10 Hacking Terms Explained

Hacking is the practice of illegally breaking into a device, system or network to exploit it for malicious gains, whereas ethical hacking is the practice of lawfully hacking into a system to find vulnerabilities and correct them, with the overall objective of strengthening the cybersecurity of a system. If you are someone who is undergoing ethical hacking training or someone who is merely interested in the subject, this article will help you understand a few items of the crazy terminology that hackers (whether ethical or not) deal with on a daily basis.

1. Spoofing

Spoofing is a type of attack in which a hacker tries to disguise s software as a legitimate one, to gain access, steal information or other malicious gains. It is very similar to phishing in which a hacker sends an email that impersonates an official sender to dupe the victim.

2. Zero-day Threat

A zero-day threat refers to a vulnerability that has been recently discovered and has not been patched yet. A zero-day bug is like gold for hackers as there is no bug fix available for it in the market. Zero-day threats need to be patched as soon as possible before hackers can take advantage of them. Users also need to make sure that they update their software as soon as the patch is rolled out in order to stay safe from any hacks.

3. Backdoor

It’s pretty obvious what a backdoor does. It allows you to enter a guarded system without having proper authorisation. Backdoors enable anyone to access the root of a system (i.e. highest privilege inside a system) by bypassing all security measures.

4. Hacktivist

Hacktivist is a person who uses their hacking skills to stir political or social change. Defacing a website for a cause is a typical move of a hacktivist. Originating from the group Cult of the Dead Cow back in 1994, hacktivism is an online form of activism. Anonymous is one of the most popular groups of hacktivists that have conducted various cyberattacks against government bodies.

5. Jailbreak

Jailbreak is a term referred to provide better user access to a device beyond the manufacturer restrictions. Jailbreaking a device allows you to go around the security mechanisms of the device in order to install unofficial applications.

6. Brute Force

Brute force is a type of cyber attack in which a hacker tries to crack a password by using all possible combinations until the correct one is reached. It is a trial and error method that is very popular among hackers. Cracking a password using brute force attack can take anywhere between milliseconds to centuries, depending on the length and complexity of the password.

7. Metadata

Metadata is simply a description of data. For example, if you send a message to someone, then the metadata would be the time, sender’s address and such information that helps you to identify the actual data. Seemingly insignificant, metadata can provide crucial details in the process of a hack.

8. CEH

Certified Ethical Hacking is the most popular and most widely recognised ethical hacking certified program in the world. It is authored by the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants or EC-Council. Now accepted as an industry standard for white hat hackers, this certification is currently in heavy demand among employers who are looking to hire competent ethical hackers.

9. RAT

RAT is short for Remote Access Trojan or Remote Access Tool, a malware that can let a hacker take complete remote control of a system. RATs can create backdoors in your system, monitor your system completely or can turn it into a botnet.

10. Script Kiddies

Script kiddies are those hackers who are not skilled in writing their own code but rather use already existing scripts for hacking purposes.

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