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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  • K

    knowledge factor

    The knowledge factor, in a security context, is a category of authentication credentials consisting of information that the user possesses, such as a personal identification number (PIN), a user name, a password or the answer to a secret question.

  • knowledge-based authentication (KBA)

    In a KBA scheme, the user is asked to answer at least one "secret" question before being allowed to change account settings or reset a password.

  • Kraken

    Kraken is the name given to a family of malware that's currently being used to create what the security firm Damballa has called "the world's largest botnet." Single bots infected with Kraken malware have been recorded sending up to 500,000 spam email messages in a day. (Continued...)

  • L

    lawful interception (LI)

    Lawful interception (LI) is the legally sanctioned official access to private communications, such as telephone calls or e-mail messages.

  • LEAP (Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol)

    LEAP (Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol) is a Cisco-proprietary version of EAP, the authentication protocol used in wireless networks and Point-to-Point connections. LEAP is designed to provide more secure authentication for 802.11 WLANs (wireless local area networks) that support 802.1X port access control.

  • lifestyle polygraph

    A lifestyle polygraph is a lie-detector (polygraph) test that is administered as a requirement for employment in certain fields.

  • link encryption (link level or link layer encryption)

    Link encryption (sometimes called link level or link layer encryption) is the data security process of encrypting information at the data link level as it is transmitted between two points within a network.

  • live capture

    Live capture is the act or method of gathering biometric data from an individual while the individual is physically present.

  • logic bomb

    A logic bomb, sometimes referred to as slag code, is a string of malicious code used to cause harm to a network when the programmed conditions are met.

  • logon (or login)

    In general computer usage, logon is the procedure used to get access to an operating system or application, usually in a remote computer.

  • LUHN formula (modulus 10)

    The LUHN formula, also called modulus 10, is a simple algorithm used to validate the number on a credit card.

  • M

    macro virus

    A macro virus is a computer virus written in the same macro language used for software programs, including Microsoft Excel or word processors such as Microsoft Word.

  • madware

    Madware is a type of aggressive advertising that affects smartphones and tablets. The name, which is a portmanteau combining the words mobile and adware, was coined by the security vendor Symantec to describe a type of intrusive advertising that currently affects Android smartphones and tablets.

  • mail bomb

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

  • Malicious Computer Code: Glossary

    This is a glossary of terms related to malicious computer code.

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