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Security Glossary

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Glossaries

Term Definition
Scareware
A common trick cybercriminals use to make users think that their computer has become infected with malware to get them to purchase a fake application. Often the fake application that the user is tricked into purchasing is actually a malicious program which can disable real antivirus software and wreak havoc on a user's machine.
Search engine
A program that searches information on the Internet for specified keywords and returns a list of where the information can be found. They have electronic catalogs of millions of sites on the Internet so that once a user types in a keyword or set of keywords into the search engine, it can quickly direct the user to websites containing information based on the keyword. Google, Yahoo, and Bing are all examples of search engines.
Shareware
Software provided to users without payment on a trial basis and is usually offered with limited features. Shareware requires payment to the author for full rights. If, after trying the software, you do not intend to use it, you simply delete it. Using unregistered shareware beyond the evaluation period is pirating. Also known as trialware or demoware.
Short code
Telephone numbers shorter than full telephone numbers that can be used only for messaging on mobile phones. They are designed to be easier to read and remember. Short codes are widely used for value-added services such as television program voting, ordering ringtones, charity donations, and mobile services. Messages sent to a short code can be billed at a higher rate than a standard text message and may even subscribe a customer to a recurring monthly service that will be added to the their mobile phone bill until the user texts the word STOP(for example) to terminate the service.
Short message service (SMS)
A form of text messaging on mobile phones.
Shoulder surfing
The use of direct observation techniques, such as looking over someone's shoulder, to get information. A criminal can get access to your personal identification number (PIN) or password by watching over your shoulder as you use an automated teller machine (ATM) or type on your computer.
Signature files
Data files containing detection and/or remediation code that antivirus or antispyware products use to identify malicious code.
SIM (subscriber identity module) card
A small electronic card, approximately the size of a postage stamp, that is placed underneath a mobile phone's battery. The SIM card stores data such as user identity, location phone number, network authorization data, personal security keys, contact lists, and stored text messages.
Smartphone
A mobile device that combines the functions of a wireless phone and functions typically associated with a computer. These functions include email access, the ability to browse the Internet, access to online banking, synchronization between the device and a computer, as well as many more functions.
SMiShing
The act of using social engineering techniques similar to phishing but via text messaging. The name is derived from SMS (Short Message Service) phishing. SMS is the technology used for text messages on mobile phones. SMiShing uses text messages to try and get you to divulge your personal information. The text message may link to a website or a phone number that connects to automated voice response system.
Sniffer
Software or device that monitors network traffic. Hackers use sniffers to capture data transmitted over a network.
Social engineering
The act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. It relies on human interactions, such as trying to gain the confidence of someone through trickery or deception for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or computer system access. This can take many forms, both online and offline.
Spam
An unwanted electronic message, most commonly unsolicited bulk email. Typically, spam is sent to multiple recipients who did not ask to receive it. Types include email spam, instant messaging spam, web search-engine spam, spam in blogs, and mobile phone-messaging spam. Spam includes legitimate advertisements, misleading advertisements, and phishing messages designed to trick recipients into giving up personal and financial information. Email messages are not considered spam if a user has signed up to receive them.
Spear phishing
The act of sending an email that appears to come from a legitimate source, such as a bank, a company's internal IT department, an internal employee, or a business partner. While phishing uses mass email, spear phishing targets a very small number of recipients. The email sender information may be spoofed so the email appears to originate from a trusted source. Messages typically request username and password details, provide a link to a website where visitors can enter personal information, or have an attachment containing a virus, Trojan, or spyware.
Spim
A type of spam specific to instant messaging. The messages can be simple unsolicited ads or fraudulent phishing mail.