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Hacking of a computer
From one day to the next, the space available on your computer hard drive has been halved and yet you have done nothing. It could be that a hacker has infiltrated your computer and set up a pirate site.
Your web traffic increases dramatically but you have changed nothing. A hacker may be using your computer to send out spam or attack other computers.
An individual computer can be hacked via ADSL or Wi-Fi connections depending on the security of these two access points. In order to minimise the risk of having your computer hacked, you should begin by updating your antivirus regularly and scanning your computer often. Monitoring the entry points can considerably reduce the risk of having your computer hacked.
Remember that the faster you act, the greater your chance of saving your data. If you are in any doubt, call CyberDetective immediately on +33(0) 493 385 798.
Hacking of a website
When a hacker infiltrates a website, it is generally for two reasons: to obtain confidential information or to set up a pirate site.
Your website has been defaced (the homepage has been replaced):
This is the least serious but most readily visible kind of attack and has three possible sources:
- Script kiddies simply seeking to prove that they were able to deface a site.
- An employee or former employee seeking revenge (a very common motive for such attacks).
- Hackers :
- The origin could be also a question of politics where the hackers disagree with the political principles set out on the site.
- The motives could be economic with the hackers seeking to damage the image of the company or organisation under attack.
- The reasons may be personal where someone has a vendetta against the victim.
N.B.: hacking does not always result in defacement of a site, and this is in fact rarely the case! Certain types of hacking can therefore go unnoticed for some time, and in some cases almost indefinitely. In any case, it reveals the presence of one or more security problems that must be addressed.
Your website has been hacked:
- There may be several motives for this, but the longer it takes to rectify this situation the more critical it can become, since you are held legally responsible for the content of your site. Your database has been ransacked. You must ask yourself how critical the stolen information was and act accordingly.
- A pirate site has been installed. Generally, the hacker's aim is to turn your site into a platform to diffuse reprehensible content (paedophile material, diffusion of films, etc.).
- The server acts as a base for attacks via the hacked site or for the set-up of phishing sites.
- You should analyse the content of your system to assess the degree of damage done and then switch off your computer and touch nothing. Contact the police, who will tell you what to do.
- Back up your website and all data in your database regularly.
- Set a hierarchical access policy for your server. Not everyone should be allowed to update data on the server and a hierarchical order should be respected.
- Check the security of your site regularly, particularly when carrying out important updates.
- Monitor your website traffic, which should not increase tenfold in two days, unless you know the origin of this increase (e.g. commercial operations, etc).
- Check your log files regularly.
- Check the size of the site on your server regularly. Any increase in size without you doing anything indicates that something untoward has occurred!
Depending on your skill level, you can also counterattack, but be aware that hackers can respond in two ways. Either they detect the counterattack and quit the site without trace, or else they view your counterattack as a challenge and increase their threat, in which case the outcome will depend on your own skills.
Filing a police report
If you can prove that you have been hacked, either unaided or with the help of a computer consultant, you should report the matter to police. There is a vast array of legal measures in France to combat cyber crime (see “What the laws says”).
This action is especially recommended if someone has attempted to set up a pirate site (paedophilia, pornography, warez downloads, attack sites, etc.), which will avoid you being personally regarded as a hacker/pirate.
Before you file a police report, you should create the most complete possible file including:
- estimated damage and financial loss,
- any information you have obtained about the attack and the hacker.
You should write as complete a letter as possible describing the hacking attack.
Where to file your report
- In Paris and the Paris region, you should contact the BEFTI (Brigade for the Investigation of Information Technology Fraud) at 163 avenue d'Italie, Paris (Tel.: 01 40 79 67 50).
- In the provinces, you should contact the SRPJ (Regional Judicial Police Department) and ask to speak to the Special Computer Crime Inspector.
Hacking of a server
Hacking into a server involves penetrating the computer by means of specific attacks such as “denial of service” or “attacks on ports” in order to enter the computer system and take over full control.
If the hacker succeeds, he will have complete control over the server and thus over all websites, databases and information contained therein. The owner is entirely responsible for the server.
If your site is hosted by an outside company, the host will be responsible for it. However, if you host your own site, it is you who is responsible.
Always remember that the faster you act, the better your chance of protecting your data. If you have any doubts, call CyberDetective immediately on +33 (0) 493 385 798.