The ABC’s of Cybersecurity: A-E

The ABC’s of Cybersecurity: A-E

Cybersecurity can seem an intimidating undertaking requiring in-depth knowledge of computers and coding along with a whole new vocabulary to-boot. In this blog series, The ABC’s of Cyber Security, we’ll give you the base-knowledge you need to feel confident in approaching the subject of cyber security. In our age of constant connection, and increasingly storing our valuable information online, it’s important for everyone- even those with non-technical backgrounds- to build an awareness of cyberattacks and have an idea of how to prevent, report, track and mitigate these attacks. So, without further ado, here are our Cyber Security Vocabulary Basics A-E:




Attribution is the process of finding the source of a cyber-attack to ensure that a counterattack is directed to the correct violator. There are debates as to the importance of attribution as it is often difficult to find the source of a perpetrator and they often reside outside of any judicial jurisdiction. Many, however, believe it to be a crucial step in forming counterattack tactics.


Adware is short-hand for advertising-supported software and will do a number of obnoxious actions for its users. Adware will display unwarranted ads to an online user or redirect search requests to advertising websites. It can also collect marketing, and other, data without the user’s knowledge or consent.

Anti-virus Software

Anti-virus software is your first defense and preventative measure against security breaches. The software will search your hard-drive for any known or potentially uncovered viruses. With continual enhancements, most anti-virus software perform a plethora of protective actions against malware, ransomware, worms, Trojans, APT’s and more.



Also known as a Trapdoor, a backdoor is a technique used to bypass system security to access a computer’s information, undetected. Network administrators may use backdoors for troubleshooting and other official uses, but they are often used by hackers to gain access to a computer for collecting information and installing malicious software.

Black Hat Hacker

Black Hat Hackers are also known as Crackers or Dark-side Hackers. These hackers use their wealth of computer and security knowledge to breach systems and bypass system security with malicious intent. They’re the bad-guy hackers.

Brute-force Cracking

Brute-force cracking basically amounts to continually guessing a password until one gets it right and gains entry to a site. It can also mean similar trial-and-error means of finding hidden pages. You can learn in depth about Brute-force Cracking here.



The origin of cryptography comes from the Greek word kryptos, meaning hidden or secret, and graphein, meaning to write. Cryptography simply means to write code.


Cracking describes the various actions of a Black Hat Hacker. This involves social engineering, reverse engineering, creating unwarranted backdoors and any other means to breach a system with malicious intent.


Crimeware is a malicious software which a Black Hat Hacker downloads to unsuspecting victims’ computers in order to perform illegal, online action. This download often goes unnoticed and can be used to gather information, and perform other malicious actions, for extended periods of time.



DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Services and are one of the most common attacks used to compromise an organization’s system. They are a type of DOS attack which use multiple compromised systems to target a single system. These compromised systems are typically infected with a Trojan and are used to overwhelm an online service impacting abilities to publish and access important information. You can learn in-depth about DDoS Attacks here.

Dark Net

The Dark Net is often spoken of as a mythical place, but it’s simply an overlay network accessed using non-standard communications and protocols. It’s used similarly to other search engines such as Google and Bing, but used for drug trade, sex trade, political activism and other illegal activity. Originally created by the U.S. government to search the web, untraced; it is now used by expert hackers to perform web activities outside of the government’s knowledge and jurisdiction.

Drive-by Download

A Drive-by Download Attack is ignited simply by a victim clicking a link which, unwittingly to them, injects malicious software onto their computer- or other device. You can learn in-depth about Drive-by Download Attacks here.



Encryption is the way to encode messages, text and information which requires authentication for access. Encryption is the safest way to protect your data because it requires a specific key or password in order to access the information.

Ethical Hacker

Ethical Hackers are the good-guy hackers. These are highly skilled hackers and security specialists who use their knowledge for testing and evaluating a system’s security. They also act as consultants when producing security measures and procedures as well as aid in counterattacks, if necessary.


In cyber security, an exploit is no different from its common understanding- to make full use of a resource. When a Black Hat Hacker finds a vulnerability they will use tools designed to take advantage of the flaw, hence the term- exploit.

Many of these terms make instinctual sense with your, already vast, knowledge of the English language. Terminology in cyber security is simply explaining virtual actions, events and objects in a physical way. As you become more accustomed to the various ways in which we discuss networks, systems and cyberattacks- you will find yourself understanding the ABC’s of cyber security and empowered to learn how it all works together.

CyberTraining 365 is a comprehensive library of cybersecurity classes which enable practical application while allowing the student to control their learning pace and absorption rate. With interactive labs and a responsive community, CyberTraining 365 provides solutions for a variety of learning styles while covering an array of imperative, relevant and current topics and certifications surrounding cybersecurity. Our LMS is also ideal for training use by enterprise, government and educational organizations.

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