Cybersecurity terms you should know

NetDelivery Interbit Data



Definition: A computer connected to the Internet that has been surreptitiously / secretly compromised with malicious logic to perform activities under remote the command and control of a remote administrator.

Extended Definition: A member of a larger collection of compromised computers known as a botnet.

Synonym(s): zombie

Related Term(s): botnet

Data Breach

Definition: The unauthorized movement or disclosure of sensitive information to a party, usually outside the organization, that is not authorized to have or see the information.

Related Term(s): data loss, data theft, exfiltration

Data Integrity

Definition: The property that data is complete, intact, and trusted and has not been modified or destroyed in an unauthorized or accidental manner.

Related Term(s): integrity, system integrity

Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-27

Denial of Service

Definition: An attack that prevents or impairs the authorized use of information system resources or services.
Adapted from: NCSD Glossary

Distributed Denial of Service

Definition: A denial of service technique that uses numerous systems to perform the attack simultaneously.

Related Term(s): denial of service, botnet

Adapted from: CNSSI 4009


Definition: The property whereby information, an information system, or a component of a system has not been modified or destroyed in an unauthorized manner.

Extended Definition: A state in which information has remained unaltered from the point it was produced by a source, during transmission, storage, and eventual receipt by the destination.

Related Term(s): availability, confidentiality, data integrity, system integrity

Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4, 44 U.S.C., Sec 3542, SANS; From SAFE-BioPharma Certificate Policy 2.5


Definition: Software that compromises the operation of a system by performing an unauthorized function or process.
Synonym(s): malicious code, malicious applet, malicious logic

Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-83


Definition: A digital form of social engineering to deceive individuals into providing sensitive information.

Adapted from: NCSD Glossary, CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-63 Rev 1


Definition: Faking the sending address of a transmission to gain illegal [unauthorized] entry into a secure system.

Extended Definition: The deliberate inducement of a user or resource to take incorrect action. Note: Impersonating, masquerading, piggybacking, and mimicking are forms of spoofing.

From: CNSSI 4009


Definition: Software that is secretly or surreptitiously installed into an information system without the knowledge of the system user or owner.

Related Term(s): keylogger

Adapted from: CNSSI 4009, NIST SP 800-53 Rev 4

Trojan Horse

Definition: A computer program that appears to have a useful function, but also has a hidden and potentially malicious function that evades security mechanisms, sometimes by exploiting legitimate authorizations of a system entity that invokes the program.

From: CNSSI 4009


Definition: A computer program that can replicate itself, infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user, and then spread or propagate to another computer.

Related Term(s): macro virus

Adapted from: CNSSI 4009


Definition: A self-replicating, self-propagating, self-contained program that uses networking mechanisms to spread itself.

From: CNSSI 4009

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