CRACK THE CODES

Popular Tools for Brute-force Attacks [Updated for 2019]

Ethical Hacking Training

Infosec Skills

The brute-force attack is still one of the most popular password cracking methods. Nevertheless, it is not just for password cracking. Brute-force attacks can also be used to discover hidden pages and content in a web application. This attack is basically “a hit and try” until you succeed. This attack sometimes takes longer, but its success rate is higher. In this article, I will try to explain brute-force attacks and popular tools used in different scenarios for performing brute-force attack to get desired results.

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What is a Brute-force attack?

Brute-force attack when an attacker uses a set of predefined values to attack a target and analyze the response until he succeeds. Success depends on the set of predefined values. If it is larger, it will take more time, but there is better probability of success. The most common and easiest to understand example of the brute-force attack is the dictionary attack to crack the password. In this, attacker uses a password dictionary that contains millions of words that can be used as a password. Then the attacker tries these passwords one by one for authentication. If this dictionary contains the correct password, attacker will succeed.

In traditional brute-force attack, attacker just tries the combination of letters and numbers to generate password sequentially. However, this traditional technique will take longer when the password is long enough. These attacks can take several minutes to several hours or several years depending on the system used and length of password.

To prevent password cracking by using a brute-force attack, one should always use long and complex passwords. This makes it hard for attacker to guess the password, and brute-force attacks will take too much time. Most of the time, WordPress users face brute-force attacks against their websites. Account lock out is another way to prevent the attacker from performing brute-force attacks on web applications. However, for offline software, things are not as easy to secure.

Similarly, for discovering hidden pages, the attacker tries to guess the name of the page, sends requests, and sees the response. If the page does not exist, it will show response 404 and on success, the response will be 200. In this way, it can find hidden pages on any website.

Brute-force is also used to crack the hash and guess a password from a given hash. In this, the hash is generated from random passwords and then this hash is matched with a target hash until the attacker finds the correct one. Therefore, the higher the type of encryption (64-bit, 128-bit or 256-bit encryption) used to encrypt the password, the longer it can take to break.

Reverse brute-force attack

A reverse brute-force attack is another term that is associated with password cracking. It takes a reverse approach in password cracking. In this, attacker tries one password against multiple usernames. Think if you know a password but do not have any idea of the usernames. In this case, you can try the same password and guess the different user names until you find the working combination.

Now, you know that Brute-forcing attack is mainly used for password cracking. You can use it in any software, any website or any protocol, which do not block requests after few invalid trials. In this post, I am going to add few brute-force password-cracking tools for different protocols.

Popular tools for brute-force attacks

Aircrack-ng

I am sure you already know about Aircrack-ng tool. This is a popular wireless password-cracking tool available for free. I also mentioned this tool in our older post on most popular password cracking tools. This tool comes with WEP/WPA/WPA2-PSK cracker and analysis tools to perform attack on WIFi 802.11. Aircrack NG can be used for any NIC, which supports raw monitoring mode.

It basically performs dictionary attacks against a wireless network to guess the password. As you already know, success of the attack depends on the dictionary of passwords. The better and effective the password dictionary is the more likely it is that it will crack the password.

It is available for Windows and Linux platforms. It has also been ported to run on iOS and Android platforms. You can try on given platforms to see how this tool works.

Download Aircrack-ng from this link: http://www.aircrack-ng.org/

John the Ripper

John the Ripper is another awesome tool that does not need any introduction. It has been a favorite choice for performing brute-force attack for long time. This free password-cracking software was initially developed for Unix systems. Later, developers released it for various other platforms. Now, it supports fifteen different platforms including Unix, Windows, DOS, BeOS, and OpenVMS. You can use this either to identify weak passwords or to crack passwords for breaking authentication.

This tool is very popular and combines various password-cracking features. It can automatically detect the type of hashing used in a password. Therefore, you can also run it against encrypted password storage.

Basically, it can perform brute-force attack with all possible passwords by combining text and numbers. However, you can also use it with a dictionary of passwords to perform dictionary attacks.

Download John the Ripper from this link: http://www.openwall.com/john/

Rainbow Crack

Rainbow Crack is also a popular brute-forcing tool used for password cracking. It generates rainbow tables for using while performing the attack. In this way, it is different from other conventional brute-forcing tools. Rainbow tables are pre-computed. It helps in reducing the time in performing the attack.

The good thing is that there are various organizations, which already published the pre-computer rainbow tables for all Internet users. To save time, you can download those rainbow tables and use in your attacks.

This tool is still in active development. It is available for both Windows and Linux and supports all latest versions of these platforms.

Download Rainbow Crack and read more about this tool from this link: http://project-rainbowcrack.com/

Cain and Abel

I am sure you have already heard the name of this password-cracking tool. It can help in cracking various kind of passwords by performing brute-forcing attacks, dictionary attacks, and cryptanalysis attacks. Cryptanalysis attacks are done by using the rainbow tables as mentioned in the previous tool.

