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Security Glossary

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Term Definition
Advanced persistent threats (APTs)
A targeted cyberespionage or cybersabotage attack that is usually sponsored by a nation state with the goal of stealing information from an organization. The motivation behind an advanced persistent threat is to gain information for military, political, or economic advantage.
Software that automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer, often in exchange for the right to use a program without paying for it. The advertisements seen are based on monitoring of browser habits. Most adware is safe to use, but some can serve as spyware, gathering information about you from your hard drive, the websites you visit, or even your keystrokes. Certain types of adware have the capability to capture or transmit personal information.
Android (droid)
Google's brand name for its Linux-based operating system for mobile devices (smartphones and tablets).
A type of application that defends against the threats that spam poses (such as viruses, phishing attempts, and denial-of-service attacks) and reduces the amount of spam entering an email system.
Antivirus software
A type of software that scans a computer's memory and disk drives for viruses. If it finds a virus, the application informs the user and may clean, delete, or quarantine any files, directories, or disks affected by the virus. The term
ATM skimming
A type of fraud or theft that occurs when an ATM is compromised with a skimming device. A card reader that can be disguised to look like a part of the machine. The card reader collects victims' account information and personal identification numbers (PIN).
The program that automatically updates McAfee software with the latest detection definition (.DAT) files and scan engine.
Computer programmers often build backdoors into software applications so they can fix bugs. If hackers or others learn about a backdoor, the feature may pose a security risk. It can also be referred to as a trap door.
A backup is a duplicate copy of data made for archiving purposes or for protection against damage and loss. A backup is usually kept physically separate from the originals for recovery when originals are damaged or lost.
Black hat hackers
Hackers who gain unauthorized access into a computer system or network with malicious intent. They may use computers to attack systems for profit, for fun, for political motivations, or as part of a social cause. Such penetration often involves modification and/or destruction of data, as well as distribution of computer viruses, Internet worms, and delivery of spam through the use of botnets.
A list of known sources of unwanted email used for filtering spam. A blacklist can also be a list of websites that are considered to be dangerous because they exploit browser vulnerabilities or send spyware and other unwanted software to users.
Blended threat
A general description for malicious programs that combine elements of multiple types of malware: viruses, worms, Trojans, etc.
A wireless technology commonly used to wirelessly link phones, computers, and other network devices over short distances. It can also be used to exchange data over short distances.
Short for robot, a computer that has been infected with malicious software without the user's knowledge. Once the computer has been affected, a cybercriminal can send commands to it and other infected machines over the Internet. Since the compromised computers blindly follow the commands of the cybercriminals, infected machines are also called zombies.
Botnet (bot network)
Short for robot network, a botnet is a network of hijacked computers controlled remotely by a hacker. The hacker can use the network to send spam and launch Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, and may rent the network to other cybercriminals. A single computer in a botnet can automatically send thousands of spam messages per day. The most common spam messages come from zombie computers.