What hacking types are commonly used?

You might have wondered, “What hacking types are commonly used?” But before going any further, you need to understand what hacking is.

What hacking types are commonly used: Definition of hacking

Hacking can be defined as activities that try to compromise digital devices, such as smartphones, tablets, computers, and entire networks. And even though hacking might not always be for malicious purposes, most references to hacking nowadays characterize it as an illegal carried out for spying, financial gain, protest, or just for the fun of the challenge.

Most people think that a person that hacks digital systems is a self-taught programmer. But this is a narrow view that does not cover the vast reasons why someone hacks.

Although hacking is mostly technical, hackers can also use psychology to trick victims into clicking a malicious link or provide personal information. These techniques are known as social engineering.

What hacking types are commonly used: Who can be affected?

Due to popular culture, most people believe that hacking is something that only affects big organizations and government agencies, but that is not the case. There are several forms of hacking and it can affect anyone with an internet-connected device.

Those that engage in hacking are commonly known as hackers. This term was first used in a 1980 magazine article, and it was popularized a few years later. With time, hackers have become popular.

While hacking needs at least some knowledge of computer technology, anyone can go to the dark web to buy the tools needed to carry out an attack. Common hacking techniques are:

  • Trojans
  • Viruses
  • Botnets
  • Browser hijacks
  • Rootkits
  • Worms
  • Denial of service (DDoS) attacks
  • Ransomware

Hacking has grown to being a billion-dollar growth business, whose adherents have developed a criminal infrastructure that creates and sells hacking tools.

What hacking types are commonly used: What Types of Hacking Exist?

Based on the hacker’s intentions and the legality of their attacks, there are three major kinds of hacking. They are:

1. White Hat Hacking

Mostly known as ethical hacking, which is mostly used for good. In most cases, these kind of hackers are employed or contracted by major companies to help them improve their security systems. They use the same methods as all other hackers, but they always get permission from the owner of the system.

Why Ethical Hacking?

Data is one of the most valuable assets of any company. Keeping your data secure can protect your image and save you a lot of money. Hacking can cause a loss of business for financial organizations. Ethical hacking puts them a step ahead of the hackers who would otherwise result in loss of business.

2. Black Hat Hacking

This is the opposite of white hat hacking, and it is often unethical. The attacks here are mostly driven by financial or personal gain, even though they can be motivated by several other factors. Since they don’t have permission from the owner of the system, they make use of phishing emails and compromised websites to download and install dangerous software on the computers of potential victims and use it to steal the personal information of the victim.

3. Gray Hat Hacking

This hacking type falls between ethical and unethical. These hackers are never outright malicious, although some of their moves could be dangerous. For instance, they may hack into a network without the permission of the owner to search for vulnerabilities. After that, they will contact the owner and ask for a small fee to repair the problem. But if the owner refuses to pay, they might share their findings online, thereby inviting their unethical peers to exploit the vulnerabilities.

What hacking types are commonly used: Examples of recent hacks

1. Marriott Suffers Breach

This happened on March 31, 2020. The hacker got the credentials of two employees and used them to siphon data for roughly a month before they were discovered.

2. LiveJournal Data Breach

In May, most users had an unpleasant shock when hackers were passing around a database containing millions of login credentials. Rumors about this leak had been circulating since 2014. The database had user names, email addresses, and unencrypted passwords.

3. Wishbone Data Breach

This popular social app among young teens experienced a data breach in May 2020. Hackers leaked the database containing various sensitive data, including names, gender, phone numbers, social media profiles, location, email addresses, and passwords.

What hacking types are commonly used: Common Hacking Techniques?

Techniques used by hackers are always evolving, and it is vital to keep up with new security threats. In most cases, hackers after two things, money or data. Sometimes, they are motivated by both, because discovering some data can help them to earn some cash. Some common hacking techniques include:

Bait and Switch

It’s been commonly used by street hustlers for many years. They mostly offer victims something desirable, then swap it out for something different when they’re not looking. This trick has several variations.

Cookie Theft

Cookies are stored in your browser cache when you visit websites. These cookies can hold a lot of information about an individual – including passwords, personal and financial data, and user credentials.

Avoiding public or unprotected private networks is the best way to fall victim to cookie theft. Also, you can use a VPN to encrypt the connection on your device. You should regularly clear your browser and system caches.

Denial of Service/Distributed Denial of Service (DoS/DDoS)

This is commonly used to bring down networks by overloading them with repetitive tasks, login attempts, data requests, and so on.


A passive technique used by hackers to listen in on a network connection and observe and record as much high-value information as possible. Packet sniffing, interception of data transmissions, and other monitoring techniques may be used – but the success of this kind of attack depends on the hackers themselves not being detected or observed.

Unsecured networks are again the greatest gift to eavesdroppers. Users of public WiFi should connect via a VPN. Corporate networks may deploy Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and/or Intrusion Prevent Systems (IPS) to guard against eavesdropping.


One of the oldest and simplest hacking methods, keylogging makes it possible for attackers with basic software to record a log file. These files may contain sensitive information such as passwords and usernames.


This is one of the biggest weapons in the arsenal of hackers. They make use of trojans, viruses, worms, and ransomware to attack a system.

To avoid malware infection, be careful when dealing with attachments and email messages. Disable pop-up windows, to reduce the temptation of clicking on them. Only download software using approved app stores and reputable websites. Keep your anti-malware and security software updated.


Using specially created email messages used to induce a recipient into revealing financial or personal information. Hackers have improved on the technique by using social engineering to include an element of increased urgency.

What hacking types are commonly used: Conclusion

Your mobile device or computer may show some signs of being hacked. Some of the signals you could get include fake antivirus warning messages, random pop-ups, ransomware message unwanted browser toolbar, redirection to strange websites, and so on. If you receive any of these warning signs, you can be sure that your computer has been hacked.

Read up on some of the other major cybercrimes:

Read about other major cyber-crimes that exist:

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