CIS 105 -- Survey of Computer Information Systems

Essential Concepts and Terminology -- Study Unit 12.

Computer Security Risk.
Any event, action, or situation that could lead to loss or destruction of computer systems or data.
Computer Crime.
Use of a computer in a manner that violates the law.
Use of the Internet to carry out illegal activities.
Regarding computer systems, those techniques used to control access.
Packet Sniffer.
A program that examines all traffic on a section of network to find passwords, credit card numbers and other information of value.
Social Engineering.
A form of deception designed to cause people to divulge sensitive information.
Superuser Status.
A classification, in multiuser operating systems, enabling administrative access to virtually all files on a network.
A security loophole analysis program designed for use by system administrators (and abused by electronic intruders) to detect insecure systems.
Computer virus.
A program designed to attach itself to a file, reproduce, and spread from one file to another, destroying data, displaying an irritating message, or otherwise disrupting computer operations.
File Infector.
Computer viruses that attach to program files and spread when the program is executed.
Boot Sector Virus.
A computer virus that infects the sectors on a disk that contain the data a computer uses during the boot process. This type of virus does not require a program to spread, and may cause the destruction of all data on a drive.
Macro Virus.
A computer virus that infects the automatic command execution capabilities (macros) of productivity software. Macro viruses are typically attached to documents and spreadsheets.
Executable File.
A file containing instructions capable of running on a computer, usually with an .exe extension if intended for use on a PC.
Time Bomb (Logic Bomb).
A computer program (virus) designed to stay in a computer system undetected until it is triggered at a certain date or time, or by a certain event.
A program designed to enter a computer system, usually a network, and replicate itself. Worms can take control of resources to attack other computers.
Trojan Horse.
A computer program that appears to perform a useful function while actually doing something malicious, such as inserting a virus, stealing a password, or destroying data.
The term "hacker' once meant a computer hobbyist or a computer novice. In most contexts today, it means a person who has gained unauthorized access to a computer system.
People who break into a computer system with intent to damage files or steal data, or who are driven to hack highly secure systems.
Trap Door.
A means to bypass normal security precautions and enter a computer system. A trap door is often created during computer installation and testing, or for personal exploitation.
Power Spike.
A sudden increase of power that lasts less than a millionth of a second.
Power Surge.
A sudden increase of power that can last several seconds. Power surges can destroy electronic components.
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).
A battery-powered device detects power outages and voltage drops, and automatically replaces the supply source without interruption.
Callback System.
A system to control access to a computer by verifying information and calling the person requesting access at a specified phone number.
Handheld electronic devices, used to authenticate users, that generate logon codes, and that may provide digital certificates.
Credit card-sized devices with their own internal memory, often used to control access to computer networks.
Biometric Authentication.
Biological measurements, such as fingerprinting, retinal scans, and voice or facial recognition, used to verify a person's identity.
A program to prevent or limit external access to a computer from networked connections.
Antivirus Software.
Computer programs used to scan computer memory and disks to identify, isolate, and eliminate viruses.
Backup Software.
Programming used to periodically make a backup copy of specified hard disk data, to enable restoring lost material.


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