The Norman Transcript


February 2, 2014

What do hackers do, anyway?



Usually, malicious hacking is done by trickery — either by tricking a computer into misbehaving, thereby giving the hacker access to previously inaccessible areas, or tricking a computer user into clicking on the wrong thing, thereby allowing the hacker access to password-protected accounts and opening the door to installing viruses designed to secretly control computers from afar.

In the case of the Target hack, evidence indicates that hackers managed to trick a Target-connected computer, or someone using a Target-connected computer, into giving up their user ID and password, which allowed the bad guys to sign in and access Target’s entire US-based private network.

Once inside, they installed software designed to steal credit card information, facilitating the biggest theft of credit card information in world history.

The best way to keep your computer from being tricked is to make sure its operating system and programs are current and updated.

Updates close the door on criminal hackers and are not to be ignored. Top-quality antivirus programs also are essential to computer safety.

To keep yourself from being tricked by the Internet bad guys, you must learn the difference between the counterfeit and the genuine. Learning when to click, and when not to click, is vital to your overall Internet security posture. The idea, “Educate thyself,” has never been more critical.

To learn more about “hackers” and how to avoid being tricked, call the Norman Public Library at 701-2697 and sign up for my free, one-night-only class called “Fight the Internet Bad Guys and Win.”

If you are willing to invest 90 minutes of your time at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 12, you will learn more about computer safety and Internet security than you have in your entire computing life.

Dave Moore has been performing computer consulting, repairs, security and networking in Oklahoma since 1984. He also teaches computer safety workshops for public and private organizations. He can be reached at 919-9901 or

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