It is worth to mention that some virus scanners detect it as malware. Avast and Microsoft Security Essentials report it as malware and block it in system. If it is in your system, you should first block your antivirus.

Its basic functions:

  • Sniffing the network
  • Cracking encrypted passwords using Dictionary
  • Brute-Force and Cryptanalysis attacks
  • Recording VoIP conversations
  • Decoding scrambled passwords
  • Recovering wireless network keys
  • Revealing password boxes
  • Uncovering cached passwords
  • Analyzing routing protocols.

The latest version of the tool has many features, and has added sniffing to perform Man in the Middle attacks.

Download Cain and Able from this link: http://www.oxid.it/cain.html

L0phtCrack

L0phtCrack is known for its ability to crack Windows passwords. It uses dictionary, brute-force, hybrid attacks, and rainbow tables. The most notable features of l0phtcrack are scheduling, hash extraction from 64 bit Windows versions, multiprocessor algorithms, and networks monitoring and decoding. If you want to crack the password of Windows system, you can try this tool.

Download L0phtCrack from this link: http://www.l0phtcrack.com/

Ophcrack

Ophcrack is another brute-forcing tool specially used for cracking Windows passwords. It cracks Windows password by using LM hashes through rainbow tables. It is a free and open-source tool. IN most of the cases, it can crack Windows password in few minutes. By default, Ophcrack comes with rainbow tables to crack passwords of less than 14 characters, which contains only alphanumeric characters. Other rainbow tables are also available to download.

Ophcrack is also available as LiveCD.

Download Ophcrack from this link: http://ophcrack.sourceforge.net/

Crack

Crack is one of the oldest password cracking tools. It is a password-cracking tool for the UNIX system. It is used to check weak passwords by performing dictionary attacks.

Download Crack by using this link: http://www.crypticide.com/alecm/software/crack/c50-faq.html

Hashcat

Hashcat claims to be the fastest CPU based password cracking tool. It is free and comes for Linux, Windows and Mac OS platforms. Hashcat supports various hashing algorithms including LM Hashes, MD4, MD5, SHA-family, Unix Crypt formats, MySQL, Cisco PIX. It supports various attacks including Brute-Force attack, Combinator attack, Dictionary attack, Fingerprint attack, Hybrid attack, Mask attack, Permutation attack, Rule-based attack, Table-Lookup attack and Toggle-Case attack.

Download Hashcat from this link: https://www.hashcat.net/

SAMInside

SAMInside is another popular password-cracking tool for cracking Windows OS passwords. It is similar to the Ophcrack and Lophtcrack tools. It claims to crack around 10 million passwords per second on a good computer. It supports various attacking methods including Mask attack, Dictionary attack, Hybrid attack and Attack with Rainbow tables. It supports over 400 hashing algorithms.

Download SAMInside from this link: http://www.insidepro.com/

DaveGrohl

DaveGrohl is a popular brute-forcing tool for Mac OS X. It supports all available versions of Mac OS X. This tool supports both dictionary attacks and incremental attacks. It also has a distributed mode that lets you perform attacks from multiple computers to attack on the same password hash. This tool is now open source and you can download the source code.

Download DaveGrohl from this link: https://github.com/octomagon/davegrohl

Ncrack

Nrack is also a popular password-cracking tool for cracking network authentications. It supports various protocols including RDP, SSH, http(s), SMB, pop3(s), VNC, FTP, and telnet. It can perform different attacks including brute-forcing attacks. It supports various platforms including Linux, BSD, Windows and Mac OS X.

Download Ncrack from this link: https://nmap.org/ncrack/

THC Hydra

THC Hydra is known for its ability to crack passwords of network authentications by performing brute-force attacks. It performs dictionary attacks against more than 30 protocols including telnet, ftp, http, https, smb and more. It is available for various platforms including Linux, Windows/Cygwin, Solaris 11, FreeBSD 8.1, OpenBSD, OSX and QNX/Blackberry

Download THC Hydra from this link: https://sectools.org/tool/hydra/

These are a few popular brute-forcing tools for password cracking. There are various other tools are also available which perform brute-force on different kinds of authentication. If I just give example of few small tools, you will see most of the PDF cracking, ZIP cracking tools use the same brute-force method to perform attacks and cracks passwords. There are many such tools available for free or paid.

BE SMARTER

HOW HACKING TRICKS CAN KEEP YOU OUT OF TROUBLE?

Modern phones are smarter than us, aren’t they? Loaded with infinite jaw dropping features like front and rear-facing cameras, facial and fingerprint recognition, heart pulse and health monitors and access to boundless apps galore, they are like oxygen to our lives. Some people are quick to learn the highly sophisticated smartphones of today but most of the devices are user-friendly enough to be praised for usability.

Not many people are aware of the plethora of smartphone features at their disposal. Even today’s tech-savvy people are unaware of every tip and hack in the book to get most from their device. But hacking into other’s device is even impossible to execute.

With the wealth of information available about technological breakthroughs, it has become even harder to hack into other devices. There are Android mobile tracker apps or some technical hacking methods to hack into others devices.

