Data Exfiltration

What Does Data Exfiltration Mean?

Data exfiltration is the unauthorized copying, transfer or retrieval of data from a computer or server. Data exfiltration is a malicious activity performed through various different techniques, typically by cybercriminals over the Internet or other network.


Data exfiltration is also known as data extrusion, data exportation or data theft.

Techopedia Explains Data Exfiltration

Data exfiltration is primarily a security breach that occurs when an individual’s or organization’s data is illegally copied. Generally, data exfiltrations are targeted attacks where the hacker’s/cracker’s primary intent is to find and copy specific data from the target machine. The hackers/crackers gain access to the target machine through a remote application or by directly installing a portable media device. Statistically, these breaches mainly occurred on systems with a vendor-set default password or very common/easy passwords.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…