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What are Exploits

Cyber Security / Cyber Security Threats

What are Exploits

Exploits are simply termed as a code that takes the upper hand of a software vulnerability or flaw in security. When used, exploits allow an intruder to remotely access a network and gain elevated privileges, or move deeper into the network. As devices are connected increasingly, this makes them more vulnerable and prone towards sophisticated invasions. Peripherals such as printers and cameras were never designed to thwart these occurrences, it has led companies and individuals alike to rethink the security of their networks.

      Software and networks come with built-in protection against hackers, sort of like locks that keep unwanted guests from sneaking inside. A vulnerability, then, is like an accidental open window that a thief can climb through. In the case of a computer or network, thieves can install malicious software through these vulnerabilities (open windows) in order to control (infect) the system for their own nefarious ends. Usually, this happens without the user’s knowledge.

Security Vulnerability Examples

A Security Vulnerability is a weakness, flaw, or error found within a security system that has the potential to be leveraged by a threat agent in order to compromise a secure network.

There are a number of Security Vulnerabilities, but some common examples are: 

•   Broken Authentication: When authentication credentials are compromised, user sessions and identities can be hijacked by malicious actors to pose as the original user. 

•   SQL Injection: As one of the most prevalent security vulnerabilities, SQL injections attempt to gain access to database content via malicious code injection. A successful SQL injection can allow attackers to steal sensitive data, spoof identities, and participate in a collection of other harmful activities.

•   Cross-Site Scripting: Much like an SQL Injection, a Cross-site scripting (XSS) attack also injects malicious code into a website. However, a Cross-site scripting attack targets website users, rather than the actual website itself, which puts sensitive user information at risk of theft.

•   Cross-Site Request Forgery: A Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attack aims to trick an authenticated user into performing an action that they do not intend to do. This, paired with social engineering, can deceive users into accidentally providing a malicious actor with personal data. 

•   Security Misconfiguration: Any component of a security system that can be leveraged by attackers due to a configuration error can be considered a “Security Misconfiguration.”  

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