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What is Exploit?
An exploit is a program or piece of code that is meant to detect and exploit a security fault or vulnerability in an application or computer system, generally for nefarious reasons such as malware installation. An exploit is a method used by cybercriminals to deliver malware rather than malware itself.
Exploits comprise data or executable code that can exploit one or more software flaws on a local or remote computer. For example, suppose you have a browser with a vulnerability that allows the execution of “arbitrary code,” that is, the installation and execution of a malicious application on your system without your knowledge, or the induction of unexpected system behavior. Typically, attackers’ initial step is privilege escalation, which allows them to do whatever they want on the attacked system.
Browsers, along with Flash, Java, and Microsoft Office, are among the most targeted software categories. Because of their pervasiveness, they are actively examined by both security professionals and hackers, and browser developers are compelled to produce fixes to address vulnerabilities on a regular basis. It is advisable to install these fixes as soon as possible, but this is not always possible – after all, you will have to dismiss all tabs. Of course, exploitation of undiscovered vulnerabilities discovered and deployed by criminals, known as zero-day vulnerabilities, provide a unique challenge. It can take a long time for manufacturers to recognize and correct a problem.
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