logic bomb (slag code)

In a computer program, a logic bomb, also called slag code, is programming code, inserted surreptitiously or intentionally, that is designed to execute (or "explode") under circumstances such as the lapse of a certain amount of time or the failure of a a program user to respond to a program command.

In a computer program, a logic bomb, also called slag code, is programming code, inserted surreptitiously or intentionally, that is designed to execute (or "explode") under circumstances such as the lapse of a certain amount of time or the failure of a a program user to respond to a program command. It is in effect a delayed-action computer virus or Trojan horse. A logic bomb, when "exploded," may be designed to display or print a spurious message, delete or corrupt data, or have other undesirable effects.

Some logic bombs can be detected and eliminated before they execute through a periodic scan of all computer files, including compressed files, with an up-to-date anti-virus program. For best results, the auto-protect and e-mail screening functions of the anti-virus program should be activated by the computer user whenever the machine is online. In a network, each computer should be individually protected, in addition to whatever protection is provided by the network adminstrator. Unfortunately, even this precaution does not guarantee 100-percent system immunity.

This was first published in September 2005

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