The following is a list of many cumputer tech terms.
||An address in memory is a location
to which an application or a piece of hardware
refers. For example, a word processor will store your document in
a particular memory address while you have it open.
Problems occur when two things (hardware or software)
try to use the same address.
||This is a method of using FTP without a
password. Anyone who wishes to make files publicly available can
allow users to use FTP by specifying anonymous for the user
name, and their email address for the password.
||Quite simply, a small application.
For example, each of the windows that appear
when you double-click on an icon in Control
Panel are considered Applets, because while they are
small applications by themselves, they require a larger
application (Control Panel) to operate them.
||Any program on your hard disk - an application
usually has its own Directory and can be
started by clicking on its icon in the Start
Menu. Most applications have their own Window.
||Short for Basic Input-Output System; this is a chip (or
set of chips) in your computer that controls how your computer
communicates with some of the basic hardware
componentes in your system, such as the keyboard, floppy
drive, and hard disk. In newer computers,
the BIOS is also what supports Plug-&-Play. A buggy
or incompatible BIOS is a common cause of problems
encountered when upgrading to a new version of Windows.
||The process of starting up a computer. See Reboot.
||A winsock client (software)
used to navigate the World Wide Web.
Netscape, Mozilla, and Internet Explorer are examples of browsers.
||The use of part of your computer's memory
to relieve the burden on a specific component, such as your
keyboard or printer. For example, if you press all of the keys on
your keyboard at once (on a slow computer), the letters would
appear on the screen slower than you've typed them. Since the
computer isn't able to process keys that quickly, they keys you've
pressed are stored in a buffer and fed to the computer at a
slower rate it can handle - this way, your keystrokes aren't lost.
Note that your computer will beep if the buffer is full, telling
you keys pressed thereafter will be forgotten. Similar to Cache.
||An error in software that causes it to
work improperly or not at all. This term comes from an occurance
when an actual bug made a nest in an early hard-wired (without
software) computer, causing it to malfunction.
||A 3-D control on the screen that looks
like it's pushed in when you click on it. This is different from
an icon, although buttons can contain
icons. Buttons usually get a single left-click, while icons
get a double-click.
||The smallest unit of storage, either on a disk
or in memory. For example, in a document
created by a word processor, each character
takes up at least one byte. See megabyte,
kilobyte, and gigabyte.
||The use of part of your computer's memory
to improve the performance of a specific component, such as your hard
disk, CD-ROM drive, or even your processor.
By storing recently acessed information in a disk cache,
for example, your computer can respond faster because it is
accessing memory, instead of the slower hard disk. (pronounced
"cash") Similar to Buffer.
||A letter, number, or symbol - anything that can be typed from
||1.) An appliction used over a Winsock
connection, such as an email program or a World
Wide Web Browser. 2.) A computer (hardware)
on a network that isn't a server.
||This is the smallest amount of hard disk
space a file can occupy. Floppies have a cluster
size of 512 bytes and hard disks can have
a cluster size ranging from 1 kilobyte
to 16 kilobytes (sometimes even more). The larger the partition,
the larger the cluster size. See Slack
||A small bit of memory used by your
computer used to store certain settings while it's turned off,
such as the type of hard disk installed.
You can typically change the CMOS settings by pressing a
certain keystroke (such as Del or ESC) during the
||One of the simplest ways to control a computer. The user runs applications
and performs other activities by typing commands at a prompt.
Unix and DOS are examples
of command prompts.
||The menu that appears when you right-click
on an object, such as a folder
or a file. It's called a context menu
because the items in the menu depend on what's being clicked - the
menu is appropriate to the context.
||An element of the user interface,
such as an icon, a button,
or a window.
||A type of multitasking where the operating
system assigns an equal amount of processor
cycles to each application, regardless
of how much power it actually needs. Preemtive
multitasking (used in all modern versions of Microsoft
Windows) is more efficient than the cooperative multitasking
found in Windows 3.1.
||Central Processing Unit - this is another name for the processor.
||A collection of information stored in an organized fashion,
suitable for updating and viewing the information contained within
frequently and easily. A database application
is required to access the information in a database.
||Short for Dynamic Data Exchange; the method by which
different applications can communicate
with eachother. For example, installation programs use DDE
to communicate with your Start Menu (or
the Program Manager in Windows 3.x) to add new program icons.
||An original, factory setting. For example, the taskbar
is located at the bottom of the Windows screen by default,
but you can move it to any side of the screen by dragging it with
||Using the Disk Defragmenter application,
you can fix all the files on your hard
disk that have become fragmented .
