A laptop with an exclamation mark on the display as a warning that hackers are trying to use an exploit kit.

An exploit kit is a common and dangerous tool hackers use to steal information.

When it comes to defending yourself and your company from potential threats, knowledge is power. That’s why we will report on an extremely common type of cyberattack in the most basic terms possible. Knowing what an exploit kit is can help you to be able to defend yourself and your company’s assets.

Defining the Exploit Kit

Basically, this is a collection of different things that can be used to infiltrate a stream of revenue. It would include redirecting browser URLs as well as other exploits. An exploit kit is not generally used to target one particular system or company. It’s simply placed out on the internet, and it constantly searches for places it can go and do what it has been designed to do.

Many types of exploit kits are online today, including common ones like Nuclear, Angler, and RIG. Some of these kits exploit thousands of systems on a daily basis. Often, they are used to deliver ransomware or other exploits designed to cheat businesses and consumers alike out of money.

How the Exploit Kit Infects a System

It’s quite a simple process. These kits are already out there just waiting to find an in. It all starts when a user goes to an infected website. Frequently, it is an advertisement on the site and not the site itself that contains the exploit. This means the user doesn’t have to do anything wrong to start the process other than going to the shady site. The ad redirects the user to a landing page that actually uploads the exploit. However, this often happens in short time-frame, so the user never knows that something is happening until it is too late.

Defending Yourself from Exploit Kits

For a business, defense from exploit kits means restricting the sites that employees can go to on the company network. It also means educating employees. After all, your firewall doesn’t help if an employee takes a business laptop home, and then gets on a malicious site.

Knowing that these kits exist, and training users to avoid shady sites on any device being used for work, are the best ways to keep your company safe from an attack.