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  1. What Is
January 13, 2017updated 07 Feb 2017 3:35pm

What is a backdoor?

Backdoor access to a piece of software or a computer system can leave it vulnerable to hackers.

By James Nunns

A backdoor, in computing, is a method of bypassing authentication in a piece of software or computer system which can be used for accessing the software without being detected.

Typically this is an undocumented portal which may have been built in to the system in order to allow an administrator to enter and troubleshoot the software or to do general upkeep.

However, a backdoor can in some cases also be accessed by hackers and intelligence agencies in order to gain illicit access.

The existence of the backdoor is often unknown to the system owner, often due to it being created by the software developer.


How can hackers use backdoors?

The existence of built-in admin backdoors can create a vulnerable access point that can leave the system open to hackers that are seeking access to a system or data.

Often there are legitimate reasons for having a backdoor, but they may also be installed surreptitiously.

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Things like default passwords can act as a backdoor if they aren’t changed, as can some debugging features, if they haven’t been removed in the release version.

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