November 27, 2006 3:19 PM PST

Security from A to Z: Neologisms

An inordinate number of new words and terms are continually being forged to keep pace with the dubious activities of spammers, scammers and malware writers.

Some common security-inspired neologisms you still won't find in the average dusty dictionary are: adware, spyware and malware. But there are many, many more--and many more obscure ones too.

Another common industry-inspired term, "spam"--which derives its name from the well-known Monty Python spam sketch--has in recent years spawned a couple of lesser-known siblings: spit and spim, or "spam over Internet telephony" and "spam over IM."

The A to Z of security
Read the first part in our rundown of hot security topics, from antivirus to zero-day threats.

And then there are the "ph" words--phishing, phreaking and pharming--which strap themselves into the hacker convention of using "alternative" phonetic spellings.

Some more portmanteaus--hacktivism and hackmail--describe politically motivated hacking, and the act of blackmailing a Web site for money by using a threat to take it offline, as experienced by many an online gambling site.

A few more colorful neologisms include "bruteforce," "honeypot," "logicbomb," "scriptkiddie," "sniffer" and "zombie."

Natasha Lomas reported for in London.

See more CNET content tagged:
spam, security, malware


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