Cyber Security Dictionary

computer security breach articles 5/5 (8)

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)

A network attack in which an unauthorized person gains access to a network and stays there undetected for a long period of time to steal data rather than to cause damage to the network or organization.

Advanced Volatile Threat (AVT)

An advanced kind of memory-resident, RAM-based attacks where the malicious code does not need to reach its victim’s hard drive in order to deliver its payload.


Any software or application that displays advertisements, usually through pop-up or pop-under windows which may cause networks and devices to slow down as other programs are allowed to run in the background.


A back door is a means of access to a computer program that bypasses security mechanisms. A programmer may sometimes install a back door so that the program can be accessed for troubleshooting or other purposes. However, attackers often use back doors that they detect or install themselves, as part of an exploit.


A type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and that is not backed by any country’s central bank or government to verify the transfer of funds.

Boot Record Infector

Viruses which infect executable code found in certain system areas on a disk. They attach to the DOS boot sector on diskettes and USB thumb drives or the Master Boot Record on hard disks.


A network of private computers infected with malicious software and controlled as a group without the owners’ knowledge for malicious activity.

Brute Force Cracking

Brute force is a trial and error method used by application programs to decode encrypted data such as passwords or Data Encryption Standard keys, through exhaustive effort (using brute force) rather than employing intellectual strategies.


An error or defect in software or hardware that causes a program to malfunction. Often a bug is caused by conflicts in software when applications try to run in tandem.

Computer Worms

A self-replicating computer program that use a network to send copies of itself to other systems and it may do so without any user intervention.

Cross-site Scripting (XSS) Vulnerability

A way of bypassing the SOP (Same Origin Policy) concept, which forbids websites to retrieve content from pages with another origin.


A digital currency designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency.


The process of protecting information by encrypting it into an unreadable format, called cipher text.


A darknet is any overlay network that can be accessed only with specific software, configurations, or authorization, often using non-standard communications protocols and ports.

Dark Web

A collection of thousands of websites that use anonymity tools like Tor, I2P to hide their IP address allowing users and website operators to remain untraceable.

Data Exfiltration

A form of a security breach also called data theft that occurs when an individual’s or company’s data is copied, transferred, or retrieved from a computer or server without authorization.

Data warehousing

The electronic storage of a large amount of information by a business. Warehoused data must be stored in a manner that is secure, reliable, easy to retrieve and easy to manage.

Deep web

The deep web, invisible web, or hidden web are parts of the World Wide Web whose contents are not indexed by standard search engines for any reason. The content is hidden behind HTML forms.

Defense in depth

Defense in depth is the concept of protecting a computer network with a series of defensive mechanisms such that if one mechanism fails, another will already be in place to thwart an attack.

Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks

A type of attack where the attackers attempt to prevent legitimate users from accessing the service. Systems, servers or networks will be flooded with traffic in order to overwhelm the victim resources and make it difficult or impossible for legitimate users to use them.

Dictionary Attack

An attempt to gain illicit access to a computer system by using a very large set of words to generate potential passwords.

Digital Forensics

The application of investigation and analysis techniques to gather and preserve evidence from a particular digital device.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack

 A type of DOS attack where multiple compromised systems, which are often infected with a malware, are used to target a single system causing a Denial of Service (DoS) attack.

Domain Hijacking

A form of theft where the attacker takes access of a domain name without the consent of the original registrant.


A fictional virus modeled after the Stuxnet virus. Like Stuxnet, Doxnet is able to damage physical infrastructure.


An unauthorized real-time interception of a private communication, such as a phone call, instant message, video conference or fax transmission.


An open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract functionality; applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference.

Fileless Malware

A type of Advanced Volatile Threat, Malware that operates without placing a malicious executable on the file system.


The person who gains unauthorized access to computer files or networks for a politically or socially motivated purpose.

Honey monkey (Honey Client)

A honey monkey is an active client honeypot. The honey monkey behaves like a highly active and extremely unwary human Internet user, logging onto many suspect websites. The programs detect harmful coding that could jeopardize the security of human visitors.


A computer system that is setup to act as a trap to tempt cyber attackers, and to detect attempts to gain unauthorized access to information systems.

Hybrid Attack

A mixture of both a dictionary and brute force attack. That means that like a dictionary attack, you would provide a wordlist of passwords and a brute-force attack would be applied to each possible password in that list.

Information Spillage

Information spillage refers to instances where sensitive information is inadvertently placed on information systems that are not authorized to process such information.

Internet of Things (IOT)

A system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers(UID) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.


A type of surveillance software, also called a keystroke logger that has the capability to record every keystroke you make to a log file, usually encrypted, including instant messages, email or any information typed using the keyboard.

Macro Virus

A computer virus that spreads to other computers through software programs like Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel that utilize macro languages.

