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Glossary of Security Terms


Adware – annoying, but often benign malware that causes pop-up advertising and display advertising banners to appear while browsing the web and slows connections.

Adware Blocker – software to block pop-up advertisements that interrupt web browsing.

Adware Remover – software to remove malware that generates pop-up advertisements that interrupt web browsing

Adware Spyware - freeware applications which contain adware to track surfing habits in order to serve adverts relevant to the user.

Antivirus - computer protection software used for identification and removal of computer viruses, and many other types of malware.

Back Door - a hole in the security of a computer system deliberately left in place by software designers – effectively a hidden trap door that can be exploited to circumvent security controls. that facilitates the secure copying of data to protect it from the risk of loss.

Backup Storageremote storage to safeguard valuable data from loss: online is best.

Blaster Worm - a computer worm that spread on computers running Microsoft Windows XP and Windows 2000, during August 2000.

False Negative - an actual intrusive action a security system allows to pass, falsely indentifying it as non-intrusive behavior.

False Positive - an action falsely identified as anomalous (a possible intrusion) when it is a legitimate action.

Firewall - a firewall examines electronic data coming in to, or out of, a computer, comparing it to pre-defined rules - if data matches the rules it is allowed to pass, if it doesn't, it is blocked.

Hacker - a person who enjoys exploring the details of computers and how to stretch their capabilities – this definition applies to a ‘white hat’ hacker, whereas a ‘black hat’ would engage in the above for malicious purposes.

Host - a single computer connected to a network.

Internet Security - a branch of computer security that establishes rules and measures to use against attacks upon data over the internet.

Keylogger Remover – software used to remove small programs that monitor each keystroke typed on a specific computer's keyboard.

Letterbomb – an e-mail containing live data intended to do malicious damage to the recipient’s computer.

Malware – a collective term for malicious software spread online to perform a variety of destructive purposes.

Mobile Antivirus - protective software optimized for mobile platforms used for identification and removal of computer viruses, as well as other types of malware that target mobile operating systems.

Packet - a block of data sent over a network transmitting the identities of the sending and receiving station, and message information.

Packet Filtering - a feature to limit the flow of information decided by predetermined parameters based on packet characteristics.

Packet Sniffer - a device or program that monitors the data packets travelling between computers on a network.

Port Scan - a series of messages sent by an intruder to break into a computer. Specific messages are used to determine which computer network services - each associated with a common port number - the computer provides. Port scanning gives an idea where to probe for weaknesses.

Remote Backup – storage of valuable data in a separate location to the user’s computer for safekeeping.

Sasser Worm - a computer worm that affects computers running versions of the Microsoft Windows XP and Windows 2000. Sasser spreads by exploiting the system through a vulnerable network port making it particularly virulent as it can spread without user intervention.

Server- a system that provides a network service such as disk storage and file transfer, or a program that provides such a service.

Spam Filter a software program that blocks unsolicited junk mail.

Spyware – a form of malware that invades user’s privacy by recording, passing on and abusing personal details without the user’s knowledge.

Spyware Adware - freeware applications which contain adware to track surfing habits in order to serve adverts relevant to the user.

Spyware Blockers – software to block malware that snoops on user’s personal information.

Trojan Horse - a destructive program that conceals its identity, masquerading as a benign application.

Trojan Virus – see Trojan Horse above, alternative name.

Virus – a program or code that attaches itself to a legitimate, executable piece of software, and reproduces itself when that program is run.

Wifi – a wireless network that allows enabled personal computers, video game consoles, smartphones or digital audio players to connect to the Internet.

Worm Virus - comparable to a computer virus, but able to spread copies of itself from one computer to another without the assistance of users.


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