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5.3 - Threats

Exam Board:



2016 - Unit 1 

What are the 7 threats to computer systems?


Misleading individuals or organisations into giving up sensitive information (such as passwords or bank details), often through the use of emails.


Exploiting weaknesses in a system or network to create, view, modify or delete files without permission.


Similar to data theft - illegally removing copies of personal or company data from computer systems.



Appears to be a useful or well-known program but when downloaded and installed it secretly gives the attacker a 'backdoor' to your system. Through this backdoor the attacker can access data without the user knowing.





Data packets on a network are intercepted by a third party (e.g. hacker) and copied, edited or transferred to a different location than the intended destination.


Intercepting, in real-time, private communication traffic such as instant messages or video calls.

Social Engineering

Tricking individuals into giving sensitive information, e.g. by claiming to be from the IT department and asking for their password and username to check for viruses.


A virus can replicate itself and spread from system to system by attaching itself to infected files that are then downloaded and opened. Once activated, a virus can modify data or corrupt a system so that it stops working.

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Questo's Questions

5.3 - Threats:

1. An IT company is making an information booklet about the different types of online threats. Describe each type of threat:

     a. Phishing

     b. Hacking / Data Theft

     c. Trojan

     d. Interception

     e. Eavesdropping

     f. Social Engineering

     g. Virus      [2 each]

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