What Can Hackers Do With Open Ports?

Life today has become more automated as the world is becoming completely evolved in a digital phase. As much as it is beneficial in many ways, it also introduces new threats in society. Before this, burglars are the only people you will look out for and protect your belongings from but now, there is a different type of burglar that is more cunning and sometimes faceless, hackers.

Hacking is a threat to anyone’s digital system and network. Security hackers aim to breach the defenses of a computer system to be able to invade it. That is why it is important to secure your systems to keep hackers out.

Hackers have several techniques to get into a network but usually, they enter through open ports. Know about what they are, why they are targeted, and how to secure them.

What Can Hackers Do With Open Ports

What Are Open Ports And Why Are They Significant? 

When you hear the word port, you can easily assume that it is the hole at the sides of a device like an Ethernet port or USB ports. But there are also virtual ports that are important online. Virtual ports are the pathways that communication goes through over the internet.

There are open and closed ports. Open ports mean these are used while closed ones are free. Ports need to be open to being able for networks to function properly. When a port is closed, it would not be able to send the appropriate information correctly.

Why Do Hackers Attack Open Ports?

They say open ports are dangerous. It is true in a way. If you search the internet, you would find a lot of search results suggesting this but they are really not naturally harmful to the system.

As stated above, they are needed for the smooth transmission of data. However, they raise risks and can make a computer network vulnerable because of misconfigured servers and low security.

Since the ports are open, hackers can take advantage of your system and do several types of exploitation:

1. Spread Virus

Hackers can spread malware infection through an open port. What’s dangerous about this is that they can easily enter necessary open ports without initial detection. Companies and institutions are always on the lookout for this kind of threat which is becoming very popular.

2. Crash Servers

Computer systems should have security to fight against hacks. However, depending on the level of security and the expertise of the hacker, a computer system can fall and crash. It could malfunction or be totally unusable.

3. Share And Revise Vulnerable Data

Data privacy is a hot issue since almost everyone’s personal and important data are now online. With vulnerable servers, confidential data can be released or taken. New information can also be planted within the server. Hackers can edit your data and add in an unauthenticated file that can mislead users and disrupt the system.

You can use NordVPN or other virtual private service providers to minimize your online traffic and mask your IP address so it would not be easy to find you. There are several ways offered to protect your data.

How To Protect Open Ports From Being Hacked?

Hackers can scan your networks and look for open ports to infiltrate. It is vital that you know how to protect your system from getting hacked and protect your network. Here are three steps you can follow to secure your virtual ports:

How To Protect Open Ports From Being Hacked

1.   Check Opened Ports

The first thing you need to do is a port scan. Port scanning is like knocking on someone’s door to see if anyone is home. It is done to know whether there are open ports. You will also be able to check if these ports are sending or receiving data.

2.   Understand Ports

Before you are able to close ports, you need to be familiar with them. The usual open ports are:

  • FTP
  • SSH
  • Telnet
  • SMTP
  • DNS
  • DHCP
  • HTTP
  • POP3
  • IMAP

Not all ports need to be opened for your network to work so know what ports are needed to be used and how they affect your server. While figuring out your port usage, you will also identify their protocols and processes.

You can locate threats when you know how the ports work. It helps to protect your system when you learn them because once you find a different process or protocol, you are alerted of a possible threat in your system.

3.   Know Which Are At Risk

The last step you can do to protect your system is by closing opened ports that are at risk. There are platforms that can be used in closing ports. It is easier to close them by knowing which ones are connected to threats.

Since you know which ports are needed to be open and which are unnecessary to be open, you can now close them to increase protection without compromising the system’s ability to function.

It is scary to think that there could be a threat lurking in your computer. It is understandable because it is not visible. People use technology so freely that they tend to forget that without the proper precautions they may be endangering themselves.

Hackers can put viruses through open ports that can lead to your systems crashing. Your data is also vulnerable because hackers can release private data to the public. The things they could do are alarming but all these can be prevented.

It is important to educate yourself about the risk of going online. By knowing the possible damages done by a hacker to your system, you can prepare your computer system. You can follow the three steps to secure your ports: check for open ports, understand their usage and process, and close ports. You can also sweep your digital footprint with private platforms.

Hackers have the knowledge to breach your system. It would be wise to also equip yourself. You can hire information technology experts to strengthen your networks and check your ports. Take care of your computer systems and protect them from hackers.