Glossary (Computer Security)
is a sponsored advertising program which comes with freeware. Some software
developers consider this as
legitimate way to cover their developing cost when they provide the computer
program for free. The advertisement may appear as a pop up ad when you run
the freeware. Some adware programs not only show advertisements, they also
spy on the user’s browsing habits. In this case, they are considered as
the short form of robot, internet bot or web robot. It is an application
that runs automatic tasks over the internet. Bots can be used to perform
simple and repetitive tasks at a very high speed. If used maliciously, bots
can be installed in the computer as hidden applications via worms, Trojan
horses or backdoors. The infected computers are called zombie computers and
a network of infected machines is known as “botnet”. Botnet is controlled
by a remote master computer which orders these zombie computers to carry out
cyber crimes, such as denial of service attack, spamming, click fraud etc.
Computer viruses are parasitic
that have the ability to replicate and spread to other computers. They
attach themselves to executable files (their hosts) and the virus codes run
once you execute those files. Computer viruses are often spread by email
attachments and shared files. They can damage the boot sector, system BIOS,
software and data files.
are also malicious programs. Unlike computer viruses, computer worms are
self contained; they can
without being part of a host program.
at enormous speed in the network,
causing damage to the network or clog up bandwidth whereas viruses usually
corrupt files or damage system BIOS or boot sector.
crackers are computer users who try to gain unauthorized and illegal access
to your computers. Their action is often malicious, they can install an
application in your computer, use your computer to hack another machine,
corrupt your data files or steal sensitive information such as banking and
(pronounced “farming”) is another form of online fraud. Unlike Phishers,
pharmers don’t use spam message to catch their victims, they use technology
to swap out a large number of legitimate web sites for bogus web sites.
Even if you type the right domain name in the address bar, pharmers can
redirect you to bogus web sites to steal confidential information, load
spyware and adware to your computer or send you to adult sites or sites
selling pills. Pharming harvests victims in a large scale and is a more
dangerous crime than phishing.
(pronounced “fishing”) is a process of stealing sensitive information from
computer users. Phishers use spam messages as a bait to trick you to go to
phish sites which look like legitimate sites. They will then ask you to
enter confidential information such as user ID, password, bank account
number etc. Phishers work like putting a fishing line in the water,
catching those who get on the hook.
messages are junk email messages including unsolicited advertising that are
sent to a large number of recipients. Spam messages are not only annoying;
they are also used to spread viruses, worms, spyware and phishing messages.
is a hidden program that secretly monitors your actions without your
(a program that spies on you).
Spyware is often used to monitor your browsing and
can also be a
remote control program used by a hacker, stealing confidential personal data
from your computer.
unknowingly install spyware in the computer when they click on pop up ads or
download freeware or shareware. Spyware may cause identity
theft, computer problems, slow internet access, hijacked browser homepage
and uncontrolled pop-up ads.
horses are malicious programs in disguise as some useful
Unlike computer viruses and worms, Trojans horses cannot replicate and
spread by themselves. Trojan horses are sent via email attachment or
malicious web sites, they may also be hidden codes embedded in a legitimate
Trojan horses can damage your files or create security
leak in your system.
weaknesses in computer software which are subject to the attack of malicious
programs leading to damage of the computer.