Glossary of Cyber Scam terms

Do you know your Trojan from your Zombie?

You may be mistaken in thinking we are talking about the latest Dr Who series, but no, these terms relate to Cyber Scams and awareness. When it comes to cyber security there are a multitude of phrases and acronyms to learn and remember that all mean different things. Smart to the rescue. We have produced a glossary of terms to help you identify your Hactivisms from your Spoofing!

Botnet – A collection of infected computers that can be remotely controlled by a cyber criminal.

Brute Force Attack – The use of computer programmes to try and identify a password to allow unauthorised access to a system.

Cookies – Files held on your computer containing information about your website usage.

Data Loss – Accidental loss of data

Data Theft – Deliberate theft of data

Data Leakage – When information about a person or business is published online. This information can be used to construct ‘spearphishing’ emails.

Distributed Denial of Service attack or DDoS – An attack launched on a system by a network or computers, called a Botnet. This causes disruption to a computer or website.

Email Malware Distribution – Malware delivered via an email attachment.

Evil Access Points – A cyber criminal sets up their own public hot spot such as free_wifi or coffee_shop_wifi in an attempt to get you to connect to them, allowing them to capture any data you send.

Exploits – Designed to take advantage of a flaw or vulnerability in a computer system, typically for malicious purposes such as installing malware.

Hactivism – Hacking that takes place for political or social purposes.

Keylogging – The logging of keystrokes on a compromised computer or device.

Malware – Malicious software which includes spyware, Trojans, viruses and worms.

Patches – Fixes for vulnerabilities found in software, operating systems or applications.

Phishing Emails – the process of tricking recipients into revealing sensitive information via sending fraudulent emails.

Ransomware – A type of malware that denies you access to your files or computer until a ransom is paid.

Sniffing – a technique where a cyber criminal captures your data as you send it over a Wi-Fi network.

Social Engineering – involves a fraudster manipulating an individual to assist their criminal activity by getting them to share information via email that they wouldn’t ordinarily disclose. See ‘Phishing’ and ‘Spearphishing’.

Spearphishing – Targeted phishing using spoofed email address containing information found from ‘data leakage’ to add legitimacy to its content.

Spoofing – Email spoofing is when the sender email address is falsified to assist in social engineering. Software available online is used to hide the true sender of the email.

Spyware – Malicious software that allows cyber criminals to get private information without a user’s knowledge by recording keystrokes or monitoring the websites they have visited.

Trojan – Malicious programmes that appear to be something they are not for example a video download.

Virus – A piece of malicious software that embeds into a file that can be spread from one computer to another. These are particularly harmful and can be used to steal data or take control of a computer. See Botnet.

Vulnerability – Faults within programmes that can be exploited by cyber criminals to attack computers, systems and mobile devices.

Worm – A type of virus that exploits a particular vulnerability within a system and uses this to spread itself to other systems.

Zombie – A zombie is a computer that can be remotely controlled by a cyber criminal. It will have been infected with malware and may be used as part of a Botnet.