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Hacking: What webmasters fail to do

By Charles Mgbolu
Recently, Cyberlife had reported that software giant, Microsoft, too had joined in the battle against cyberhackers who are currently successfully carrying out attacks on local websites owned by corporate organisations in the country.
The telecommunication and banking industry have been the worst hit by this menace due to its high dependence on the internet and it’s many online tools.

Web host experts took time to explain how these seemingly impossible fortresses (websites) built around highly technical and confidential site pools have succumbed to hackers. Victor Okeke, a systems analyst explained that websites and servers have several security systems that determine what kind of access each person visiting the site has. He said “the developer or owners of the site have passwords that gives them read and write access to their sites i.e. only they can both view files (read) and also change them (write). Everybody else has only read access.

This means that they can view your files, but they are never, ever supposed to be able to change them, delete them, or add new ones”. He said “A hack occurs when somebody gets through these security systems and obtains write access to your server, the same kind you as the developer or authorised user have”

Mrs Sarah Aniacholim, a website designer pointed out where most web developers have failed. She says: “The most important thing to do after a hack, isn’t repairing the damage that had been done, but finding out how the hacker had gotten in. Where was the fault in the fence? Which of the security codes had been compromised? If this is not ascertained and clearly dealt with, the hacker will visit again,” she said.

Patrick Isiakponam, head of IT at Systech explained that recent investigations have revealed that the real genius behind hacks have sometimes not been humans themselves but computers. He says “These hackers are able to set up a sequence that leaves networked computers attacking each other. They only need to break into the code of one of your computers from which they unleash the chain reaction and your networked computers do battle. Eventually, there’ll be a crack and the server will go down – you hear this sometimes in banking halls although not always for this reason. Credit sites may sometimes begin to work abnormally during this period. People have woken up to find their accounts credited or are suddenly able to load used recharge cards they had simply picked up from the floor.”

Victor says: “Since a lot is at stake here, site developers must not be lazy. They must take time to write thoroughly encrypted codes that would back up all of the organisation’s PCs. There must be no weak link in the chain.”


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