KoolSpan U: Weekly Word Wednesday – Hackers and Viruses

We’ve all heard of hackers and viruses making their way into our computers and now mobile devices. But what’s not so familiar are the different kinds of attacks and threats they pose to victims. Here are some terms that can help anyone understand the methods used to hack and infect our devices:

  • Arbitrary code execution – A hacker’s ability to insert any command on a machine or process.
  • Backdoor attack – An intentional opening or access mechanism left in software, often for maintenance or debugging use, that is not intended for common users and is therefore kept hidden, but which can be discovered and exploited by a hacker.
  • Bot/Bot Net – A bot is an agent that runs on a system and accepts commands to execute attacks against the system or others. A bot net is a collection of bots that may or may not include a command server that is responsible for coordinating their activity.
  • Buffer overflow – Since computer memory is limited, software must carefully manage and store memory in a buffer (a temporary storage area), that can sometimes overflow to adjacent buffers that them corrupt and overwrite data held in the buffers. while associating it with particular tasks. Malware can break the boundaries of the memory access by writing particularly large amounts of data to a buffer location, which can result in unexpected behavior, including arbitrary code execution.
  • Cross-site scripting – Exploiting a mechanism by placing data on one website (e.g. posting a comment in a forum, or on a news page, etc.) so that it points to another website that is often the source of malware. The pointer often leads to automatic execution of remote malware that bypasses protections on the original website.
  • Crypto-ransomeware – Ransomware a type of software that threatens to exploit a system or destroy data unless particular actions, typically paying money, are executed by the users. Crypto-ransomware is also known as cryptoviral extortion – strong encryption used by malware on sensitive files to prevent a user from accessing it unless a fee is paid.
  • IP hacking – Utilizing technical knowledge of IP based networks to access other systems in creative ways.
    Man-in-the-middle attack – An attack accomplished by interposing between the end points of communication and intercepting or otherwise manipulating the information flowing between the points.
  • Packet sniffing – Reading the packets on a network that are often used for maintenance or diagnostic purposes, to gather sensitive information for an attack.
  • Phishing – Pretending to be someone or something with authority to access information while soliciting that information.
  • Vishing – Vishing is a variety of phishing that specifically refers to gathering information over a voice-over-IP system.

To protect your phone from hacks and interception of your phone calls and messaging, KoolSpan offers various solutions for the most secure mobile communication security.