This chapter has discussed non-invasive ways that hackers use to disable or to disrupt target systems. Whether they use fake connection flooding, buffer overflow crashing, or DNS spoofing, hackers can make your life miserable. Furthermore, although these types of attacks do not let the hacker in, they might be used in conjunction with other attacks to gain unauthorized access. For example, a hacker could hammer at your firewall, conceivably keeping the firewall so busy trying to sort data that it is rendered useless. This could theoretically enable a hacker full access to your system.
Statistically, a hacker is more likely to use your computer as a slave to attack other machines, rather than as a target itself. However, this is little consolation. Many users would prefer to face a frontal attack rather than be a slave. Fortunately, you now have the knowledge to understand what is going on behind the scenes. The following chapters will build upon this knowledge and will enable you to effectively defend yourself.
There are many ways a hacker can gain access to a computer or network. Hackers use physical attacks, buffer overflows, and more to penetrate our networks. If you are using a wireless network, you are even more at risk than a wired network because your information is sent out over the airwaves, which almost anyone can access.