A Vulnerability is a flaw or feature of a system that exposes it to possible attack by a bad actor.
Vulnerabilities can be caused by bad user behavior, poor IT administration or inadequate application development and testing.
- Using websites that transfer usernames and passwords in clear text. (more)
- Not keeping software up to date. (more)
- Not running virus detection and firewall software
- Using compromised websites
- Downloading compromised content (includes using BitTorrent software (more))
- Responding to fake email messages (phishing a form of ‘social engineering’)
- Clicking on links or content attached to compromised emails
IT Administration Examples:
- Misconfiguration of systems such as leaving the default settings untouched on a network router.
- Setting incorrect permissions associated to a file or directory.
- Lacking the appropriate IT network protection. For example, the network does not have a firewall or the appropriate equipment/process to defend against a Denial of Service attack.
Application Development & Testing Examples:
- Design flaws in software or hardware.
- Bugs in software or hardware firmware such as:
- Buffer overruns - Buffer overflow is caused when a piece of code does not adequately check for appropriate input length and the input value is not the size the program expects.
- Insufficient input/authentication validation - A program fails to validate the input sent to the program from a user. An attacker can exploit an insufficient input validation vulnerability and inject arbitrary code, which commonly occurs within web applications.
Exploit – The act of taking advantage of a vulnerability.
Types of exploits:
- Zero-Day (more)
- Pharming (more)
- Phishing (more)
- DNS poisoning (more)
- SQL injection (more)
- Cross Site Scripting (more)
- Scanning (more)
- Denial of Service (more)
Malware – The tool (usually software) used to exploit a vulnerability in a computer, mobile device, computer system, or computer network, in order to damage or to take control over its operation.
- Virus (more)
- Spyware & Adware (more)
- Trojan Horses (more)
- Worms (more)
- Rootkits (more)
- Botnets (more)