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Security Glossary

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Term Definition
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.
Browser hijacker
A type of malware that alters your computer's browser settings so that you are redirected to websites that you had no intention of visiting. Most browser hijackers alter browser home pages, search pages, search results, error message pages, or other browser content with unexpected or unwanted content.
Brute-force attack
A hacking method used to find passwords or encryption keys by trying every possible combination of characters until the correct one is found.
An unintentional fault, error, failure, or mistake in a software program that can produce an incorrect or unexpected result or cause a program to behave in unintended ways.