An attempt to exploit a weakness in a system, either for nefarious or research reasons. Questions with this tag should be about designing, carrying out, or defending against the attack itself, rather than about the underlying weakness.
A threat may be thought of as a person or group of people who wish to damage, disable, or extract value from a target system. A weakness is a component of a system which requires less effort to compromise than the rest of the system.
An attack differs from a weakness / vulnerability in that:
- An attack is a specific instance of exploiting a weakness,
- launched at a specific time,
- against a specific target,
- often using custom tools or payloads designed to exploit one or more vulnerabilities
- to accomplish a specific goal.