Hacking viruses are malicious programs that allow you to control the computer system remotely, steal personal information, and more. They are spread via peer-to-peer networks, emails and websites that offer the ability to download content. You can prevent a hacking attack by ensuring you update your software, avoiding downloading from unreliable sources, and staying clear of vulnerable networks.

Hacking viruses are utilized by cybercriminals for a variety reasons. They may want to infect computers with keystroke loggers which record every word that a device user typed, giving the perpetrator everything they need to steal their identity and gain access to bank accounts, credit card information and other valuable data. Or, they could make use of a compromised computer as part of a system known as a botnet which can be used to send spam emails or launch attacks on other devices.

A virus may also be programmed to take over the functionality of a device, by changing the homepage of the device or redirecting search queries to an undesired web site or reversing the results returned by popular search engines. This type of hacking is referred to as a backdoor virus.

Hackers who were fascinated by finding low-tech methods to evade secure telecommunications systems as well as expensive long distance calls were historically called phreaks. Phreak is a combination of the words freak and phone. The majority of people who fall victim to hacking viruses are not involved either with telecommunications or the tinkering of with technology. They are the unfortunate victims of malicious hackers who exploit weaknesses in security systems built into them to snoop on sensitive personal information as well as disrupt others’ regular computer usage and inflict financial damage on those they are targeting.

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