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If Hacking Were A Sport…

If Hacking Were A Sport…

I often get asked to compare hacking to things to make it an easier to understand. And I get it, it’s a hard subject to wrap your head around. Many people think it’s acne-riddled teens in their parents basements staying up till all hours checking out cat videos, breaking into websites and posting on forums about some new script they found. And while there are some like this in the hacking community, many are adults who have day jobs, and live lives you’d never think would lead them down the road to being hackers.

That being said, most people think of hacking still in the wrong terms. People watch shows like CSI, NCIS, and movies like Hackers, the Matrix trilogy and many others, and believe that all it takes is two or three keyboard buttons here, a couple mouse clicks there, and voila! you’re in. That couldn’t be further from the case. It takes hours, sometimes days of effort to find that one, almost invisible backdoor, vulnerability, or exploit you can use to get in. If I were to equate hacking to a sport, I’d say it was most like a game of Quidditch from the Harry Potter series.

Yes you heard me right. Think about it, each team can score all the points they want to get to 100 points (the required number to win a game of Quidditch for all the non-Potterheads out there), but the instant someone catches the Golden Snitch, which (as described in the books) is wicked fast, damn near impossible to see, and even harder to catch, that team wins the game by default. And so it is with hacking, since after all the searching a hacker does, despite the efforts of security experts, firewalls, antivirus programs, and whatever other defenses a computer, server, network, or website may have, all it takes is for the hacker to be successful once in order for them to “win” and gain entry into an unauthorized system.

That’s why it’s so important to have an expert Ethical Hacker or Pen Tester come in and secure your systems. They’re looking for all the Golden Snitches in your systems, then telling you how to catch them, patch up your systems, so that the hackers can no longer gain entry into your system and wreak all sorts of havoc, steal all your money, ruin your reputation, and force your business, which you’ve worked so hard to build up, to close.