Yes, as hackers are masters in covering up their digital footprints. Period. Well of course, a hack won’t be termed as a hack if it’s clearly guessed by an individual. Hacking is meant to be done in such a way that it masquerades the hacker’s identity and their vicious schemes. The clues and breadcrumbs left behind by hackers often point in a certain direction. Hence, hackers make sure that no legal force or organization shall ever find out that who was actually behind the attack. As most hacking activities are anonymous in nature, it becomes tough to get hold of hackers.
This article lists down some common methods and tactics which hackers use to cover their tracks. But first, let’s discuss about various aspects of hacking.
What kind of hacks are mainly Undiscovered?
Many hackers get a kick out of outsmarting corporate and government IT and security administrators. They thrive on making headlines and being notorious. There are a few hackers who build their self-esteem out of defeating an entity or by possessing a specific knowledge skill.
Although hacking attacks can be categorized into two types:
- Targeted Attack: A targeted attack uses a malware program which is specially designed to target a specific individual or organization. They mostly focus on extracting a certain piece of information or have an intention of disturbing company’s operations. Targeted attacks are often discovered years after the fact, after thousands—and even millions of customer records or units of information already stolen.
- Non targeted Attack: When attackers employ a non-targeted attack, they are looking for specific vulnerabilities that they have the ability to exploit, as opposed to specific companies to breach. Non-targeted commodity hacks (like malware runs) are always discovered. When a vulnerability first appears, attackers move extraordinarily fast and learn quickly how best to exploit it. Over time, hackers have gotten better at exploiting the vulnerability.
However, once the attacker has gained access to what they wanted, they can exit easily and get rid of all the evidence that were present in the first place. Unless somebody goes back in time to recover backups of old network logs, it’s unlikely they will ever be found.
How do they Hide their Tracks?
Whatever their motivation be, sophisticated hackers possess a bunch of skills about hiding their crime tracks. This makes it increasingly difficult for organizations focused on trying to understand what an actual attack looks like. They try to analyze the past event records in order to stop future break-ins.
Here is a list of basic techniques that hackers use to conceal their identity:
- Proxy Servers: Specialized proxy servers can filter out unwanted content to anonymize web surfing.
- IP Spoofing: IP Spoofing is a technique used to gain unauthorized access to machines, whereby an attacker manipulates the IP address to illegally penetrate into a system.
- Using VPN of Foreign country: With the VPN, all your traffic is relayed, so wherever you connect it can only track back the IP address to the VPN itself. In this way your geographic location stays unidentified.
- Anonymizers: Hackers take use of anonymizers to search for inbuilt proxy servers and keep their web browsing concealed.
These are just a few tricks that hackers use to penetrate in our system. Although still many attacks go unnoticed or unreported. But if we dig into a hacker’s brain we’ll find that the really good hacks are always the ones about which we never hear about.