Plenty of tips and tricks are employed to hack into others devices but only a few are mastered through peculiar skills. Here I am presenting a few tried and tested methods that will change your relationship with your smartphone device.

Public WIFI Networks are Hacking Gateways!

Sneaking into a stranger’s smartphone through a public network is a hot opportunity. Usually people are connected through their home networks, but since internet is their holy grail they will always connect to public WIFI networks while they are out for shopping banking etc.

Hackers can easily swipe their personal information through these public WIFI networks which are open and easily penetrable. Hackers can spoof their personal and financial information. Besides Instant-messaging and other social media apps may contain security holes that allow hackers to sneak the targets personal data.

But there is a downside to this method, if a person has his cellular network or the network available is secure, there is no way one can access the smartphone for hacking.

Android Apps for Spying are in Vogue:

Android mobile tracker apps like xnspy are the new ‘cyber world order’ for spying. These apps have made hacking into smartphones easier than ever. The best solution to hacking is a spying app. Easier to use and implement, these apps are easily available with plenty of features to access the target’s information. They are loaded with features like no other hacking technique. I will elaborate only a few of their cool features:

Hack Text Messages: Android apps for spying can hack text messages so one can easily know who they are talking to and they even inform about time and location.

Monitor Social Networks: Hacking into individual social media accounts would be almost impossible, these apps can give a complete guide of social media activity on networks like Facebook, Tinder, WhatsApp, and Twitter.

Track GPS Location: These apps provide the location of the target through GPS of the phone. And also provide features like geo-fencing. This feature is very helpful for employers who are always concerned about making most of their employees’ time.

24/7 Alerts: Surveillance apps provide round the clock monitoring and they provide all the data to monitor the target’s activities. They have an easier to access dashboard that provides all the details.

Watch list: Spying apps like xnspy.com also offer a watchlist feature in which one can add the list of people to be monitored or any words. Watch list is another of their unique features that is helpful for not only hackers but also concerned parents. Parents can be alerted when a specific word or a person calls their children.

Phishing is a Hackers star trick!

Phishing is a usual and tried and tested way used by black hat hackers to steal or spoof your data. Easier to design and implement, phishing is the oldest of methods to hack into the smartphone devices. In this way a hacker designs a website that resembles the destination website. When the user click the duplicate website, it stores the user’s password and data.

Using specially crafted email messages to induce a recipient into divulging personal or financial information is the basis of a phishing attack – and hackers have improved on the technique by using social engineering to add an element of increased urgency into their lures.

Usually phishing websites are designed keeping the same outlook like the other website. The only catch is their domain. People are fooled by the domain and they end up clicking the wrong website. Boom!

BE A VIRUS VIRUS MASTER

HOW TO MAKE A VIRUS USING NOTEPAD, CMD AND C PROGRAMMING?

By Admin -May 15, 20171Share on FacebookTweet on Twitter

A computer is a basic need in today’s life. But Virus is like a monster who kills all your important files of PC. The virus is always a fear to PC’s owner. Every Virus is not intentional, some are created as a prank. Here, I will tell you How to make a virus using Notepad, CMD and C Programming.

Some of The ways which I am going to tell you can be used as a prank and others can be an attack. These virus attacks are only for educational purposes. I don’t motivate to create a virus, Just answering your question How to make a Virus?

Why are you creating Virus? 

First, let’s clear why are we making a computer virus, it is all up to you why are you making your virus. This can be just for a surprise for your friends or you can check your antivirus is working or not with these kinds of viruses. This post article is only for the informative purpose and I don’t want to harm anyone with my information. Read our Privacy and Policies page to know more about our tutorial articles.

Maybe You don’t know What really a Virus means and just want to know the answer of How to make a Virus. So first read What is a Virus?

What is a Virus in PC?

Technically, A Virus is a malicious coding which can destroy the programs in your PC and can harm PC in many ways. A Computer virus can spread from one system to other system but I will not provide these type of viruses. You can transfer it through messages on social media etc but I will advise you not to do this.

There are several ways of making a computer virus but some of them will destroy your computer or laptop completely and some don’t harm that much. In some ways of How to make a virus, the method just shuts off the system without any harm and other ways is pretty dangerous, I didn’t try this because I am not so clear about the consequences of some methods and don’t want to harm anyone with these methods.

So, without wasting more time Let’s starts our topic on how to make a virus.

Also Read: Win RAR And The Infinite 40-Day Trial. How they earn?

How to make a Virus Using Notepad

Method 1: This will shut down PC

Open the Notepad of your Windows.
Copy the code from this link and paste it in Notepad.

The “60” in the code is the time in seconds to shutdown the PC. You can change it to 1000 or 10000 to make this virus more harmful.Click on “save as” and save your file in .bat extension.

Click on “save as” and save your file in .bat extension.

How to make a virus

Change the save as type to .bat or .cmd and then click on save.

Note: These steps will not work in windows 7 pro.

