The act of trying to bypass security controls on a system. An attack may be active, resulting in the alteration of data; or passive, resulting in the release of data. Note: The fact that an attack is made does not necessarily mean that it will succeed. The degree of success depends on the vulnerability of the system or activity and the effectiveness of existing countermeasures. Attack is often used as a synonym for a specific exploit. See also brute force, denial of service, distributed denial of service, hijacking, social engineering, sniffing, spoofing, trojan horse, virus.
A set of techniques implemented to " break " the security of a system or piece of equipment (including smart cards) by discovering the secrets (keys) it relies on. There are attack families : brutal attack, "Yes Card" attack, Timing Attack, SPA (Simple Power Analysis), DPA (Differential Power Analysis), etc. for which components and cards manufacturers have developed counter-measures or answers. A successful attack is referred to as a method.