Information Services & Technology

Security Terms

security@csuohio.edu
  1. ActiveX
    1. Is a framework for defining reusable software components (also called controls) that perform a particular function or a set of functions in Microsoft Windows, which is independent of the programming language, used to implement them. A software application can then be composed from one or more of these components to provide the functionality needed.
  2. Anti-
    1. A class of software that was written to prevent spam (anti-spam), spyware (anti-spyware), viruses (anti-virus), etc.
  3. Authentication
    1. The verification of the identity of a person or process in order to provide access or services. The most common form of authentication is typing a User Name (which may be widely known or easily guessable) and a corresponding Password that is presumed to be known only to the individual being authenticated.
  4. Backup
    1. Is the process of creating a spare copy of a file or other resource for use in the event of failure or loss of the original. Backup can also refer to the copied media.
  5. Biometrics
    1. The measurement of a physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, DNA, hand print, retinal patterns, etc., to verify the identity of individuals. These physical characteristics are assumed unique to an individual. Biometrics are used to confirm the identity of an individual as part of an authentication procedure.
  6. Botnet
    1. A group of Virus Infected computers that are under the control of one individual. The infected computers can be anywhere in the world but they must be all controlled by the same person. It is common to have tens of thousands of computers in a Botnet. While the computer responds to the computer owner with whatever is requested, it also responds to the commands of the Botnet owner. Botnets are often used to send virus and spam.
  7. Bug
    1. A problem in computer software that prevents it from acting as it was designed.
  8. Cable Modem
    1. A type of Modem that allows people to access the Internet via their cable television service.
  9. Cookies
    1. A collection of information, usually including a username and the current date and time, stored on the local computer of a person using the World Wide Web, and used by websites to identify users who have previously registered or visited their site. It is used to keep track of the people who visit the site and provide customized service for repeat visitors.
  10. Dial-up
    1. A type of connection that allows people to access the Internet via their telephone service.
  11. Download
    1. To transfer data from one computer to another. Download usually refers to transfers from a larger computer system (called a “host”) to a smaller "client" system, especially a PC. Also, see Upload.
  12. DOS (Denial Of Service)
    1. A denial-of-service attack (DOS attack) is an attempt to make computer resources (usually Web pages) unavailable to its intended users or customers. DOS attacks generally consist of the concerted efforts of a Botnet (with thousands of computers) where each computer sends traffic to a Web site to prevent it from functioning efficiently or at all for its intended audience. This can be very problematic for a site that depends on the Internet alone for sales. Also called DDOS, Distributed Denial Of Service.
  13. DSL
    1. DSL (digital subscriber line) is a service that provides access to the Internet over the wires of a local telephone company.
  14. Encryption
    1. Is the process of transforming information using a mathematical formula to make it unreadable to anyone except those possessing special knowledge, usually referred to as a “key.” The result of the process is “encrypted data.”
  15. File Sharing
    1. Is the practice of distributing or providing access to digitally stored information on the Internet, such as computer programs, multi-media (audio, video), documents, or electronic books. Many file sharing services have been shut down due to litigation by groups such as the RIAA and MPAA because of copyright infringement. The lawsuits were brought against individual users of file sharing software.
  16. Firewall
    1. Hardware and/or software that looks at all network traffic coming into an entity (network, computer, etc.), and allows or denies the traffic based on a set of rules. These rules are written by a Firewall administrator with the expressed intent allowing approved access and disallowing unapproved access.
  17. Hacker
    1. A person who illegally breaks into computers, usually by gaining access to administrative controls.
  18. Holes
    1. A problem in computer software that allows the machine to become Infected and controlled (Zombie).
  19. HTTP/HTTPS
    1. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secured (HTTPS) is a computer language for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. Its use for retrieving Web pages.
  20. Identity Theft
    1. The crime of obtaining the personal or financial information of another person to assume that person's name to make fraudulent purchases, remove money from their bank account, or any other action which harms the other person financially.
  21. Infect
    1. To install a Virus on a computer.
  22. Intrusion Detection
    1. Software and/or hardware designed to detect unwanted attempts at accessing, manipulating, and/or disabling of computer systems, mainly through a network, such as the Internet. These attempts may take the form of attacks, as examples, by Hackers, Viruses and/or disgruntled employees.
  23. IP Address
    1. Is a numerical identification address that is assigned to devices (computers, printers, Fax machines, etc.) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol (IP) for communication between its nodes.
  24. Intrusion Prevention
    1. A network security device that monitors the network and/or computer system activities for malicious or unwanted behavior and can react, in real-time, to block or prevent those activities.
  25. Kernel
    1. Is the most important part of a computer’s Operating System. It’s responsible for managing the computer’s various resources (memory, disk, etc.).
  26. LAN (Local Area Network)
    1. Is a computer network covering a small physical area, like a home, office, or small group of buildings, such as a school, or office complex.
  27. Linux
    1. An operating system for a PC-classed machine based on UNIX.
  28. Logon
    1. The process of requesting access to a computer by providing the proper credentials (usually some sort of user identifier and a password).
  29. Malware
    1. see Virus, Spyware, and Worm.
  30. Modem
    1. Is a device that translates a digital signal (from a computer) to an analog signal (so it can be transmitted over a phone line) and back again. Computers, generally, do not work with analog signals and phone lines are not digital (yet), so a modem is a device that bridges the gap between these two technologies.
  31. Operating System
    1. Is an interface between a computer’s hardware and the end user. It is responsible for the management, coordination, and the sharing of computer resources. It is commonly abbreviated OS or O/S. Also, see Kernel.
