A sequence of commands used to provoke undesired or unforeseen behavior by taking advantage of a system failure or vulnerability. It may also refer to the ruses or discourses used in social engineering attacks intended to convince victims to provide certain information about themselves.

Exploits are usually perpetrated to pursue unauthorized access to a system, obtain administration permits to a system already accessed, perform Denial of Service attacks to a system, etc.

Exploits may take place on different types of software, such as scripts, viruses or worms.