Exploit

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What Does Exploit Mean?

An exploit is a general term for any method used by hackers to gain unauthorized access to computers, the act itself of a hacking attack, or a hole in a system’s security that opens a system to an attack.

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Techopedia Explains Exploit

The term is very flexible and can be used both as a noun as a verb. As a noun, the exploit is the hole in the system that the hacker used to make the attack. Quite often, this is an OS vunerability from an unpatched server. As a verb, it refers to the act. For example, you might hear “the hacker posted details of his exploits on his blog to show just how easy it was to break into XYZ’s servers.”

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.