exploitation is to gain access

The most common goal of exploitation is to gain access to, and some level of control of, a target system. Since many systems have multiple levels of access for the purposes of security, it is often the case that each level of access has its own slate of vulnerabilities and are typically more difficult to hack as more vital functionalities are available. The ultimate access coup for a hacker is to reach the superuser or root (a UNIX term) level – known as “getting root” in hacker lingo. This highest level affords the user control of all systems, files, databases, and settings in a given self-contained system. It can be quite difficult to breach the root level of a secure computer system in a single exploit. More often, hackers will exploit easier vulnerabilities or take advantage of less experienced users to first gain low level access. From that point, further methods can be employed to reach higher levels from administrators up to root. With root access, a hacker can view, download, and overwrite information at will, and in some cases remove any traces that they were even in the system. For this reason, getting root in a target system is a point of pride as the utmost achievement among both black hat and white hat hackers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *