Glossary

Attacker

An attacker is an individual or organization that carries out a cyberattack on a target with the intent of damaging, stealing, destroying, exposing, accessing, or otherwise modifying secure or sensitive information or systems.

Terms related to Attacker: Criminal, Hacker, Bad Actor, Cyberattack, Dark Web, Attack Vector, Vulnerability, Exploit, Backdoor, Cyberwarfare, Cyberterrorism.

Attackers are the individuals, groups, and organizations that carry out cyberattacks. Types of attackers vary, from individual hackers through professional criminal organizations, to state-sponsored cybersecurity espionage. The motivations of hackers do vary widely, including financial gain, political ideology, societal disruption, intellectual property theft, and more.

Attackers use a variety of techniques and attack vectors to carry out intrusions into systems. These can include:

  • Social engineering and phishing to expose login and authorization credentials.
  • Vulnerability and backdoor exploitation that takes advantage of weaknesses in IT applications or infrastructure.
  • Brute force attacks that attempt to guess or compromise passwords or login details.
  • Denial of service attacks that prevent resource access due to flooding with fake requests.
  • Account attacks that attempt to gain high-level access to a system.
  • Compromising code in webforms and databases through attacks like SQL injection.
  • Installation of malware like viruses, worms, ransomware, spyware, or Trojans to compromise an organization’s systems.

Attackers have access to a wide variety of tools and techniques to carry out attacks, and can find resources and hacking networks on the Dark Web and elsewhere. Organizations can protect against attackers using a variety of detection and prevention tools including antivirus, firewalls, vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, employee training, and authentication.

Attacker Resources from Crossmatch