The virus that we created doesn’t harm your system or any other system it just simply shutdowns your computer and this shutdown may lose any open and unsaved file. But the computer is not harmed at all. Then you can just turn on your system normally without any problem. These commands will work in all the windows except Windows 7 Pro.

You can delete this later by right-clicking on the shortcut and then click on open file location and then the old right click to delete.

When you run this file you can see a message like “Windows has encountered a fatal error and needs to shutdown“.

Method 2. This will crash the PC for temporary

First, open the Notepad and type the code which is present below and save it as the .bat file, as same that we do in the first method.

 %0|%0

This another code can help you to crash and jam any computer, so we are suggesting you to not to open this file on your system.

If you clicked on it by mistake, you can do one thing, open the computer and quick Press control + alt + delete which open Task Manager and now click on the process tab and find the saved file (.bat) then click on the END process button.

Method 3: This will crash PC permanently

This is really a dangerous virus because when someone clicks this then the PC will be shut down and the files related to restart & reboot will be deleted.

Simply, Copy this code from this link and paste it in Notepad. Save it with the .bat extension.

Method 4: The virus which will format all the drives.

This virus can format all the drives in just 3 seconds.

Don’t try this on your PC otherwise, you will fall into your hole.

Copy this code from this link and paste it in Notepad. Save the file with .bat extension.

In the, you have noticed that the drive letters are mentioned, If your victim has only one drive with letter “C” only then one line will work you. If your victim has more than three drives then add the fourth line in this code with that drive letter.

Also Read: 7 BEST VIDEO PLAYER FOR WINDOWS FOR BETTER WATCHING EXPERIENCE.

How to make a Virus using C++ or C?

If you are a pro programmer then you may know that We can create most harmful virus using C++ or JAVA.

Creating a Matrix is easy in C++ but Many programmers don’t know that this matrix can destroy a computer.

Copy this code from this link and paste it in Notepad and save it with .bat extension.

This is the most harmful virus. Don’t ever try this in your PC and Don’t use it to take a revenge from a person. Before using it, Read our Privacy and Policies.

Note: I am not providing the header files of this program. 
Think twice before running it and find header files ownself.

How to attack or prank someone with this Virus without getting in trouble?

First, Install an antivirus in your PC to not get dumped ownself.

Method 1: Spreading of Virus

Emails are the mostly used ways to spread a virus to someone. I’ll not suggest you to do this to harm someone. You can do it only as a prank.

Kindly notice that .bat files are not shareable on Emails, So convert it into a .zip format which is shareable and trustworthy.

Method 2: Create a Fake icon which force victim for Click

In further steps, I will change the icon of the files we made. So that no one can guess what the original file is.

  • Right-click on the desktop and create a shortcut.
How to make a virus
  • Choose the file that you saved in the above method and click on next.
How to make a virus
  • Give the shortcut a name which will be click bait for a victim like “My Computer”, So that your friend can easily click on it and click on finish.
How to make a virus

Now change the icon of the shortcut. Right click on the shortcut that you just created and click on properties.

And now choose the change icon button then there you see a list of items from where you can choose your desired icon and double click on Ok.

How to make a virus

I think finally, you got the answer to your question How to make a Virus? These are some ways to create a Virus. Apart of these ways, there are many ways also. But these are enough to prank someone. Again I am saying that these all methods of How to make a Virus is just to prank someone and for educational purposes. Any misuse done by these ways is not my responsibility.

ETHICAL HACKING

HOW TO BECOME A HACKER?

how to become a hacker

Well, I see a lot of my readers keep on asking me about how they can be into hacking. My answer to all of them is that you cannot really start it in a way to get hold of everything overnight. Honestly, there lies no secret to it.

A lot of newbies keep on asking questions like, “From where should i start learning to hack” or “how can i hack someone’s email or Facebook account”. Here, let me tell you that it all lies in the fact that you can only pursue this knowledge of hacking if you are fascinated about technology and want to learn more and more about it. Hacking is completely a skill and you shall be able to learn it only with time.

Besides, you need to have a mind that knows to experiment, you may fail many a times and there lies your challenge. No matter how many times you slip down, you would still need to hold your patience and continue working upon it.

Another important thing about it is that you need to have the knowledge about cyber ethics. I would never recommend you to do anything that violates the norms of cybersecurity. Thus, you must always follow the cyber ethics and values before actually jumping on to try out anything of that kind!

Breaking into the computer systems and phones as well as understanding the security mechanisms of the cyber network or the group of networks is popularly known as hacking. Well, before you actually take a long jump, read on till the end of this content piece to know what are the basically behind hacking.

Read: Top 9 Black Hat Hackers in the World

Start with understanding UNIX

These days, the entire hacking culture seems to be centered around UNIX. You may be able to operate the internet without knowing about UNIX like OS, the most popular of which in use is Linux. Other than that, there are BSD systems. However, to be a hacker, you ought to dip your toes into it at first. UNIX is the core of your hacking world and thus, it is extremely important that you have a complete knowledge about it before you actually proceed on to the next steps.

