Wednesday, 6 May 2015

How Can A Friend Hack You?

Hacking one's account is not as easy as those portrayed in the movies like tapping away on a keyboard and viola, the username and password is cracked. It needs more than the hacker's keystrokes. It also needs the victim's participation.

If  any of our online accounts is compromised, we blame it to a virus that managed to sneak into our device and revealed our user name and  password to hackers. And usually, this problem is brought about by downloading programs that are bundled with malwares that exploit backdoors for viruses to gain access in the computer undetected by antivirus.

Or a socially engineered post where the hacker set loose usually into the social media, specially FB, that can persuade a user to reveal his user name and password by making him log in again just  to see the controversial post's content.

But little did we know that we can also be hacked by a friend.  Yes, any of our friends can hack us under this three minimum conditions.

  1. You let the computer save your credentials when you log in.
  2. Your friend has borrowed or used  your laptop, with or without your knowledge.
  3. Your widows profile doesn't have a password or you let him use your he your windows password.

How can a friend easily do this?


If you have saved your user name and password when the browser asked you to, then this is a possibility. Because the saved detail is not hidden from the world. Although it is substituted by asterisk or cloaking characters when it is accessed, the value can still be revealed in a single click. 

Chrome


For chrome users, he just need to type  chrome://settings/passwords in the search bar, highlight and click the saved website, then click show(1).

Gle chromeoog would ask him to enter the user's windows password. If  this user has a password and he doesn't know then he can not access it, but if it doesn't, then clicking OK(2) will reveal (3)it.


The same with other browsers, there is an access button on all saved passwords. although some of them do not ask for the windows profile password which is not a good thing. Here's how to extract passwords from other browsers.

 Firefox


Clicking the menu button New Fx Menu will bring you to the menu window, click options(4) to get to security(5). The saved passwords button(6) will show the user names(7) and the websites it is used.




The show password (8) will add another column for passwords and reveals the hidden item (9)without another challenge or another layer of security like asking for windows password. This is a security concern when using this browser.


Opera


The same with chrome, this browser will ask you for a windows password when you want to reveal the password. In it's address bar type opera://settings/passwords (10) to get you to the relevant page. Click Privacy and Security(11)>Manage saved password(12), the saved username and the sites that is used are listed(13). Highlight the website you want to know the password(14) and click show. A security feature calls for the windows user password to be entered(15), and if there's no user password, clicking the OK button will show the cloaked password just the same.




Last Words.


Now you know where your saved passwords go when you let your computer "remember" your log in. Sometimes we do not realize the importance of a windows user password specially when we create it as a regular profile. In reality, that password could be a life saver againsts naughty friends or anybody who wants to play trick on your passwords and logins. Also keep in mind that not all browsers are equal in terms of security and in how they handle sensitive data like passwords.

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