What that cybercrime jargon really means

Cybercrime is all the more frightening for many internet users because they do not understand the cloak and dagger jargon.

Computer experts might as well speak in a foreign language when they talk about hackers and the tools of their trade.

To throw some light into the shadowy world of cybercrime, here are some of the most common jargon terms explained.

Back door

a secret way to access a network, computer or software left by the developer

Biometrics

identifying a technology user by fingerprints, voice or retina

Black hat

a hacker out to damage a network or steal information

Bot

a computer hijacked by a hacker. Bot is short for ‘robot’

Botnet

a group of hijacked computers controlled by a hacker

Countermeasure

any action that increases computer security

Cracker

someone trying to break into software or a computer system

Cryptography

encoding information before sending across a network

Decrypt

decoding encrypted information into understandable text

Distributed denial of service (Ddos)

a network attack by a botnet aimed at stopping a web site from working

Digital signature

an electronic signature

Dumpster diving

looking through rubbish for network access codes or personal information

Exploit

A software or hardware bug that lets hackers into computer

Firewall

software designed to limit access from outside into a private network

Hijacking

taking over a live connection between two users so that the hacker can pose as a genuine user

IP spoofing

when a hacker generates a false IP address to gain access to a network

Premiums start from £12.60* a month

*Based on £100,000 worth of cover. Plus insurance premium tax (IPT) currently at 12%.