Messaging threats Definitions

  • A

    anonymous email

    Anonymous e-mail is e-mail that has been directed to a recipient through a third-party server that does not identify the originator of the message.

  • C

    CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart)

    A CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart) is a type of challenge-response system designed to differentiate humans from robotic software programs.

  • challenge-response authentication

    In information security, challenge-response authentication is a type of authentication protocol where one entity presents a challenge or question, and another entity provides a valid response to be authenticated.

  • cloaking

    Cloaking is the masking of the sender's name and address in an e-mail note or distribution.

  • content filtering (information filtering)

    On the Internet, content filtering (also known as information filtering) is the use of a program to screen and exclude from access or availability Web pages or e-mail that is deemed objectionable.

  • crimeware

    Crimeware is programming that is designed to facilitate illegal online activity. The use of crimeware is primarily financially motivated.

  • D

    domain rotation

    Domain rotation is a technique use by malware distributors to drive traffic from multiple domains to a single IP address that is controlled by the distributor. The goal of domain rotation is to make it harder for a network administrator to blacklist the malware distributor.

  • DomainKeys

    DomainKeys is an anti-spam software application in development at Yahoo that uses a form of public key cryptography to authenticate the sender's domain.

  • E

    email spam

    Email spam, or junk email, is unsolicited bulk messages sent through email with commercial, fraudulent or malicious intent.

  • email spoofing

    Email spoofing is the forgery of an email header so that the message appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source.

  • email virus

    An email virus consists of malicious code that is distributed in email messages, and it can be activated when a user clicks on a link in an email message, opens an email attachment or interacts in some other way with the infected email message.

  • I

    identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable information (PII), such as Social Security or driver's license numbers, in order to impersonate someone else.

  • J

    Joe job

    A Joe job is an e-mail spoofing exploit in which someone sends out huge volumes of spam that appear to be from someone other than the actual source.

  • M

    mail bomb

    A mail bomb is the sending of a massive amount of e-mail to a specific person or system.

  • Melissa virus

    Melissa is a fast-spreading macro virus that is distributed as an e-mail attachment that, when opened, disables a number of safeguards in Word 97 or Word 2000, and, if the user has the Microsoft Outlook e-mail program, causes the virus to be resent to the first 50 people in each of the user's address books.

  • munging

    Munging is the deliberate alteration of an e-mail address on a Web page to hide the address from spambot programs that scour the Internet for e-mail addresses.

  • O

    Operation Phish Phry

    Operation Phish Phry is a cybercrime investigation carried out by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Los Angeles Electronic Crimes Task Force and Egyptian authorities.

  • P

    pharming

    Pharming is a scamming practice in which malicious code is installed on a personal computer or server, misdirecting users to fraudulent Web sites without their knowledge or consent.

  • phishing

    Phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in email or other communication channels.

  • R

    Register of Known Spam Operations (ROKSO)

    The Register of Known Spam Operations (ROKSO) is a list of over 500 professional spammers that is maintained by the Spamhaus Project, an organization dedicated to identifying and exposing spam operators.

  • Rock Phish

    Rock Phish is both a phishing toolkit and the entity that publishes the kit, either a hacker, or, more likely, a sophisticated group of hackers. While the authors of the kit remain anonymous, Rock Phish has become the most popular phishing kit available online, with some estimates suggesting that the kit is used for half of all phishing attempts.

  • S

    Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

    Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an anti-spam approach in which the Internet domain of an e-mail sender can be authenticated for that sender, thereby discouraging spam mailers, who routinely disguise the origin of their e-mail, a practice known as e-mail spoofing.

  • social engineering

    Social engineering is an attack vector that relies heavily on human interaction and often involves manipulating people into breaking normal security procedures and best practices in order to gain access to systems, networks or physical locations, or for financial gain.

  • spam cocktail (or anti-spam cocktail)

    A spam cocktail (or anti-spam cocktail) is the use of several different technologies in combination to successfully identify and minimize spam. The use of multiple mechanisms increases the accuracy of spam identification and reduces the number of false positives.

  • spam filter

    A spam filter is a program that is used to detect unsolicited and unwanted email and prevent those messages from getting to a user's inbox.

  • spam trap

    A spam trap is the inclusion of an option in an online form that is preselected by default with the expectation that the user will fail to notice the option.

  • spear phishing

    Spear phishing is an email spoofing attack that targets a specific organization or individual, seeking unauthorized access to sensitive information.

  • spoof

    Spoof was a game involving trickery and nonsense that was invented by an English comedian, Arthur Roberts, prior to 1884, when it is recorded as having been "revived.

  • W

    whack-a-mole

    Whack-a-mole is the pursuit of a particular person known to have sent spam.

  • whaling attack (whaling phishing)

    A whaling attack, also known as whaling phishing or a whaling phishing attack, is a specific type of phishing attack that targets high-profile employees, such as the CEO or CFO, in order to steal sensitive information from a company.

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