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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  • M

    malware (malicious software)

    Malware, or malicious software, is any program or file that is harmful to a computer user.

  • Malware: Glossary

    This is a glossary of terms related to malware.

  • Malwarebytes software

    Malwarebytes is a cross-platform anti-malware program that detects and removes malware and other rogue software.

  • man in the browser

    Man in the browser refers to an emerging tactic used by hackers to commit financial fraud... (Continued)

  • man-in-the-disk (MITD) attack

    Man-in-the-disk (MITD) is an attack vector that allows an intruder to intercept and potentially alter data as it moves between Android external storage and an installed app.

  • mandatory access control (MAC)

    Mandatory access control (MAC) is a system-controlled policy restricting access to resource objects (such as data files, devices, systems, etc.) based on the level of authorization or clearance of the accessing entity, be it person, process, or device.

  • masquerade

    In general, a masquerade is a disguise.

  • MD2

    MD2 is an earlier, 8-bit version of MD5, an algorithm used to verify data integrity through the creation of a 128-bit message digest from data input (which may be a message of any length) that is claimed to be as unique to that specific data as a fingerprint is to the specific individual.

  • MD4

    MD4 is an earlier version of MD5, an algorithm used to verify data integrity through the creation of a 128-bit message digest from data input (which may be a message of any length) that is claimed to be as unique to that specific data as a fingerprint is to the specific individual.

  • 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.

  • Meltdown and Spectre flaws

    Meltdown and Spectre flaws are variations on vulnerabilities to most computer chips manufactured in the past 20 years that can gain access to data and information stored on the device.

  • 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.

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