A-Z Glossary of Information Security and Social Engineering Terms

Backdoor

Backdoor

This method is used to bypass normal security controls. A backdoor may refer to a part of an application, a dedicated application or the firmware of a hardware device that allows access without using authentication credentials. Pirated software downloaded from the internet is often used as an operating system backdoors. Backdoors are sometimes deliberate. For example, at the behest of an ISP, a modem manufacturer may introduce a backdoor into their devices for more efficient troubleshooting. Backdoor accounts are commonly used in insider attacks where the miscreant will use a second login (often a redundant user or guest account) to access a system without triggering technical controls, such as an intrusion detection system.

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