“The threat is advancing quicker than we can keep up with it. The threat changes faster than our idea of the risk. It’s no longer possible to write a large white paper about the risk to a particular system. You would be rewriting the white paper constantly…”

Today, a malware is unlikely to delete your hard disks, corrupting your spreadsheet, or display a massage. Such cyber-vandalism has given way to more lucrative exploits. Today’s viruses might encrypt all your files and demand a ransom. Or hacker might blackmail a large company by threatening to launch a denial of service attack, which prevents customers from accessing company’s website. And as social networks like Facebook and Twitter have grown in popularity, hackers and cybercriminals are exploiting these systems to find the new ways of infecting computers and stealing identities.

Hackers may not target a large numbers of victims any more. Such High-visibility attacks bring unwanted attention, and anti-virus companies can soon neutralize malware that is widely reported. In addition, large scale exploits can bring hacker more stolen data than they can handle. Because of this, threats are becoming more carefully focused. It’s not clear where future threats will come from, or how serious they will be. What is clear is that whenever there is an opportunity for financial gain, hacker and criminals will attempt to access and misuse data.

A

Adware

Adware is software that displays advertisements on your computer.

Anonymizing Proxy

Anonymizing Proxies allow the user to hide their web browsing activity. They are often used to bypass web security filters-e.g. to access blocked sites from a work computer.

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)

Advanced persistent threats are a type of targeted attack. APT are characterized by an attacker who has time and resources to plan an infiltration in to a network.

Autorun Worm

Autorun worms are malicious programs that take advantage of the windows autorun feature. They execute automatically when the device on which they are stored is plugged into a computer

B

Boot Sector malware

Boot sector malware spreads by modifying the program that enables your computer to start up.

Backdoor Trojan

A Backdoor Trojan allows someone to take control of user’s computer via the internet without their permission

Botnet

A botnet is a collection of infected computers that are remotely controlled by a hacker.

Browser hijacker

Browser hijackers change the default homepage and search engine in your internet browser without your permission.

Brute force attack

A brute force attack is one in which hackers try a large no. of possible keyword or password combinations to gain unauthorized access to a system or file.

Buffer Overflow

A buffer overflow occurs when a program stores excess data by overwriting other parts of the computer’s memory, causing errors or crashes.

C

Chain Letter

An electronic chain letter is an email that urges you to forward copies to other people.

Cookie

Cookies are files placed on your computer that allow websites to remember details.

Command and control center

A command and control center (C & C) is a computer that controls botnet (i.e. a networks of compromised or zombie computers). Some botnets use distributed command and control systems, making them more resilient.

D

Data Loss

Data Loss is the result of the accidental misplacement of data, rather than its deliberate theft.

Data theft

Data theft is the deliberate theft of information rather than its accidental loss.

Data Leakage

Data leakage is the unauthorized movement of information, usually outside an organization. It can be deliberate (Data Theft) or accidental (Data Loss).

Document malware

Document malware takes advantage of embedded script or macro content in document files.

Denial of service attack

A Denial of Service (DOS) attack prevents users from accessing a computer or website.

DNS Hijacking

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the phone book of the internet. It allows computers to translate website names, like www.sophos.com in to IP address numbers so that they can communicate with each other

Drive-by download

A drive by download is the infection of the computer with malware when a user visits a malicious website

E

Email malware

Email malware refers to malware that is distributed via email

Exploit

An exploit takes advantage of a vulnerability in order to access or infect a computer.

F

Fake antivirus malware

Fake antivirus malware reports non-existent threats in order to scare the user into paying for unnecessary product registration and clean-up.

G
H

Honeypot

A honeypot is a form of trap security specialists use to detect hacking attacks or collect malware samples

Hacktivism

Hacktivism typically hack for political purposes, attacking corporations, governments, organizations and individuals.

Hoax

Hoaxes are reports of non-existent viruses or threats.

I

Internet worm

Worms are viruses that create copies of themselves across the internet or local networks.

In-the-cloud detection

In-the-cloud detection uses real time online checking of data in order to detect threats.

J
K

Keylogging

Keylogging is when keystrokes are secretly recorded by an unauthorized third party.

L
M

Malware

Malware is a general term for malicious software including viruses, worms, Trojans and spyware. Many people use the terms malware and viruses interchangeably.

N

Non-compliance

Non-compliance is the failure to comply with government or industry regulations regarding data privacy and security.

O
P

Parasitic virus

Parasitic viruses, also known as file viruses, spread by attaching themselves to programs.

Patch

Patches are software add-ons designed to fix software bugs, including security, in operating systems or applications.

Phishing

Phishing refers to the process of tricking recipients into sharing sensitive information with an unknown third party.

Potentially unwanted application (PUA)

Potentially unwanted applications are programs that are not malicious but may be unsuitable for use in a business environment.

Q
R

Rootkit

A rootkit is a piece of software that hides programs or processes running on a computer. It can be used to conceal computer misuse or data theft.

S

Social engineering

Social engineering refers to the methods attackers use to deceive victims into performing an action. Typically, these actions are opening a methodsalicious webpage or running an unwanted file attachment.

Social networking

Social networking websites allow you to communicate and share information. But they can also be used to spread malware and to steal Personal information

Spam

Spam is unsolicited bulk email, the electronic equivalent of junk mail that comes to your inbox.

Spoofing

Email spoofing is when the sender address of an email is forged for the purposes of social engineering.

Spearphishing

Spearphishing is targeted phishing using spoof emails to persuade people within a company to reveal sensitive information or credentials.

Spyware

Spyware is software that permits advertisers or hackers to gather sensitive information without your permission.

Suspicious files and behavior

When an endpoint security solution scans files, it labels them as clean or malicious. If a file has a number of questionable characteristics or behavior, it is labeled as suspicious.

SQL injection

SQL injection is an exploit that takes advantage of database query software that doesn’t thoroughly test fort correct queries.

T

Trojan (Trojan horse)

Trojans are programs that pretend to be legitimate software, but actually carry out hidden, harmful functions.

U
V

Virus

Viruses are computer programs that can spread by making copies of themselves.

Vulnerability

Vulnerabilities are bugs in software programs that hackers exploit to infect computers.

W
X
Y
Z

Zombie

A Zombie is an infected computer that is remotely controlled by a hacker. It is often part of a botnet, which is a network of many zombies or bot computers.