How to Watch Out for Black Hat Hacking
A black hat hacker is a criminal out to penetrate your computer system and network for financial gain, steal or leak data, revenge, fame, or other malicious intents. They may also unleash malware to steal confidential information, compromise business files, or hold your computers hostage.
Black hat hacking is rampant and has become a global problem, making it difficult to stop. Every day, it becomes more sophisticated, with hackers changing their tactics to bypass defense systems. So, you could invest in strong IT security, such as the latest antivirus program, but get hacked.
Therefore, besides investing in an advanced cybersecurity solution, it is advisable to have the ability to spot black hacking activities and take appropriate actions in the event of a compromise.
Signs that You’ve Been Hacked
Hackers compromise networks and systems but exploit vulnerabilities in built-in security systems. They achieve this in multiple ways, including leveraging cybersecurity threats such as malware attacks, insider threats, or social engineering. So, if you suspect you’re a victim of a black hacking incident, here are tell-tale signs to look out for:
- Network and devices become slow, overheated, and laggy
- Frequent and random pop-ups
- Unfamiliar and unwanted toolbars, add-ons, and extensions on your browser
- Fake antivirus messages
- Email notifications about sign-in attempts you know nothing of
- Team members and friends saying they’ve received strange messages from you
- Unsuccessful log-in attempts
- Ransomware message
- Redirected to unwanted sites while browsing
- Suspicious charges on bank statements
Note that the unusual activities above can provide clues on knowing if you’ve been hacked, but they’re not always apparent and may vary from one incident to another. Patterns such as system access before and after business hours or originating from unknown locations can provide further insights. In addition, discrepancies between users, accounts, and devices can also be red flags to look out for.
What to Do if Hacked
It is important to act fast if you think you’ve been hacked to minimize the damages the attackers can do. The goal of responsive action here is to prevent hackers from accomplishing their mission. So, say, they were in the process of gaining unauthorized access to your system; acting immediately can lessen their chances of success. Here are key actionable steps to take:
- Disconnect computers from the Internet: many black hacking strategies depend on an internet connection. Therefore, disconnect from your Wi-Fi as soon as you notice suspicious activity.
- Scan for malware: malicious software installation is the most common black hacking technique. So, if you suspect you’ve been hacked, run a deep scan. A good antivirus program detects, isolates, and deletes any lingering virus or malware.
- Uninstall suspicious apps: hackers can also use unauthorized apps to remotely access your computer and trojan, ransomware, spyware, or other types of malware. You can counter this by going through your apps and deleting the ones you don’t recognize.
- Initiate a clean install: the strategies above are excellent, but to get the job done and stay safe, wipe and restore your hard drive and systems.
- Reset passwords: weak or compromised passwords increase the chances of breaches. So, update all your passwords and include multi-factor authentication.
- Keep your system and apps up to date: once you’ve gotten rid of harmful apps and software and initiated a clean install, update your computer systems, all apps, and software to fix any security weaknesses.
Operating in the digital space calls for digital safety, which involves being vigilant of black hat hacking activities. Being mindful of pop-ups, unsolicited emails, suspicious links, and dubious messages can go a long way, but it’s only half the battle. The sad truth is that cybercriminals will bypass your security measures and gain access to your systems, network, and data in ways you least expect. Don’t make it too easy for them; secure your digital footprint with Thinline Tech.
At Thinline, we ensure your business and customers always stay protected. We deliver a robust, proactive, and all-round cybersecurity solution that addresses threats to your organization and prevents hackers from compromising your business.
Write to us or call us at (410) 453 9300 for a free consultation.