Finding and taking sensitive data – pillaging the target

The term pillaging (sometimes known as pilfering) is a holdover from the days when hackers who had successfully compromised a system saw themselves as pirates, racing to their target to steal or damage as much data as possible. These terms have survived as a reference to the much more careful practice of stealing or modifying proprietary or financial data when the objective of the exploit has been achieved.

The attacker can then focus on the secondary target—system files that will provide information to support additional attacks. The choice of the secondary files will depend on the operating system of the target. For example, if the compromised system is Unix, then the attacker will ...

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