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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    MD5

    The MD5 hashing algorithm is a one-way cryptographic function that accepts a message of any length as input and returns as output a fixed-length digest value to be used for authenticating the original message.

  • 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.

  • memory-scraping malware

    Memory-scraping malware is a type of malware that helps hackers to find personal data. It examines memory to search for sensitive data that is not available through other processes.

  • message authentication code (MAC)

    A message authentication code (MAC) is a cryptographic checksum on data that uses a session key to detect both accidental and intentional modifications of the data.

  • metamorphic and polymorphic malware

    Metamorphic and polymorphic malware are two categories of malicious programs that have the ability to change their code as they propagate.

  • Metamorphic virus

    A metamorphic virus is a type of malware that is capable of changing its code and signature patterns with each iteration.

  • MICR (magnetic ink character recognition)

    MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) is a technology used to verify the legitimacy or originality of paper documents, especially checks.

  • micro VM (micro virtual machine)

    A micro VM (micro virtual machine) is a virtual machine program that serves to isolate an untrusted computing operation from a computer's host operating system.

  • micro-botnet (mini-botnet or baby botnet)

    A micro-botnet, also called a mini-botnet or baby botnet, is a small network of Internet-connected computers that have been hijacked to attack specific companies or individuals within a company.

  • Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET)

    Microsoft's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) is a free Windows-based security tool that adds supplemental security defenses to defend potentially vulnerable legacy and third-party applications.

  • Microsoft FIM (Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager)

    Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) is a self-service identity management software suite.

  • Microsoft Schannel (Microsoft Secure Channel)

    The Microsoft Secure Channel or Schannel is a security package that facilitates the use of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and/or Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption on Windows platforms.

  • Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE)

    Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is an antimalware software product made by Microsoft that provides protection for client computers against viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and other malicious software on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 systems.

  • minutiae

    In the biometric process of fingerscanning, minutiae are specific points in a finger image.

  • mobile authentication

    Mobile authentication is the verification of a user’s identity through the use a mobile device and one or more authentication methods for secure access.

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