I. Background of Protection against Hacking

Introduction to Hacking

In order to protect the universities' information systems against malicious attacks, IT professionals should obtain a basic understanding of the common hacking methodology and learn to think from the perspective of a black-hat hacker.

Hacking Methodology

The hacking process can be summarised into the following five phases.

  1. Information Gathering

    This phase includes reconnaissance and footprinting. It is the preparatory phase to gather as much information as possible prior to an attack. In this phase, the attacker tries to find and exploit a loophole by identifying patterns of behavior of people or systems. Non-intrusive methods are used here to create a map of an organisation's network and systems

    • Target system
    • Network architecture
    • Usage patterns
    • Application type
    • Operating system and version
    • Server type
    • Physical location

  2. Scanning and Enumeration

    In the second phase of hacking, attackers identify target systems' IP addresses and determine whether a system is on the network and available. This phase helps identify known security loopholes according to system and service version, and determines a user account or system account for potential use in hacking the target system. Most account privileges can then be escalated to allow the account with more access than it was previously granted.

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