Learn to Write in HTML

This is a vital step in the process of becoming a hacker. If you do not have enough knowledge about programming, you need to learn that at first. Learning the basic HyperText Mark-Up Language (HTML) is crucial since whatever you see across the internet, starting from an image to that of a design component are coded using HTML.

Learn Programming

In order to start breaking the rules, which is the ultimate concept of hacking, at first, you need to learn the rules by heart and thus, comes the idea of programming. Python and JavaScript are C-based languages and could be a good deal to start with! You can also opt for Java and C++ languages. JavaScript, the the programming language of the web and PHP, the core language of UNIX are the ones you must be aware of thoroughly.

Think Artistically

In order to be a hacker, the first and the foremost thing that you need to keep in mind after you are done with ingesting all the basics as I stated above, you would now need to think in a creative way. However, at the same time, you need to make sure about the fact that you would be solving the issues around you that exists in the cyber world along with a mutual responsibility of maintaining the ethical values. You ought to think with all your intellect and exercise your intelligence in a conventional way.

You Must Love to Solve Problems

This world comprises of a lot of fascinating problems and it is all up to you how wonderfully you are able to tackle them. With so many problems around, you must not take a problem as it is, rather you must have the motif of experimenting out with it and finding the solution. That is what your spirit should be! If you think you are doing what you love to do, that is where you know that hacking is the right cup for you. You need to be creative in whatever you do. In case you feel down, you can always look up at some awesome pieces such as “Jargon File” or “Hacker Manifesto”. I know that they have turned out to be obsolete for the present generations in terms of technical issues but here, I am talking about them to let you know about the lively spirit and attitude that these books hold inside them.

Share the Secret or Method that You Find Within your Community

Inside the hacking community, you must have your acquaintances. There, you would definitely see hackers discussing about several things and problem solving techniques. It is important for you, too, to actively participate in that group. Talk to your fellow mates and follow their posts to see things and learn about the ones that you do not know. In the same way, if you have successfully managed to find out some new techniques, go on sharing them with the community members. There is nothing like you will be losing all your creative skills. Rather, it is more like earning respect and that is how a community works. If you have got a theory revealed, let everyone take a share of it. You can keep certain things secret, and that is totally up to you!

Write Open Source Software

This is an essential aspect of being a hacker. A potential hacker is the one who is capable of writing lengthy programs that can solve people’s issues and prove to be useful for the whole lot of people in the hacking culture. Spread information that are helpful and that is how you gain your popularity among the masses as well as sharpen your still along with!

Phishing using Shellphish

HOW TO INSTALL AND USE SHELLPHISH IN TERMUX.

Install and use shellphish.

NOTE: This article is only for an Educational purpose. Any actions or activities related to the material contained on this Website is solely your responsibility. Misuse of the information in this website can result in criminal charges brought against the persons in question. The Authors and http://www.andr0idunleashed.blogspot.com will not be held responsible in the event any criminal charges be brought against any individuals misusing the information in this website to break the law.

Requirements:
  • Termux from play store.
  • Mobile data / wifi connection.
  1. Type ‘ pkg install git ‘.
  2. Now type ‘ got clone https://github.com/thelinuxchoice/shellphish.git ‘.
  3. Last step is just type ‘ cd shellphish’ > ‘ bash shellphish.sh ‘.
  • Now simply select the website which you want to use as your phishing site, then choose between ngrok or server.io and share it with the victim.
  • You can also use url shortner to make it less suspicious, you can search on Google or you can use tinyURL.

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How to Secure Your Phone The best Way possible

How-To Geek

How to Make Android as Secure as Possible

Mobile security is a big deal, probably now more than ever. Most of us live on our phones, with financial information, calendar appointments, family photos, and more stored on our devices. Here’s how to keep your Android phone secure.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication On Your Google Account

A secure Android phone starts with a secure Google account, because that’s where all your synced data is stored—and the more Google services you use, the more crucial this step is.

If you haven’t already, start by enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) on your Google account. There are several options for that second factor, be it a simple text message (which is inherently the least secure of all 2FA methods, but still better than nothing) to adding a U2F key like Google’s Titan Key bundle.

You can find Google’s 2FA settings in My Account > 2-Step Verification (and you’ll have to sign in, of course). We also have a step-by-step guide on enabling the feature if you hit any snags.

But seriously, do that now if you haven’t already.

Also, while you’re poking around in your Google account settings, it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and run a security check. This lets you add or modify recovery phone numbers or email addresses, check recent security events, see what other devices are logged in (and remove them if necessary), and a lot more.

Use a Secure Lock Screen

If you’re not using a secure lock screen, it’s time to change that. This is your absolute first line of defense when it comes to keeping your phone safe.

While the process varies slightly between Android manufacturers and their various flavors of Android, the general gist is Settings > Security > Screen Lock. As I said, the details might vary slightly here, but that will get you in the ballpark. We also have a more detailed guide available should you need that.

