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Exploit kit

Exploit kit

(also EK)

Exploit kit definition

An exploit kit is a malicious toolkit cybercriminals use to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in a user’s software or operating system. These kits are usually hosted on malicious websites designed to probe the user’s system for security flaws, then deliver and execute malware payloads. Exploit kits can distribute various types of malware, including ransomware, Trojans, and keyloggers.

See also: vulnerability assessment, anti-malware, zero day, watering hole attack, angler phishing

Exploit kit examples

  • Angler: A highly sophisticated exploit kit known for its rapid adoption of newly discovered vulnerabilities and its ability to evade detection.
  • RIG: A widely used exploit kit targeting vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player, Java, and Internet Explorer. It is often used to deliver ransomware or banking Trojans.
  • Sundown: A less sophisticated exploit kit compared to Angler and RIG, but still capable of exploiting vulnerabilities in browsers and plugins to install malware.

Preventing exploit kit attacks

  • Keep your software and operating system up to date with the latest security patches.
  • Disable or uninstall unnecessary browser plugins and extensions.
  • Use a reputable antivirus program and enable its real-time protection.
  • Utilize a reliable VPN with a built-in feature to block malicious websites known for hosting exploit kits.
  • Be cautious when clicking on links and attachments in emails, especially from unknown sources.
  • Regularly back up your important data to minimize the potential loss in case of a malware attack.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security