15 tricks to hold off the hackers

To root out persistent hackers, sometimes you have to get a little creative

Malicious hackers have outsize reputations. They are über-geniuses who can guess any password in seconds, hack any system, and cause widespread havoc across multiple, unrelated networks with a single keystroke—or so Hollywood says. Those of us who fight hackers every day know the good guys are usually far smarter. Hackers simply have to be persistent.

Each year, a few hackers do something truly new. But for the most part, hackers repeat the tried and true. It doesn’t take a supergenius to check for missing patches or craft a social engineering attack. Hacking by and large is tradework: Once you learn a few tricks and tools, the rest becomes routine. The truly inspired work is that of security defenders, those who successfully hack the hackers.

Following are some of the most clever tricks in use today by computer security defenders in foiling hackers. Some of the traps are so good, hackers have a hard time not falling into them. When you hear of a big takedown, more than likely the defenders didn’t implement many of these tricks and got burned because of it.

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