Computer Memory / Ram Hacking – Research Paper

Hardware hackingis a term used to refer to the act of altering a partor parts of an existing electronic with the aim of using the machine in a way other than which it is intended (Levy, 2001). The method used to modify a device is dependent on the purpose of the hack. These alterations include, making a device wireless, changing its displays, or using it to trigger other devices (Melgares, 2011). Each one of these alterations requires the hacker to employ a different approach in order to get the desired outcome.

Examine the common tools that hackers use to hack into memory of computing devices.

Patching Into I/O- Patching into a device’s control mechanism is possibly the easiest technique used by hackers. Majority of consumer products have an indicator LED button, whose connections are normally easy to locate and access.The hacker attaches his/her own button to this access button, which allows them to control the victim computer using foreign hardware (Levy, 2001).

JTAG Hex Dump- JTAG Hex Dump is a sophisticated hacking method but it is also the most effective.Every electronic device is programmed with firmware during its manufacture process. The same port used for programming firmware can be used to stripdisassemble it. Programming the port triggersmemory dumps found in Microcontrollers allowing the user to access the entire memory (in hex) of the chip (Levy, 2001). After locating the firmware, the hacker modifies the firmware file, altering variables and recordsso as to change the device’s behavior. The hacker then recollects the firmware into hex, and repackages the machine with the modified firmware (Levy, 2001).

Detail two (2) real-life examples of such tools in action.

Patching Into I/O can be used to make a device wireless. To do this, one needs to connect a wireless device directly to the button pads so as to push the button waveup or down depending on the device’s reception. For example, Kolumkilli hacked his Keurig coffee maker to enable him to wirelessly control it. He achieved this by connecting a wireless device to the brew button pads (Hobson, 2013).JTAG Hex Dump hacking example is the GoodFET that can easily activate a hex dump. The GoodFETdevice allows a hacker to peek at code presented on a chip and exploit it for hacking (Melgares, 2011).

Identify three (3) best practices that one should use to protect their computer(s) from being hacked.

Install a firewall- A firewall is a hardware or software that keeps hackers from accessing your computer. Hackers explore the Internet looking for weak networks to hack. They send out pings to numerous computers and wait for replies. Having a firewall prevents a computer from replying to indiscriminate pings as it impedes communications to and from unauthorized sources. For a firewall to be effectual, it needs to be set up correctly and updated frequently (Lee, Pak, Lee & Schapiro, 1999).

Use strong passwordsand keep them secure- Strong passwords that are difficult to guess will protect your device from hackers. A strong password should contain eight characters or more and should be made of special characters, numbers and letters. Hackers use software that uses the dictionary to crack passwords and therefore people should avoid using words that can be found in the dictionary as passwords (Lee, e.t. al., 1999).

Manage the browser and system- Hackers usually attack systems that are flawed. Putting security settings in your operative system and browser at intermediate or difficult keeps hackers out. Updating the system and the browser frequently and setting up automatic updates helps ensure that the system is always protected (Lee, e.t. al., 1999).

Analyze the significance of hacking in organizations and modern society 

Ethical Hacking provides Objective Evaluation- Ethical hacking provides an organization with unbiased analysis of its information security position. An organization cannot effectively assess its security position due to preceding knowledge regarding security details including infrastructure, weaknesses, and value of systems, which influences testing scope and leads to inaccurate results (Rodriguez & Martinez, 2013). Using ethical hacking helps the organization overcome such challenges.

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