|MadSci Network: Computer Science|
There are several ways a site can be "hacked." First: Hackers can try and do little more than crash the site. This just crashes the server and can be done using one of several mathods. These methods often perform some type of "flood" of bad/orphan requests, which locks the server up trying to reply to all of these. This is what happened to eBay and Yahoo! recently. Second: Hackers can get a password or hack their way past a password prompt and then have access to files/databases/etc which they can compromise. There are programs to guess passwords, as well as trojan horse programs hackers use to get users to divulge their passwords. AOL is often the victim of trojan horses - programs which listen when users enter passwords and then send that data back to the hackers. Third: Hackers can break past security measures and alter pages on a given server. This happens most often to corporations by hackers with a social message. Fourth: A hacker can find a way to dial into a companies private network, by using a dial-up line, and then accessing the network as a regular employee. This is very dangerous, as all corporate files are now vulnerable. Hope this reading is informative, but doesn't give you any naughty ideas... ;-)
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Computer Science.