“Hack” is a programming language developed some years ago by a team of Facebook engineers who wanted to enhance their daily efficiency by increasing work speeds and further helping developers stay more organized when building websites and software.
Since its inception, Hack has successfully proven convenient.
And as a result, Facebook decided to adopt it in writing codes for its website and databases.
Considering the sheer magnitude of the social media platform which currently has more than two billion users, along with the fact that the company has adapted to using the language, shows that indeed the project is a success.
There are hundreds of computer languages in existence, and the preference of one over the other determined by some key factors such as the experience and level of skill of an individual in using a given language, as well as the complexity of the project at hand.
Before the adoption of Hack by Facebook, the language previously in use was PHP which is very common in web development. Due to its primary characteristics, it enables one to create websites with speed and efficiency.
The fact that one needs not to define a parameter each time they are using PHP gives the language an edge over others in developing websites.
As is indicated in early reports about the language, the use of PHP brought about limitations since Facebook grew tremendously over the years.
The growth of the company meant that servers had to be increased on a continuous basis to cater for the needs of an overloaded site. And as a result, it became difficult to manage all the lines of codes since there were multiple servers.
That goes to show that PHP does not always work best, especially when a site continues having more users and more functionalities added to it, as it brings more complications.
Hack serves better since it takes into account PHP features and then eliminates the cons. It enables users to use fewer lines of code, making it simpler to monitor.
Hack, as a language, is a combination of both static and dynamic typing.
The combination of both typing methods is referred to as gradual typing, in which the programmer has the chance to choose which lines of code to type dynamically and which lines to type statically.
Given the fact that Facebook operates different versions of the website—one running on standard browsers such as Chrome, Safari or Mozilla and another on the Tor network—then Hack makes the coding of the website more convenient.
The fact that Hack has been used by Facebook to develop a version that runs on Tor websites means that others can also do the same for their website.
The primary reason is that the new language is open-source and as such, anyone with the intent of trying it out is free to do so by obtaining the software.
Since it is open-source, then those who have used it can give feedback about their experience and further contribute towards its development.
It is well known in the IT world that whenever a software program is developed, no matter how good it is, it will always have to undergo upgrades from time to time to add new features or get rid of old ones that may cause the software to malfunction at some point.
Since Hack has been available for some years now, it is possible to note that there are hundreds if not thousands of websites operating on the Tor network that have been developed through the language.
Though the exact number is not known, there are certainly those who have adopted it for their own use on their Tor websites.
Among the parties that would be interested in Hack are developers of darknet markets who tend to have large sites that occupy a lot of space.
What’s more is that these sites have a lot of functionalities and making use of Hack will simplify the process for developers.
From time to time, websites go offline for a specific period.
During the duration of this time, upgrades are done to enhance the site’s security and to make adjustments to certain codes in order to eliminate any error that could occur.
And just like any other programming language, Hack has its flaws—some of which may be used by hackers to infiltrate into a database. Since it was developed from PHP, the weaknesses that PHP has as a language are thus passed on to Hack.
A vulnerability that is sometimes utilized when hacking PHP is adding a backdoor to a website by the use of hacking tools.
Among the most popular is a program called Weevely, which uses a code flaw to do its work.
Just like other similar hacking tools, Weevely is freely posted online for download.
Depending on the security of a website, other methods of hacking include the use of SQL injections and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. These types of cyber attacks are increasing this year.
Other attacks resort to hacking individual accounts because it is more difficult compromising a whole website due to the infrastructure involved.
Personal accounts can be hacked by creating phishing sites which resemble the original site but differ in either one or two letters, which can be very hard to detect for the untrained internet user.
Again, the operation will depend based on the level of activity and the skill of the individual. Some are better using other programming languages because they understand them at greater depth.
But what remains for sure is that these websites can still fall prey to hacks.