hosting site. Usually sites with HTTPS are marked with a lock icon next to the URL.

Start Protecting Your Website and Network from Cracking

Cracking is a dangerous cybercrime that is very detrimental to the victim, both financially and non-financially. If you have a website for your business or online store, having SSL/TLS encryption is a must.

In addition to quality SSL, make sure you use the best web hosting provider that can protect your data from cracker attacks. So, you don't have to worry about the data security of your website or online store. 

John | Author

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