Definition: The word Sniffer refers to an attack method that can be directed at information infrastructures. The vector, once established, eavesdrops on the target’s information. The method can include monitoring software or a combination of both software and hardware. Among the more sophisticated programs detected to capture or examine Internet traffic are programs that direct traffic to malicious crackers. One strong defense would be the encryption of data.

Its Relevance: Information security processes and procedures must account for the threat vectors that passively listen-in on the data traffic in an information system. The loss of the confidentiality of information is unacceptable. Encryption, as mentioned above, can be a tool used to combat the threat. The encryption of data, however, creates processing overhead for the system. Organizational policies must address how to mitigate the threat.

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