Most computer systems and servers are vulnerable to being accessed by hackers in a number of ways. If this surprises you, then you ought to consider whether your network is vulnerable to a breach.
Some of the methods hackers use to get around firewalls and other security measures include: exploiting vulnerabilities in the system; using malware, such as spyware and viruses in emails or thumb drives, that deploy on being downloaded and executed by an unknowing employee; stealing login credentials left out in the open or using social engineering techniques to deceive users into giving up confidential information (posing as a contractor to get into the building); using remote access programs while sitting in a different country, such as SSH and Telnet; and more.
In this article we highlight some of the most common vulnerabilities that hackers exploit every day, which should be required reading by any professional.
  1. Phishing is the practice of tricking a user into providing sensitive information or login credentials by using phony emails or websites. These are easy to fall for if you aren’t careful. It’s one reason why you should always check the ‘sent from’ address in an email. In some ways, this is simpler than a more conventional hacking strategy like password cracking, in which a hacker tries to guess a user’s password using a variety of techniques like using a list of frequently used passwords or using sophisticated algorithms.
  2. Another popular technique hackers use is brute force attacks, which involves a computer hacker using software to quickly test a large number of username and password combinations in order to gain access.
  3. Social engineering is the practice of using psychology by tricking, coercing, or misleading people to share sensitive info or to grant access to a system because they assume the hacker is a technical representative who just wants to help. Social engineering is a type of phishing that relies upon psychological tricks and deception to persuade individuals to disclose private login information or grant access to computers.
  4. Malware: Hackers are sometimes hired to install malicious software, such as worms, Trojan horses, or viruses, on a hard drive in order to gain access or control to the files. This software is known as malware. Malware can be used to steal data, install other malware, corrupt or delete files, or even create a backdoor for hackers to gain future access. Windows Defender is a good way to scan for malware on your PC.
  5. Remote access: This is the process of connecting to a system remotely and gaining access, for example, by using remote desktop software like Teamviewer and others. If someone wants to gain control of your PC from abroad, think twice, because it’s probably a scam.
  6. Exploiting vulnerabilities: Taking advantage of known vulnerabilities in software or operating systems to gain access to a system. This is why you should always install updates for your OS and ensure that the vulnerability has been patched. Exploiting vulnerabilities can be done either manually or using automated scripts.
  7. Hardware Hacking : Gaining access to the physical computer and bypassing the software layer. Hardware hacking is generally done by exploiting physical security flaws, such as inserting a USB device or connecting an external hard drive to access confidential information

Exercise caution when opening emails or clicking on links from unknown sources, and use extra care when using online banking services.


Rahman, Mahfuzur, and Prabir Bhattacharya. “Remote access and networked appliance control using biometrics features.” IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics 49.2 (2003): 348-353.