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Security Glossary

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Glossaries

Term Definition
War dialing
Process in which a computer is used to automatically call a list of telephone numbers, usually dialing every number in a local area code to search for computers and fax machines that can successfully make a connection with the computer. When each call is made, the program makes a list of which numbers made a successful connection with a computer and a fax machine. That list can be later used by hackers for various reasons, including hacking a wireless access point with an unprotected login or an easily cracked password to gain access to a network.
War driving
The act of stealing personal information by driving around looking for unsecured wireless connections (networks) using a portable computer or a personal digital assistant (PDA). If your home wireless connection is not secured, thieves can access data on all the computers you have connected to your wireless router, as well as see information you type into your banking and credit card sites.
Web browser
An application that lets a user access and display content from the Internet.
Whaling
A type of scam in which phishers find the name and email address of a company's top executive or team of executives (information often freely available on the web), and craft an email specific to those people and their role at the company. The email attempts to lure the executives into clicking on a link that will take them to a website where malware is downloaded onto their machines to copy keystrokes or ferret out sensitive information or corporate secrets.
White hat hackers
Also known as ethical hackers, white hat hackers are computer security experts who specialize in penetration testing and other testing methodologies to ensure that a company's information systems are secure. These security experts may utilize a variety of methods to carry out their tests, including social engineering tactics, use of hacking tools, and attempts to evade security to gain entry into secured areas.
Whitelist
A list of legitimate email addresses or domain names that is used for filtering spam. Messages from whitelisted addresses or domains are automatically passed to the intended recipient.
Wi-Fi
The name commonly given to wireless networks. Wi-Fi (short for wireless fidelity) networks are commonly used by many businesses and these networks can be protected so that only authorized users may access them.
Worm
A virus that spreads by creating duplicates of itself on other drives, systems, or networks. A mass-mailing worm is one that requires a user's intervention to spread, (e.g., opening an attachment or executing a downloaded file). Unlike viruses, worms do not infect other files. Most of today's email viruses are worms. A self-propagating worm does not require user intervention to spread.