And don’t forget to add your fingerprint if your phone has a scanner, too—here are a few tips to make it as accurate as possible.

Make Sure Find My Phone is On

Losing your phone is a gut-wrenching feeling, so you also want to make sure you have a way to track it and, worse case scenario, remotely reset your phone if there’s no chance of getting it back.

Fortunately, Google has a tracking system in place for Android phones. It’s called Find My Phone, and it should be enabled by default on all modern Android phones. To double check, jump into Settings > Google > Security > Find My Phone.

If you ever lose your phone or it gets stolen, you can fire up the closest web browser and search Google for “Find My Phone” and remotely locate your lost device. We have a closer look at everything you can do with Find My Phone if you’re interested in that, too.

Disable “Unknown Sources” and Developer Mode

If you’ve tinkered with your phone in the past, you might have enabled something called “Unknown Sources” (or “Install Unknown Apps” on newer versions of Android). This setting allows you to install apps that are not from the Google Play Store—a process called “sideloading.” And while Oreo made strides to make this a more secure feature, it can still be inherently dangerous to leave enabled.

To improve security, you should disable this feature. On pre-Oreo (8.0) versions of Android, you can do this easily in Settings > Security > Unknown Sources. On Oreo (8.0) and Pie (9.0) you’ll need to disable this feature on a per-app basis, but you can find everything that has access to the feature in Settings > Apps > Special Access > Install Unknown Apps.

Similarly, if you’ve ever enabled Developer Mode for any reason but don’t actively rely on any features, go ahead and disable it. Jump into Settings > Developer Option and slide the toggle at the top to the off position.

Note: On Android Pie (9.0), you can find Developer Options at Settings > System > Developer Options.

Things Google Already Does to Make Sure Your Phone is Secure

It’s not just your responsibility to make sure your phone is secure—Google also does some things to make sure that its system is buttoned up tight.

Google Play Protect

Starting with Android 8.0 (Oreo), Google baked in a feature named Play Protect. This is an always-on, always-scanning cloud-based security system that keeps an eye on apps in the Play Store and on your device. It aims to keep malicious apps at bay—including fake apps—and can even scan apps that you sideload.

To see Play Protect’s settings, head to Settings > Google > Security > Play Protect. You can make sure it’s turned on (and it should be), as well as enable app scanning for side-loaded applications.

On-Device Encryption

In the earliest days of Android, encryption wasn’t even an option. Google added it later, though you had to enable it manually, and that was a hassle. These days, Android is encrypted by default on all modern devices, and you can’t turn it off.

This means that all the sensitive data on your phone is stored in an unreadable, scrambled state upon boot and isn’t decrypted until you enter your password, PIN, or passcode.


Keeping your phone secure isn’t difficult—take a few minutes to check and enable a few settings, and you’ll always have the peace of mind that your phone is as secure as it can be should it ever get lost or stolen.

Image Credit: HAKINMHAN/shutterstock.comCAMERON SUMMERSON
Cameron Summerson is How-To Geek’s Senior Editor. He’s been covering technology for nearly a decade and has written over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times. READ FULL BIO »

More from How-To Geek:

How to Use Your Smartphone as a Mouse, Keyboard, and Remote Control for Your PC

Understanding the Load Average on Linux and Other Unix-like Systems

Can Anyone Really Track My Phone’s Precise Location?FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

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How Safe Is Online Banking

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Is banking on your smart phone safe?

In this guideIf you live life on the move, mobile banking can seem like an ideal way to keep track of your finances. But is it a safe way to manage your money?

Is it safe?

Banking using your smart phone gives you direct access to your bank accounts. But it also means your account could be open to anyone who manages to access your phone.

Most banks provide apps that let you manage your money via your mobile. Others only allow smart phone users to log into a full version of their internet banking site.Are newer phones safer?Are text updates safe?

Do you need antivirus for your smart phone?

Mobile viruses and worms are likely to become more sophisticated and a greater threat. If you plan to use your smartphone for banking on a regular basis then antivirus software adds an extra level of protection.

Most major antivirus providers offer dedicated smartphone security packages. These monitor background activity on your phone to stop viruses compromising your personal data.

You can get free antivirus software with many broadband deals. You can compare broadband here if you need a new package.

Does your bank offer antivirus software?

Some banks now offer specific software to tackle the threat of mobile fraud. This is aimed at providing an extra security level to protect you from any virus or Trojan attack.

Does your bank make mobile banking safe?

Most mobile banking apps do not store your bank details directly on your phone, but instead access it from a secure data centre.

This means your mobile itself will never hold your personal bank information. Banks can also protect you with refunds if your account is compromised through your phone.

Check your bank fights mobile fraud

Find out if your bank will refund any losses you incur if you fall victim to mobile fraud. Most UK banking institutions will refund any losses if you have taken reasonable care and not misused the service .

However, most banks do not state a policy on guarantees against fraud when you access internet banking from your smart phone. If you have any doubt as to where you stand then you should contact your bank to check before logging on.

