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


identifying a technology user by fingerprints, voice or retina

Black hat

a hacker out to damage a network or steal information


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


a group of hijacked computers controlled by a hacker


any action that increases computer security


someone trying to break into software or a computer system


encoding information before sending across a network


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


A software or hardware bug that lets hackers into computer


software designed to limit access from outside into a private network


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

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