Whaling and DDoS

There are many hacking strategies and many vulnerabilities computers have. Yet, there are two that stand out, for the reason that they are the most logical, if not easiest, as well as strongest methods.

Whaling is form of phishing, where the target is more salient than just a small firm or a particular friend that is begging to be hacked. Large businesses along with a certain executive(s) is the primary goal of hackers who employ whaling. In this case, the upper managers are manipulated in revealing sensitive information, for instance, passwords, bank account information, etc. Hackers are able to fool them by sending them e-mails or links where login information is entered. However, the information typed is sent to the hacker immediately and he/she can utilize that against the executive. The hacker is not done, his/her final mission is to scare the target with a trick that seems to indicate wrongdoing at the company.

Fortunately, it is capable to defend oneself from it. A simple solution is not to trust websites one is not accustomed to and definitely not to type in any usernames and passwords on these unfamiliar sites. An executive can know if he is hacked if his information is said to be incorrect. Of course it is not, but page refreshes and the executive attempts again to find that he is successful. On another corner of the Internet, the hacker receives the data.

In 2008, 20,000 CEOs were sent e-mails that they were handed subpoenas. 10% fell for it and those businesses crumbled. In this situation, the whale colony reached too close to shore and ultimately died.

DDoS is another effective and efficient way of hacking. Its use is to shut down servers to the point where the computer just crashes. They can be annoying on a level where the target is simply another person or an insecure site, but it can also be applied on a larger scale. It breaks through any firewall installed. Most antiviruses are unable to detect it, much less block the incoming packets of information.

A CDN, or content delivery network, is able to detect DDoS attacks, but can not stop them. Arbor Networks, on the other hand, is a reliable software that can block these impediments. However, even they have a limit to how much they can block. The deadliness of DDoS can now be seen. It is near impossible to detect its doom. Although it can be perceived as not as threatening and easily repairable, DDoS attacks are mostly used for making a point by shutting down a particular server as opposed to stealing login information.

Another attack in 2008, this time by Anonymous, made international news. In “Project Chanology”, the now infamous hacking group attacked Scientology.org. The site was down for a while with a message telling these fanatics not to brainwash other people.

Whaling and DDoS attacks operate very uniquely and are crucial for penetrating weak systems, especially when those systems are people. While America is strong in offense, their lack of defense makes it impossible to secure classified information. The government as well as the makers of operating systems should be focusing less on attacking, and more on creating a national secure system that can be implemented. In addition, the users are partially to blame for not correctly securing their computers. It is their responsibility to know the possible threats and vulnerabilities that lie in owning an electronic device.