Malicious Code

Program code intended to perform an unauthorized function or process that will have an adverse impact on the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of an information system.


Malicious Advertising (Malvertising) is a type of online attack wherein malicious code hidden within an online ad infects your computer with malware.


Malicious software programs or files that compromise the operation of a system by performing an unauthorized function or process. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, ransomware, Trojan horses, and spyware.

Man-in-the-middle attack

A man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack is an attack where a user gets between the sender and receiver of information and sniffs any information being sent. 

Masquerade Attack

An attack that uses a fake identity, such as a network identity, to gain unauthorized access to personal computer information through legitimate access identification.

Password Cracking

In cryptanalysis and computer security, password cracking is the process of recovering passwords from data that have been stored in or transmitted by a computer system.

Password Sniffing

Password sniffing is a technique for harvesting passwords that involves monitoring traffic on a network to pull out information.


The process of fixing security vulnerabilities and other bugs, with patches usually called bug fixes, and improving the usability or performance.

Penetration Testing

A method of testing, measuring and enhancing established security measures on information systems and support areas, also called as pen-testing.


The fraudulent practice of directing Internet users to a bogus website that mimics the appearance of a legitimate one, in order to obtain personal information such as passwords, account numbers, etc.


A digital form of social engineering attempting to trick people into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card numbers, often by using emails or fake websites address that look like they are from trusted organizations.

Ping of Death

A ping of death is a type of attack on a computer system that involves sending a malformed or otherwise malicious ping to a computer.

QAZ Trojan

This is a network worm with backdoor capabilities, which spreads itself under Win32 systems. The worm itself is Win32 executable file and about 120K long, written in MS Visual C++.


A type of malware that holds victim’s’ computer files hostage by locking access to them or encrypting them unless victim pay ransom to decrypt.

Rogue Software

A form of malware or internet fraud also called smitfraud or scareware that persuade users into believing there is a specific number of the virus on their computer and manipulates them into paying money for a fake malware removal tool.


A set of software tools that enable an unauthorized user to gain control of a computer system without being detected.


Malicious computer programs designed to trick a user into buying and downloading unnecessary and potentially dangerous software, such as fake antivirus protection.


A technique used by crackers who dial up to the Internet hoping to find connections left dangling when somebody else abruptly hung up. The term is also used to describe the activity of hunting for Residual Data on erased devices.

Session Hijacking

Session Hijacking is a method of taking over a Web user session by surreptitiously obtaining the session ID and masquerading as the authorized user.


A malicious spyware application that may install itself secretly via adware. SmitFraud may also be brought into your computer bundled with a fake codec.


A type of denial of service attack in which a system is flooded with spoofed ping messages. This creates high computer network traffic on the victim’s network, which often renders it unresponsive.

Social Engineering

The art of manipulating people so they give up confidential information including passwords or bank details or access to computer system.


Irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the Internet, typically to a large number of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc.

Spear Phishing

The fraudulent practice of sending emails targeted towards a specific individual, organization or business intended to steal data or install malware on the targeted computer.


A technique used to gain unauthorized access to computers, whereby the intruder sends messages to a computer with an IP address indicating that the message is coming from a trusted host.


A type of malware that is installed on a computer without the knowledge of the owner in order to collect the owner’s private information.

SQL Injection Attack

An injection attack wherein an attacker can execute malicious SQL statements that control a web application’s database server.

Stealth Virus

A hidden computer virus that attacks operating system processes and averts typical anti-virus or anti-malware scans. Stealth viruses hide in files, partitions and boot sectors and are expert at deliberately avoiding detection.


A computer worm that targets the types of industrial control systems (ICS) that are commonly used in infrastructure supporting facilities (i.e. power plants, gas lines, etc.)

Threat Actor

 An entity that is partially or wholly responsible for an incident that directly or indirectly impacts an organization’s security. 

Trojan Horse

A type of malware that is often disguised as legitimate software implemented by cyber-thieves and hackers trying to gain access to users’ systems and sensitive data.


A characteristic or specific weakness that renders an organization or asset (such as information or an information system) open to exploitation by a given threat or susceptible to a given hazard.

Whaling Attack

A kind of phishing scam that targets high-profile end users such as C-level corporate executives, politicians, and celebrities with access to highly valuable information.


Wiretapping or Telephone tapping is the monitoring of telephone and Internet conversations by a third party, often by covert means.

Zero-day Vulnerability

A flaw that leaves software, hardware or firmware exposed against an attack, called zero-day exploit, that occurs the very same day the vulnerability is discovered.


A virus infected computer connected to the Internet that has been compromised by a hacker, computer virus or trojan horse program and can be used to perform malicious tasks of one sort or another under remote direction.


Please rate this content