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Glossary of Computer Threat Terms

Glossary of Computer Threat Terms

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Published by Eset Andy
We've put together a helpful Glossary of Computer Threat Terms, that you can download and refer to at your convenience.
We've put together a helpful Glossary of Computer Threat Terms, that you can download and refer to at your convenience.

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Published by: Eset Andy on Feb 27, 2013
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 Glossary Of Computer Threat Terms
In order to help you understand the minefield of techno-
babble and jargon out there, we’ve
put together this helpful guide for you to download and refer to whenever the need arises.
So let’s get started…
 
Bot
The word
“Bot” is a shortened version of the word “Robot” –
a computer program that has beenwritten in order to perform tasks automatically.Bots become negative when they are used maliciously to allow a remote attacker to control avictim
s PC.They can be used to send spam, download and store illegal or questionable content files, such assome types of pornography, or to make computers participate in attacks on other computers.A bot can also be made to search the victim
s hard drive and send confidential information to aremote site on the internet in order to perform identity theft!Computers that are infected with bots are often called
“D
rones
or
“Z
ombies
.
 
Botnet
A botnet is a group of bot infected PCs that are all controlled by the same "command and controlcentre".
Hoaxes
Computer Virus hoaxes are there to try and generate fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) in therecipients, bringing them to believe there
s some kind of undetectable virus on their computer.Other hoaxes include the promise of receiving good luck by passing on the email to 20 of yourfriends.Others are of malicious intent, where the objective is to coax the recipient into deleting importfiles from their computer unnecessarily.In all cases they should simply be deleted.A quick way to check if the email is a hoax, is to do a search for the subject line of the email onthe Internet
 –
invariably the first few results will come back indicating it is indeed a hoax.
 
 
Malware
The term “Malware” is derived from the combination of the 2 wo
rds -
“Malicious” & “Software”, and
is a generic term that refers to all software of ill-intent, e.g. Viruses, Trojans, Worms, etc.
Phishing
Phishing (pronounced in the same way as fishing) is a fraud strategy where the sender attempts toacquire sensitive personal information by deception, such as bank or credit card details.The standard phishing method is to send an email claiming to be from an important person, yourbank or other such business, containing an apparently legitimate request for information.Often they will stipulate you either have an inheritance/other such money to claim and that youneed to reply to person X with your financial details, or they appear to come from a bank and areasking you to update your password or undertake a specific action, which if ignored, will result indiscontinuation of the banking service.Regarding the financial institution emails, they tend to look very genuine and contain branding andcontent which may have originally come from the source that it is impersonating. Usually there willbe a link in the mail that will take the recipient to a website (which also may look very much like thelegitimate site), and this site will be used to capture the details being phished.The tell-tale sign of a phishing email is that they are asking for personal information to be suppliedvia email. Banks and other legitimate companies like Ebay or PayPal will never request usernamesand passwords in unsolicited email.In the event of receiving such an email we recommend contacting your bank, who may ask for you toforward it on, so they can look into the matter further.
Payload
The additional functionality or content, e.g. data stealing, file deletion, disk overwriting or messagedelivered, etc. that may be included in a virus, worm or Trojan.
 Spyware
Spyware is specific software that is used in
1 of 2 main ways…
 In the 1
st
way, it used as tracking software
that’s
deployed without adequate notice, consent, orcontrol for the user.Often the tracking is done by reporting specific information, e.g. browsing history, key stroketracking, credit card or personal details, to a third party.
 
The 2
nd
use of spyware is
where it’s
delivered as part of another program (much the same way as aTrojan Horse), but some is delivered as a payload to a worm, or via websites which exploitvulnerabilities in browsers to silently install the programs in the background.In addition, there are also many programs which pretend to be Anti-Spyware programs, but are
themselves
Spyware
 –
check www.spywarewarrior.org for a list of such rogue programs.
Trojan Horse
As the name suggests, a
Trojan Horse
” or “
Trojan
, is a program which purports to do one thing,but actually does another.Trojans are not always damaging or malicious, but they are often associated with things like deletingfiles, overwriting hard-drives, or being used to provide remote access to a system for an attacker.Classic Trojans include keyloggers (a program that records keyboard strokes) being delivered asgame files, or file deleters masquerading as useful utilities. Trojans can be used for many purposesincluding
 
Remote Access (sometimes called Remote Access Tools or RATs, or Backdoors)
 
Keylogging and password stealing (Most spyware falls into this category)
Virus
A virus is a program which replicates by copying itself, either exactly or in modified form, intoanother piece of executable code.Viruses can use many types of hosts, some of the most common are:
 
Executable files (such as the programs on your computer)
 
Boot sectors (the parts of code that tell your computer where to find the instructions it usesto boot or turn on)
 
Scripting files (such as Windows Scripting, or Visual Basic script)
 
Macros within documents (this is much less common now, as macros in, for instanceMicrosoft Word, will not execute by default)When a virus inserts itself into other executable code, this ensures it
s run when the other code isrun and the virus spreads by searching for other clean hosts every time it is run.Some viruses overwrite the original files effectively destroying them, but many simply insertthemselves in a way that they become part of the host program, so that both survive.Depending on the way they
re coded, viruses can spread across many files in the system, acrossnetworks via file shares, in documents and in the boot sectors of disks.

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