Browse Definitions:
Definition

doxware (extortionware)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Doxware, also known as extortionware, is a software used for an exploit in which a hacker accesses the target's sensitive data and threatens to publish it if the victim does not meet his demands, which are typically for money. The term comes from doxing, hacker-speak that means accessing and publishing private information about an individual or an organization.

Doxware is a variation on ransomware, malware used to access the target's data and then make it impossible for the victim to access that data himself.    Ransomware has become less profitable as more organizations have realized the importance of backing up their data to prevent loss and meet compliance and data governance requirements.

Doxing usually involves researching a target, accessing the target’s data and publishing it. In contrast, doxware uses the ransomware technique of broad-scale phishing attacks. However, doxware attackers take a further step, exfiltrating the data and exploring it to find potential doxing targets. As with ransomware, the hacker typically encrypts the victim’s data and demands payment to relinquish the key, in addition to refraining from broadcasting the sensitive data.

Although the terms doxware and extortionware are used synonymously, a distinction can be made between the two. As in conventional ransom, ransomware takes a hostage (data, in the case of the malware), while extortionware threatens harm of some sort if demands are unmet. In the case of doxware, the type of harm is specified: Exposure of personal data.

This was last updated in January 2017

Continue Reading About doxware (extortionware)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • principle of least privilege (POLP)

    The principle of least privilege (POLP), an important concept in computer security, is the practice of limiting access rights for...

  • identity management (ID management)

    Identity management (ID management) is the organizational process for identifying, authenticating and authorizing individuals or ...

  • zero-day (computer)

    A zero-day vulnerability, also known as a computer zero day, is a flaw in software, hardware or firmware that is unknown to the ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close