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Hacking → Server Hacking
What is it?
Any website site you visit on the internet and any email address you use is stored on a server. If you break into a hosting server you could do things such as changing thousands of big company websites into pointless pages, or more beneficially if the company is selling a product online, collect visitors credit card numbers and other details. Most hackers are eventually caught but if a server offers server-side access, used for items such as guestbooks and form submission, it is a possible target.
How does it happen?
It tends to happen when scripts are being run in a server-side language and passwords are not encrypted or the data is not protected. If a hacker finds a security flaw in a script they may try to exploit it. They do this by either running some code to trick the script into revealing the password or by intercepting it as an authorised member submits the information over the internet.
Not a joke!
Server hacking is a very serious inexcusable offence. If you are taken to court you have no defence and will almost certainly have a prison sentence. The severity of hacking servers was set down in the Data Protection Act 1998, which enforced serious laws about this delicate subject.