Port Scanners – How Hackers Get into Your Computers

http://www.ligattsecurity.net – A port scanner searches your computer for open doors. Your computer has thousands of these doors called ports that essentially let information flow into and out of your system. While there are tens of thousands of these ports, there are only about a thousand that are used most often. Many aren’t used at all and these can constitute open ports, or open doors right into your computer for someone with a little computer hacking know-how.

Sometimes it’s your computer itself that leaves these doors open and vulnerable to a port scanner. A browser may leave ports open, some programs may do so and even your operating system can leave your system vulnerable through open ports. Many of the updates you download to various software that contain something called patches are designed to close ports that it’s been discovered the software previously left open.

Computer hacking can take advantage of any ports that are left open. They’ll use these open doors to get into your computer and do all sorts of things that will cost you money, problems and time. Port scanners are software applications that they use to quickly test your machine for open doors. If an open port is found and you have no firewall network security to prevent entry, then the hacker can get into your system and run a program like a virus, spyware or other software to steal information from your computer or spy on you. Someone with the right knowledge could also disable your computer and essentially corrupt the OS, making it unusable.

How can you find these open doors to your information and close them? You need to run a port scanner yourself or have someone with the knowledge to do so. But you can’t just choose anyone to test your computer. They’ll essentially be doing computer hacking, but by permission. Still, they can take advantage of the same information you have on your computer as someone who port scans you from across the Internet and decides to steal from you or otherwise cause problems.

Someone who does this type of vulnerability check for a living would be your best bet. Or you can by port scanner software and run the tests yourself. You can also find online port scans, but these pose a risk, too. If you’re not 100% sure of the source, don’t do it. Computer hacking sometimes takes on the guise of helping you avoid getting hacked, because it’s a sure way into your system. Look into the company or individual offering port scanning to help you secure your system before you allow them to do so.  It’s best to make sure the company has a well-known name in Internet and computer security.

. by Gregory Evans