Information Security Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing IT security and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

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  • D

    deniable encryption

    Deniable encryption is a type of cryptography that allows an encrypted text to be decrypted in two or more ways, depending on which decryption key is used.

  • denial-of-service attack

    A denial-of-service attack is a security event that occurs when an attacker prevents legitimate users from accessing specific computer systems, devices, services or other IT resources.

  • deperimeterization

    In network security, deperimeterization is a strategy for protecting a company's data on multiple levels by using encryption and dynamic data-level authentication.

  • dictionary attack

    A dictionary attack is a method of breaking into a password-protected computer or server by systematically entering every word in a dictionary as a password. A dictionary attack can also be used in an attempt to find the key necessary to decrypt an encrypted message or document.

  • differential power analysis (DPA)

    A differential power analysis (DPA) attack is an exploit based on analysing the correlation between the electricity usage of a chip in a smart card and the encryption key it contains.

  • Diffie-Hellman key exchange (exponential key exchange)

    Diffie-Hellman key exchange, also called exponential key exchange, is a method of digital encryption that uses a number raised to specific powers to produce decryption keys that are never directly transmitted, making the task of a would-be code breaker mathematically overwhelming... (Continued)

  • digest authentication

    Digest authentication is a method of authentication in which a request from a potential user is received by a network server and then sent to a domain controller... (Continued)

  • digital certificate

    A digital certificate, also known as a public key certificate, is used to cryptographically link ownership of a public key with the entity that owns it.

  • digital signature

    A digital signature is a mathematical technique used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message, software or digital document.

  • Digital Signature Standard (DSS)

    Digital Signature Standard (DSS) is the digital signature algorithm(DSA) developed by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to generate a digital signature for the authenticationof electronic documents.

  • directory harvest attack (DHA)

    A directory harvest attack (DHA) is an attempt to determine the valid e-mail addresses associated with an e-mail server so that they can be added to a spam database.

  • directory traversal

    Directory traversal is a form of HTTP exploit in which a hacker uses the software on a Web server to access data in a directory other than the server's root directory... (Continued)

  • distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack

    A distributed denial-of-service attack occurs when an attack originates from multiple computers or devices, usually from multiple different locations or networks.

  • DMZ (networking)

    In computer networks, a DMZ (demilitarized zone), also sometimes known as a perimeter network or a screened subnetwork, is a physical or logical subnet that separates an internal local area network (LAN) from other untrusted networks, usually the internet.

  • DNS attack

    A DNS attack is an exploit in which an attacker takes advantage of vulnerabilities in the domain name system (DNS).

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