(remote access Trojan) A program that allows hackers to access
your computer from a remote location. See
Utility that restores a hard disk's contents back to a previous
state. Often used to repair damage caused by erratic software installations but
can also be used to repair damage caused by hackers, viruses, or Trojan
A collection of one or more programs designed to hide a hacker's
tracks on a computer and install additional back doors to ensure that the
hacker can get back into that computer at a later time.
An acronym that stands for Security Administrator Tool for
Analyzing Networks. SATAN is a program designed to probe a website for security
1. A type of antivirus program that contains a database of known
virus characteristics. By comparing files to this database, a scanner can
accurately determine the exact type of virus that may be infecting your
computer. 2. A type of program that searches the Internet or a network for
Derogatory term used to describe hackers who use programs written
by other people without understanding the technical details.
A collection of several programs designed to correct multiple
flaws or bugs in a program. See
A method of software distribution that lets you freely copy and
try the program without payment. If you use the program regularly, you are
legally obligated to pay for it. See
The unique structural characteristic of a virus or Trojan horse,
much like a fingerprint on a person. Every virus and Trojan horse has a unique
signature, which antivirus and anti–Trojan horse scanners use to detect and
The unused space in a cluster, which often contains keystrokes or
other fragments of a file that can be recovered and used as evidence.
A virus that only infects files when they are created or
modified. By doing this, slow infectors avoid detection by antivirus programs,
such as integrity checkers. See
A program that copies data as it the data passes through a
The actual commands that make up a program. If you have the
source code of a virus, you can modify its behavior. Virus source code is
usually written in assembly language or Visual Basic for Applications, online
harassment programs are usually written in Visual Basic, and Trojan horses are
usually written in C/C++ or Delphi. See
Visual Basic for
Slang name for unwanted email.
A virus that infects files only occasionally to avoid detection
by antivirus programs.
Slang term for "exploits." Often used by hackers to
identify the latest vulnerabilities found in a particular program, such as an
operating system or firewall.
Programs that retrieve information from a hard disk and send that
information to another computer. Often used by advertiser-sponsored shareware
programs or desktop-monitoring programs designed to spy on people using a
A virus that tries to avoid detection by antivirus
The science of hiding information like text in another medium,
such as a graphic file, sound file, or another text file.