in computer hacking, what does it mean to get in via a back door and how does it work?



in computer hacking, what does it mean to get in via a back door and how does it work?

In: Technology

Lots of things have a normal way to get in, where you just are a user and log in and use the site, that would be the front door.

For a lot of reasons a lot of things also have numerous other ways other things get in, like special code for the advertising bots, or debug stuff that programmers use, or admin tools, or testing software, or a million other things. These often are not as well tested or protected as the “front door” so hackers get in using them.

Basically it’s an intentional way to get into something, but not the one intended for you to use.

A backdoor is a channel used to maintain an access to a system you hacked,usually you get a backdoor with a virus or you install a “software”(ex. after you hack the system,generally the back door is a reverse shell, an interface where you can give commands, created by the hacked system so the main defenses will not trigger(the pc is configured to protect you from the outside and not from the inside),this shell will connect to your pc or to a pc you can control and from that it works simply like a normal shell,you can view files,download new software,manipulate data or hack other devices from there.
Hackers use a backdoor because the process to get a shell is long(you can hack a system in hours if it is simply but often you will take days to find a way),while connecting to a system its easier and faster(when you do a google research it will take the same amount of time more or less)

Did you ever learn the “Konami Code” for video games? On some Nintendo games, if you hit ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA **START**, you would get a bunch of extra lives and power-ups for the game. This was invented so the game developers could test their game without needing to be exceptionally skilled. This is an example of a back door in a computer system.

Other networking systems will sometimes have these, usually in the form of administrative tools. A common practice in an organization I used to work for was the “Troubleshooter Account.” This was an admin account that anyone troubleshooting computers on the system could use. Of course, this was a major security vulnerability as well — if a worker stopped working for that organization, or even just the department that did computer work, they still had access to everything in the network. In other cases, they exist for the same reason as the Konami code: developers put them in so they could work with all parts of a secure program.

Usually a ‘back-door’ is a door left for administrative purposes. So, if everyone is visiting website []( there may be a portal at []( where, upon authentication – you can manage the underlying code or infrastructure of the website. If you ‘get in through the backdoor’, it could be as simple as getting to that admin portal and guessing the credentials.

Really, in IT/networks, there are no ‘backdoors’, only doors. When we say ‘backdoor’, we normally just mean a way to access a system that is only for specific purposes by people with the right credentials. Sometimes ‘backdoors’, are left ‘wide open’, which means they have no password at all or it is configured with the default install password. This happens when lazy admins either forget or don’t realize that door existed at all.

One of the common themes of a ‘web scrape’ attack, or a ‘port scan’, is to try and reveal administrative doors left for remote management. In a web scrape, you may download the website/application and then scour the code for methods of accessing the back end you can replicate. A port scan is a bit less sophisticated, it will return all the ports (you can think of a ‘port’ as a door) that respond and then you try to SSH (a way of accessing a system remotely), HTTP, HTTPS, and even RDP to it to see if you can get it to prompt you for authentication.

Say you live in a house on a busy street.

When you leave your house, you lock it. You’re the only one with a key. You don’t want anyone to get in unless you use your key to allow it.

But there may be circumstamces where you want a backup solution. What if you locked your key inside? What if someone you want to be able to enter your house arrives, and you’re not there to let them in?

To solve this, you devise a brilliant plan. You’ll leave a spare key under the doormat by the the door behind your house. A clean backup strat to get you in in a pinch and easy instructions you can grant to trusted parties that you can revoke at any time. Sure, it would be devestating if someone you didn’t authorize found it, but someone would have to jump through the mental hoops of going around back of your house, moving the doormat, and finding the key.

And the sad fact is, some clever people DO manage to take the time to scope things and figure that out. In the real world, we call them burglars. In the digital world, we call them hackers.

When we moved into our house, our dog kept escaping from the back yard. We had no idea how, because it was fully enclosed, but he kept on getting away. We inspected the fence, and could find nothing.

Finally, after a week of being fed up of finding him missing, we snuck out and watched him. After a bit, he walked straight over to the fence, pushed on part of it, and a flap opened up and let him out. Unknown to us, the previous owners had installed a flap for their animal to easily get in and out, and although it was hidden, it allowed easy and direct access by our dog in and out of the yard.

That’s how a backdoor works – whether intentional, or unintentional, it providers a method of access that is not protected the same way as a ‘front door’ (known and secured) method. Often because it is undocumented and unknown, it simply can’t be protected the same way.