  32. Packet Analyzer
    1. See Sniffer.
  33. Password
    1. A password is a secret string of characters that is used for authentication, to prove identity, or gain access to a resource. The password must be kept secret from those not allowed access.
  34. Patch
    1. An upgrade to a piece of software that is used to remedy to an existing problem.
  35. Pharming
    1. A Hacker's attack aiming to redirect a website's traffic to a fake website that’s made to look like the original. Pharming can be accomplished by a number of software measures, usually either by changing the hosts file on a victim’s computer or by exploitation of a vulnerability in DNS server software.
  36. Phishing
    1. A method of Identity Theft through the practice of luring unsuspecting Internet users to a fake Web site by using authentic-looking email with the real organization's logo, in an attempt to steal passwords, financial or personal information, or infect their computer with a virus . The Web pages look authentic so the unsuspecting person is fooled into submitting their personal or financial information or passwords.
  37. Ping
    1. Is a computer network tool used to test whether a computer is reachable across a network.
  38. Pop Ups
    1. Are a form of online advertising on the World Wide Web intended to attract web traffic. It works when certain web sites open an additional new Web browser window to display advertisements. These new browser windows are usually smaller and display on top of the existing Web page.
  39. Pop Up Blocker
    1. Software built into Web browsers that recognize Pop Up windows and prevent them from displaying.
  40. Ports
    1. Is a logical channel or channel endpoint in a communications system. Each application program (i.e., Web browsers, email programs, database clients, etc.) has a unique port number associated with it. Port numbers allow one computer to receive Web page responses and email notifications at the same time without the computer getting confused.
  41. Proxy Server
    1. Is usually a neutral computer that acts as a go-between for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers. A client connects to the proxy server, requesting some service ( a Web page, for example), or other resource that is available from a different server. The proxy server evaluates the request according to its filtering rules. For example, it may filter traffic by IP address or protocol. If the request is validated by the filter, the proxy provides the resource by connecting to the relevant server and requesting the service on behalf of the client. A proxy server may optionally alter the client's request or the server's response.
  42. Script
    1. Is a programming language that allows control of one or more software applications. Scripts are often interpreted from source code whereas the applications they control traditionally are compiled to native machine code.
  43. Script Kiddie
    1. Is a derogatory term used to describe those who use Scripts or programs developed by others to attack computer systems and networks. It is generally assumed that script kiddies are juveniles who lack the ability to write sophisticated hacking programs or exploits on their own, and that their objective is to try to impress their friends or gain credit in computer-enthusiast communities.
  44. Smart Card
    1. Is any credit card-sized card with embedded integrated circuits (ICs) that can process data. It can receive input, which is processed by way of the ICs imbedded in the card.
  45. Sniffer
    1. Is computer hardware or software that can intercept and stores network traffic. As data streams flow across the network, the sniffer captures each packet and eventually decodes and analyzes its content.
  46. Spam
    1. Unsolicited commercial email. Over 90% of all email is spam.
  47. Spam Filtering
    1. The scanning of incoming and outgoing email to try to determine if it is unsolicited commercial email. The process usually allows some personal parameter manipulation to customize the actions taken by the filtering logic.
  48. Spyware
    1. Any type of software that transmits information without the computer owner’s knowledge. It covertly gathers information about a user while he/she navigates the Internet. The gathered information is transmitted to a third party that uses the data for its own purposes (research, marketing, etc.) without the knowledge and consent of the computer owner. May also allow Viruses onto the machine.
  49. SSL Certificates
    1. Is a cryptographic protocol that provides security and data integrity for communications over the Internet. SSL encrypts the parts of network connections at the Transport Layer end-to-end. The protocols is in wide use in applications like Web browsing, eMail, Internet faxing, instant messaging, and voice-over-IP (VoIP).
  50. Trojan
    1. Is a term used to describe Malware that appears to perform a desirable function but, in fact, infects the user's computer system with a Virus. The term comes from the Trojan Horse story in Greek mythology.
  51. Update
    1. The process of fixing or upgrading software to the latest version distributed by the vendor. Updating software is usually done to add new features or fix Vulnerabilities.
  52. Upload
    1. To transfer data from one computer to another. Upload usually refers to transfers from a smaller computer system (called a “client”) to a larger "host" system, especially a server or mainframe. Also, see Download.
  53. Username
    1. In computing, a user is a person who uses a computer or Internet service. A user may have a user account that identifies the user by a username (also user name). To be authorized to use an account, a user is typically required to authenticate himself with a password or other credentials for the purposes of accounting, security, logging, and resource management.
  54. Virus
    1. Software that runs on a computer without the owner’s knowledge. This software allows remote control of the computer so that the owner and virus writer controls its workings. Computers with a virus are said to be Infected. Infected computers account for a majority of the Spam that is sent.
  55. VPN
    1. Is a computer network in which some of the connections between computers are carried by the Internet, as opposed to running across a single private network. This allows computers to be spread across the world, yet still be part of one local network.
  56. Vulnerability
    1. A problem in computer software that exposes it to possible attack; a flaw in the system's logic or programming.
  57. Windows Update
    1. A program on computers that are running one of the flavors of the Microsoft Windows operating system that allows it to update itself with the latest Patches. The software keeps the Windows operating system up-to-date with the latest software to minimize Vulnerabilities.
  58. Wireless
    1. A term describing a computer network where there is no physical connection (either copper cable or fiber optics) between sender and receiver, but instead they are connected by radio waves.
  59. Worm
    1. Malware that propagates itself over a computer network, reproducing itself as it goes. The same category of malware as a Virus, but does not require user action to infect a computer.
  60. Zombie
    1. One of the computers in a Botnet.