Do you know these 9 hacking terms?
By Rosalie L. Donlon, PropertyCasualty360.com
An important part of protect- ing your company’s data and cyber security risk is by un- derstanding how your data
and your information technology systems can be vulnerable.
Hacks can occur in unexpected ways,
and the cyber world has its own terminology for each one. You may have heard of
“phishing,” but how many of these other,
newer terms are you familiar with? More
importantly, is your data and IT system
secure from all of them?
According to Chris Hauser, second
vice president for Travelers Investigative Services’ Cyber Program, there are a
few essential terms describing how data
breaches can occur and how confidential
information can be obtained that every
business should know.
Botnets are large networks of infected
computers (sometimes called bots) under
the control of a computer hacker. Hackers can use the distributed computing
capabilities of botnets to send millions of
spam e-mails, launch distributed denial-of-service attacks, conduct widespread
theft of banking credentials, enable the
mass installation of ransomware, and
many other activities.
2. Denial of service and
In these malicious attacks, hackers interrupt a website or computer network to
prevent a company or its customers from
According to Techopedia, a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) is a type
of computer attack that uses a number
of hosts to overwhelm a server, causing
a website to experience a complete system crash. This type of denial-of-service
attack is perpetrated by hackers to target large-scale, far-reaching and popular
websites in an effort to disable them, either temporarily or permanently. This is
often done by bombarding the targeted
server with information requests, which
disables the main system and prevents it
from operating. This leaves the site’s users
unable to access the targeted website.
DDoS differs from a denial-of-service
(DOS) attack in that it uses several hosts
to bombard a server, whereas in a DoS attack, a single host is used.
3. Internal threats
Employees can be the weakest link in an
organization’s defenses. Costly errors and
intentional malicious activity can lead to
serious consequences, including the loss
of sensitive data, financial theft and un-
authorized access to network resources.
The best way to prevent cyber incidents
by employees is to ensure that they are
trained to be continually aware of the seriousness of protecting the company’s data.
Malware relies on flaws in computer software and hardware to function.
Sometimes a programming mistake
can be exploited to gain escalated privileges, install additional malware or instruct a computer to perform unintended
commands. Malicious code that takes
advantage of these weaknesses are often
Hacktivists wreak havoc on a company’s
or organization’s website or systems to
promote a social or political cause.
The best known hacktivist group is
Anonymous, described by USA Today
as “an amorphous group of hacker activists who have inserted themselves into
several conflicts worldwide. There is no
one Anonymous group but rather several
individuals and groups that make statements and take action under the broad
umbrella of the name.” Anonymous
has made claims that will destroy ISIS
through its hacking activities.