Privilege escalation

Gaining control of computer privileges beyond what is normally granted / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Privilege escalation is the act of exploiting a bug, a design flaw, or a configuration oversight in an operating system or software application to gain elevated access to resources that are normally protected from an application or user. The result is that an application with more privileges than intended by the application developer or system administrator can perform unauthorized actions.

A diagram describing privilege escalation. The arrow represents a rootkit gaining access to the kernel, and the little gate represents normal privilege elevation, where the user has to enter an Administrator username and password.