at • tack, n. an attempt to steal, destroy, or alter data off a device, computer or network.

black hat, n. an unethical hacker who breaks into devices, computers, networks for personal gain.

Bot, a software robot that runs automated tasks

bot • net, n. a network of computers controlled by cybercriminals using a malicious program.

DoS at • tack, n. a Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack is designed to obstruct or stop the normal functioning of a Web site, server, or network resource. One way in which hackers do this is to flood the server with more requests than it can handle.

Bru • te Force At • tack, an attempt to crack a password or username by using a trial and error approach and hoping, eventually, to guess correctly.

DDoS, n. a distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDos) is a DoS attack that uses multiple machines. Hackers will often use one “master” machine to coordinate with other “zombie” machines.

drive-by-down • load, v. a drive-by-download is a malicious download of malware that happens invisibly after you visit a Web site that has been compromised by a hacker.

fuzz • ing, v. when hackers input lots of random data — or fuzz — in an attempt to make a system crash. Used by hackers to look for vulnerabilities in code.

Gray hat, n. a seasonal hacker who breaks into systems without malicious intent, usually reports findings to owner.

key • log • ger, n. a keylogger records everything a user types, including passwords and credit card details.

mal • ware, n. a term used for all software that is intended to be harmful or perform unauthorized actions.

phish • ing, n. the attempt to acquire credit card details, passwords and personal details by tricking individuals into entering personal information on fake Web sites that closely resemble legitimate ones.

root • kit, n. the programs a hacker uses to avoid detection while gaining unauthorized access to a computer.

so • cial en • gi • neer • ing, v. to manipulate people into sharing private/confidential information.

spear-phish • ing, n. a type of phishing targeting a specific individual or department within an organization.

S • poo • fing, altering the header of an e-mail to make it look legit.

spy • ware, n. a type of malware that harvests users’ confidential data, e-mail addresses and browsing habits and forwards the information without users’ consent to a third party.

Tro • jan hor • ses, n. malware that appears to be legitimate but that when launched can do something harmful such as steal passwords or give a hacker access to the network.

vi • rus, a computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer, corrupting files or stealing information.

white hat, an ethical hacker who breaks into a system to expose security flaws, usually at the request of its owner.

worm, like viruses, computer worms replicate and harm and they often rely on security failures to enter a computer network.

ze • ro day at • tack, a cyber attack that exploits a vulnerability on the same day a weakness is discovered.

Guide to hacker slang
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