What’s an exploit?

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I recently ran Microsoft Safety Scan, which identified a Java exploit. Are Java exploits a dangerous threat or do they merely function as a tool allowing hackers to infect your computer with malicious software? If the computer is otherwise clean, there’s no reason to worry that the computer has been compromised, right?

The issue here is that the term “exploit” really isn’t clear. In the industry, it ends up being used somewhat ambiguously to mean a couple of things. That can be frustratingly vague.

So, I’ll throw out two definitions of exploit for you.

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