Cyber Security Glossary

Cyber Security Definitions


A botnet is a large network of compromised computers. A “bot” is malicious software that enables cybercriminals to control your compute without your knowledge and use it to execute illegal activities, such as sending out spam, spreading viruses, etc.


Criminals, such as black hat hackers, who use malevolent programs on a computer and the internet to commit illegal activity. This can be breaking into computers and stealing personal/corporate data or disrupting operations, among many others.


Short for malicious software, this is a type of unwanted software that is installed without your consent. Viruses, worms, and Trojan horses are examples of the malicious software referred to as malware.

Man-in-the-Middle (MITM)

An attack where two people who communicate with one another have their messages altered by an attacker without their knowledge. The entire conversation is controlled by the attacker, or man-in-the-middle.


Phishing is a type of online identity theft that uses email and fraudulent websites designed to steal your personal data or information, such as credit card numbers, passwords, account data, or other information.


Ransomware is a type of malicious software that prevents the victims from accessing their files by encrypting them and demanding a ransom to either decrypt them back and/or publish a confidential, private, intimate, or any other sensitive material.


Spyware, which can be legitimate software, monitors a wiser’s online activity and collects various personal information, such as internet surfing habits. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user and can be difficult to detect.


Harmful computer programs that are designed to spread from one computer to another and interfere with computer operations. A virus can corrupt or delete data on your computer and damage your hard drive.

Trojan Horse

A Trojan horse is a destructive computer program that masquerades itself as a benign file of application (such as a .jpg or .doc). It then opens up a “backdoor” or access to your PC without your knowledge.