Glossary

Bot or BotNet - A large network of machines under control of a single user. One malicious user gains control to several infected machines and uses their combined power to attack another victim. Machines present in the Botnet are referred to as Bots or Zombies.

Cookies - Small pieces of data stored on your computer after you visit a website. 

Firewall - A program which is used to control who can connect to your machine over the internet

Malware - Malware stands for "Malicious Software" this is any type of program on a computer which behaves in a way which is damaging to the User. This type of software often goes by other names which describe the type of malware, these include viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, 

  • Viruses - Computer viruses describe a type of malware which once executed replicates itself onto the machine being infected. This can be present in multiple different areas on the machine making it difficult to trace, and remove.

  • Worms - A worm is similar to a virus, but instead of spreading itself onto a single machine, it uses replication to copy itself onto more computers. It does not need to use a program like a virus.

  • Trojans - Trojans are malware which hides its intentions. It pretends to be a legitimate piece of software in order to gain permissions on a computer.

  • Spyware - Spyware is a generalized term for a type of malware which is used to track your activity on your computer, this can be something as malicious as logging your password to banking sites, as to something as simple as checking your cookies and showing you advertising.

Phishing -  Attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity. Any email which asks for your password, or any personal data.

Ransomware - Ransomware is a type of malware that infects computer systems, restricting users’ access to the infected systems and files. Ransomware attempts to extort money from victims by displaying an on-screen alert which alerts the user that their system has been locked and their files have been encrypted. Users are told that unless a ransom is paid, access will not be restored and their files will be deleted after a period of time. 

Spam - Unsolicited or undesired email usually commercial in nature

Spoofing - This is when some malicious third party pretends to be a trusted party. This is often used in phishing emails where the sender is faked, or spoofed, to appear to be a legitimate mail, when in fact it is coming from a spammer. 

Trojans - Malware that appear to perform a desirable function, but facilitate unauthorized access to a computer system.

"Zero day" Exploits - take advantage of a vulnerability on the same day the vulnerability becomes generally known.

Zombies -  A computer that has had a malware software "robot" or "bot" installed and is under the control of an external system (usually via an open port).