If your bank offers no guarantees or their protection is unsuitable, you could switch to a new account.Compare current accounts to find a better one and switch

Is it actually worth it?

Standard mobile banking applications let you:

  • View account balances
  • View mini statements
  • Transfer money between your own accounts

This means it is easy to check the activity on your account but less easy to take money out.

Some dedicated mobile banking apps also let you send money to existing recipients you have set up using the bank’s online banking service. This means you can send money out of your account to pre authorised recipients but not to any bank account.

Logging in to your online banking

Using your smart phone to access the online banking facility on your bank’s website lets you perform the same functions as if you were logging onto your PC in your living room.

While this opens you up to the same risks, it does provide you with easier access to your account and means you will be quicker to spot any fraudulent transactions and report them should you fall victim.

If you take the necessary security measures, there is no reason to think the banking via your smart phone is any less secure than any other means of accessing your accounts.

If it means you check your finances on a more regular basis, then that has got to be a good thing.

What happens if your phone is lost or stolen?

Contact your mobile network provider as soon as possible. They can then block the phone to make it unusable.

As long as your passcode or log in details are still secure then whoever has your phone would not be able to access your mobile banking.Does mobile phone insurance cover this?

Can you make your phone more secure?

To reduce your chances of falling victim to fraud when you bank online via your smart phone you should:

  • Only download mobile applications directly from your bank – they are free to use and you can download without any reservations about the software.
  • Download any free security software provided by the bank.
  • Install quality security software. Often if you have it installed there is a remote deletion option that means you can delete any data stored on the phone if you discover it is lost or stolen.
  • Set up your smart phone to be more secure. Use a PIN or password to lock your phone when you are not using it.
  • Make sure your phone’s browser does not automatically input your passwords or usernames for you.
  • Switch off the Bluetooth function on your mobile when it is not in use. This will stop any unmonitored wireless activity on your phone. You can take this further and avoid accessing your bank accounts from public networks, if you are happy to restrict where you log on.
  • Delete any text messages from your bank when no longer needed, so that any information they have sent to you is not sat in your inbox.

Avoid ‘jail-breaking’ your iPhone

This is where you modify your iPhone to allow the installation of unofficial applications that have not been approved by the provider.

Doing this removes certain security features that protect your phone from remote access. There are already worms that take advantage of ‘unlocked’ smart phones which target online banking data.

Look out for scammers

There are people out there who are trying to take advantage of mobile banking to scam you and get access to your money.

Banks will never ask for your mobile banking passwords or log in details by phone, text or email, so any contact you receive asking for this information is likely to be a scam.

If you are suspicious in any respect then contact your bank to check if they have tried to contact you.Written by Martin, Managing EditorUpdated on 17th September 2018More from MartinCompare current accountsNew bank accounts are launched all the time, so compare all of the best options to make sure you get the right one for your circumstances.

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The Best Hackers of all time

Best Hackers

10 Best Hackers The World Has Ever Known

By Siddhi Palande, June 23rd 2014

In the world of web where we get the global connectivity, it is far easier to break into someone’s personal zone. By personal, we do not just mean the social media. The world wide web which has become the hub of storing and restoring information, considered to be the safest vault, is a mere toy in the hands of a few computer geniuses. Hackers, Black Hat Hackers, villains, crackers, cyber-criminals, cyber pirates as they are well-known, throw a malicious software or virus at a system to gain the access to the desired information. Piqued by curiosity, they may perhaps break into your system too. Here are top 10 hackers or the whiz kids who put the world in awe with their dexterity.

1. Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon must’ve been a curious, restless child, for to gain information on UFOs, he thought it better to get a direct access into the channels of NASA. He infiltrated 97 US military and NASA computers, by installing virus and deleting a few files. All the efforts to satisfy his curiosity, but, alas, curiosity killed the cat. It was soon found that McKinnon was guilty of having hacked the military and NASA websites from his girlfriend’s aunt’s house in London. While entering and deleting the files from these websites wasn’t enough, McKinnon thought of shaming the security forces by putting out a notice on the website that said, “Your security is crap.” Well, looks like McKinnon was something, if he could shut down the US Military’s Washington Network of about 2000 computers for 24 hours, making the hack, the biggest military computer hack of all time!

2. LulzSec

LulzSec or Lulz Security, a high profile, Black Hat hacker group, gained credentials for hacking into Sony, News International, CIA, FBI, Scotland Yard, and several noteworthy accounts. So notorious was the group that when it hacked into News Corporations account, they put across a false report of Rupert Murdoch having passed away. While the group claims to have retired from their vile duties, the motto of the group, “Laughing at your security since 2011!” stays alive. There are assertions of the group having hacked into the websites of the newspapers like The Times and The Sun to post its retirement news. Many, however, claim that this group had taken it upon itself to create awareness about the absence of efficient security against hackers.

