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We can build an entire taxonomy of attacks on network security by understanding exploitation programs, which take advantage of bugs in software running on vulnerable systems, these programs' technical capabilities and their connection to those who develop and use them. For the past decade, exploit tools have signaled the evolution of a community of adversaries comprising numerous inexperienced and unskilled attackers commonly referred to as script kiddies, and a few experienced, technically savvy attackers. Exploit programs are tell-tale signs of attackers' sophistication: if studied meticulously, they can provide insight into current and future trends.
Date of Publication: Sept.-Oct. 2004