ATTACK: A discrete malicious action of debilitating intent inflicted by one entity upon another. A threat might attack a critical infrastructure to destroy or incapacitate it.
C.E.R.T.: Computer Emergency Response Team at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh - Established in 1988, to help private industry and government deal with Internet security issues.
C.P.U.: Central Processing Unit - The brains of the computer, determines the speed and power of the system.
CRACKER: A term used to describe a person who hacks into a computer system with malicious intent. Crackers tend to be young and unskilled compared their hackers counterparts. The term itself was created by hackers who wanted to differentiate themselves from those who just want to break into a secure system.
ENCRYPTION: The translation of data into a secure code to ensure the safe transfer of information across the Internet -- discussed in terms of strong and weak. Messages are encrypted using "keys," which are made up of strings of 1s and 0s. The strength of an encryption key is defined by how many 1s and 0s, or bits, are used to define a key. A system using 16-bit encryption, for example, has 216 -- or 65,536 -- possible keys. Encryption is considered strong if it is difficult or impossible for a supercomputer to systematically go through the possible key combinations and guess the right key. Computer experts currently say encryption at the 128-bit level is strong enough to protect against hackers, but U.S. export regulations prohibit the export of encryption between the 40- and 56-bit levels.
ETHERNET: Local Area Network (LAN) - Allows for shared computing in a small area by connecting all the computers in a network.
HACKER: A very skilled computer enthusiast who breaks into computer networks to learn about the network and its programming language. One who breaks into a computer network.
HACKER ETHIC: (From The New Hackers Dictionary): The belief that information-sharing is a powerful positive good, and that it is an ethical duty of hackers to share their expertise by writing free software and facilitating access to information and to computing resources wherever possible. 2. The belief that system-cracking for fun and exploration is ethically OK as long as the cracker commits no theft, vandalism, or breach of confidentiality.
INFRASTRUCTURE: The government lists the following sectors as critical to the nation's defense and economic security: Information and Communications, Electrical Power Systems, Gas and Oil Transportation and Storage, Banking and Finance, Transportation, Water Supply Systems, Emergency Services, Government Services.
INTRUDER: A term used to describe someone who hacks into a computer network.
KEY ESCROW: A system where computer users place a key in a databank that could decode encrypted messages.
L.L.N.L.: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Government laboratory whose focus is on global security, global ecology, and bio-science.
MICROPROCESSOR: A chip that contains the computers CPU; The part of the computer which determines the system's computing speed and power.
MITRE: A federally funded organization that performs computer systems engineering and integration work for Department of Defense.
N.I.P.C.: National Infrastructure Protection Center - Housed at the FBI, it is designed to protect the computers that control America's critical infrastructures.
NETWORK: A group of two or more computers linked together.
PATCH: A piece of programming code that is created to fix an existing error in a current computer program.
PHREAKING: Using a computer to crack into the phone network. Typically, it is used to making free long-distance calls.
PROTOCOL: A format that allows for the transmission of data between two computers.
SNEAKER: A person or team employed to test the security of a computer network.
TCP/IP: Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol is a set of protocols developed to allow cooperating computers to share resources across a network.
UNIX: A computer operating system used mainly by Internet service providers and high-end work stations.
WINDOWS NT: - The most advanced version of Microsoft Corporation's Windows operating system.
For a more complete dictionary of computer terms, visit PCWebopedia. And for a more complete listing of hacker terms, visit The New Hackers Dictionary
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