3. Adrian Lamo

Adrian Lamo decided to switch careers when he realized the potentials of his skills. He became a news when he hacked into Yahoo!, Microsoft, Google, and The New York Times. This, although culminated into his arrest, it later helped him gain the batch of an American Threat Analyst. A guy who would hack into top-notch accounts sitting in the spacious and comforting cafeterias, libraries, internet cafes, soon turned Wikileaks suspect Bradley Manning over to FBI. While Manning was arrested for leaking several hundred sensitive US government documents, Lamo went hiding or should we presume, undercover?

4. Mathew Bevan and Richard Pryce

Targeting the over-sensitive nerves, what Mathew Bevan along with his alleged partner Richard Pryce did, could have triggered great many issues between USA and North Korea. The duo hacked the US military computers and used it as a means to infiltrate the foreign systems. The crucial contents of Korean Atomic Research Institute were dumped into USAF system. However, the contents were majorly relevant to South Korea and hence, less volatile. But this, nonetheless, could have led to a huge international issue.

5. Jonathan James

The first juvenile to be imprisoned for a cyber-crime at the age of 16, Jonathan James or better known as c0mrade, hacked into Defense Threat Reduction Agency of US department. Further, he installed a sniffer that scrutinized the messages passed on between the DTRA employees. Not only did he keep a check on the messages being passed around, in the process, he collected the passwords and usernames and other such vital details of the employees, and further even stole essential software. All this cost NASA to shut down its system and to pay from its pocket $41,000. c0mrade, however, had a bitter ending as James committed suicide in 2008.

6. Kevin Poulsen

How far would you go to win your dream car or a dream house? How far will you go to win an online contest or a radio show contest? Perhaps, you shall keep trying your luck, unless you are Kevin Poulsen! Poulsen infiltrated a radio shows call-in contest just so he could win a Porsche. Dark Dante, as he was better known, went underground after FBI started pursuing him. He, later, was found guilty of seven counts of mail, wire and computer fraud, money laundering and the likes. What turned out to be rewarding in Dark Dante’s case is – his past crafted his future. Poulsen now serves as a Senior Editor at Wired.

7. Kevin Mitnick

Clad in an Armani suit, when a bespectacled face in his mid-40s smiles at you from the computer screen, you can hardly consider the man a cyber-criminal. Such is the case with Kevin David Mitnick. Once upon a time, the most wanted cyber-criminal of US, now is an affluent entrepreneur. Kevin, who is now a security consultant, was convicted of hacking Nokia, Motorola and Pentagon. He pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud that included wire fraud, computer fraud and of illegally interception a wire communication. After five years of incarceration that included eight months of solitary confinement, Mitnick now has started afresh. However, his knack with the computers is still reminisced and was even depicted on celluloid in the films Takedown and Freedom Downtown.

8. Anonymous

The concept of being a “digital Robin Hood” was far from being conceived, but in the computer age, it is very likely that someone somewhere has bagged this title. A “hacktivist group” called Anonymous are known with the penname of being the “digital Robin Hood” amongst its supporters. Identified in public by wearing a Guy Fawkes Masks, Anons, as they are widely known, have publicized themselves by attacking the government, religious and corporate websites. The Vatican, the FBI, the CIA, PayPal, Sony, Mastercard, Visa, Chinese, Israeli, Tunisian, and Ugandan governments have been amongst their targets. Although, Anons have been arguing whether to engage in a serious activism or a mere entertainment, many of the group members have clarified their intent which is to attack internet censorship and control.

9. Astra

Astra, a Sanskrit word for weapon was the penname of a hacker who dealt in the weapon stealing and selling. A 58-year-old Greek Mathematician hacked into the systems of France’s Dassault Group, stole vulnerable weapons technology data and sold it to different countries for five long years. While the real identity of the ASTRA remains untraced, officials have said that he had been wanted since 2002. Astra sold the data to approximately 250 people from around the globe, which cost Dassault $360 millions of damage.

10. Albert Gonzalez

TC mark

How safe is internet banking? When we browse through the profile of this mastermind, we are certain that one ought to use the World Wide Web with immense care. For two long years, Albert Gonzalez, stole from credit cards of the netizens. This was recorded to be the biggest credit card theft in the history of mankind. He resold approximately 170 million credit cards and ATM numbers. He did so by installing a sniffer and sniffing out the computer data from internal corporate networks. When arrested, Gonzalez was sentenced to 20 years in Federal prison. 

Who is a Security Hacker

security hacker is someone who explores methods for breaching defenses and exploiting weaknesses in a computer systemor network. Hackers may be motivated by a multitude of reasons, such as profit, protest, information gathering,[1] challenge, recreation,[2] or to evaluate system weaknesses to assist in formulating defenses against potential hackers. The subculture that has evolved around hackers is often referred to as the computer underground.[3]

There is a longstanding controversy about the term’s true meaning. In this controversy, the term hacker is reclaimed by computer programmers who argue that it refers simply to someone with an advanced understanding of computers and computer networks,[4] and that cracker is the more appropriate term for those who break into computers, whether computer criminal (black hats) or computer security expert (white hats).[5][6] A 2014 article concluded that “… the black-hat meaning still prevails among the general public”.[7

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