When many files become fragmented, your hard disk performance is
slower, and the danger of file corruption is greater, so it is a
good idea to defragment often. This is also known as Optimizing
your hard disk.
||The blank area on your screen behind all the windows. The dekstop
can hold icons, because it is really a
directory on the hard disk. Right-click on
the desktop to change its many properties.
||A container for files - it can have any
name, but always has a yellow folder for its icon.
Also called Folder. Every directory
has its own icon, into which other icons can
||A storage device used to hold files and directories.
There are hard disks and floppy
||Another name for floppy disk.
||This is the file you create in an application
- an example is a letter that you've written in a Word Processor.
Every document has its own icon.
||Disk Operating System - the first Operating
System available for the PC platform. See Command
Prompt. Easily recognized by the C:\> prompt.
||A piece of software that assists your
computer in using a specific device, such as a printer or scanner.
Buggy drivers cause the majority of problems
with a computer.
||A method of sending and receiving personal messages over a networks,
such as the Internet.
||The primary interface for Windows - this includes the folders in
My Computer and the items in the Task
Bar, as well as the window with the tree
||The part of a filename that follows the
period "." - this allows Windows to determine what type
a file is. For example, a file with the .TXT extension
tells Windows that it is a text file. Extensions are hidden
by default; here's how to display
||Short for Frequently Asked Questions, a collection of
questions and answers commonly used in World Wide Web sites,
newsgroups, and other discussion forums.
||Files contain data, whether it's a document
you've written, or an application used
to create the document. Every file has its own icon.
Files are stored in folders.
||Finger is a very old way of looking up someone's email
address on the Internet. Assuming a user's
ISP supports it, fingering a user on the
internet displays the last time the person logged in, and whether
or not he or she has any mail to be read. There also may be
special information displayed if the user has set up a Plan
file. You need a Finger client (software)
to use this feature of the Internet.
||This is an inexpensive, removable disk that
has a much lower capacity and speed than a hard
disk. Its capacity can be measured in kilobytes
||Interchangable with Directory, although
folder is a newer term.
||When a file has become fragmented, it
means that it is broken up into pieces on your hard
disk. Imagine if you saved a file to your hard disk, and then
saved another right after it. When you go to add more to the first
file and then save it again, it no longer can fit in the space
allotted, and must be split apart. When many files become
fragmented, your hard disk performance is slower, and the danger
of file corruption is greater. To fix fragmented files, you must defragment
your hard disk.
||File Transfer Protocol - a method of transferring files from one
computer to another across the Internet.
You need FTP client software to use FTP.
Windows comes with a simple DOS-based FTP client, FTP.EXE. Anonymous
FTP is the most common use of FTP.
||An abbreviation for Gigabyte.
||One billion bytes, or more precisely, 1,024 megabytes
(totalling 1,073,741,824 bytes). Different definitions of this
term cause distrepencies between different manufacturers and applications.
||Short for Graphical User Interface; a type of user
interface that uses graphics (such as icons
and windows) to control the computer.
Windows uses a GUI.
||This is a disk that is permanently connected
to your computer, and has a much higher capacity and speed than a floppy
disk. Its capacity is measured in megabytes,
and can be divided into several partitions.
||A general term used to describe the equipment that makes up and
is connected to your computer. To the beginner, software
is what ever you see on the screen, and hardware is
everything you can touch.
||The little pictures that you see on the screen, usually
representing folders and files
- icons can be dragged onto other icons, onto applications,
and into folders. Icons usually get a
double-click, while buttons get a single
||The method by which you control anything. The screen is the interface
to your computer, just as a dashboard is the interface to
your car, just as a doorknob is the interface to a door.
See User Interface.
||An term used incorrectly to describe the World
Wide Web - the Internet is a WAN,
and a superset of the World Wide Web. Originally connecting a few
universities and the United States government, it was designed to
provide a network that could withstand a war, because of its
decentralized structure. See email, telnet,
||A method by which a piece of hardware
communicates with the processor. It's
called interrupt, because the device (such as a sound card)
interrupts the computer to carry out a function (such as
playing a sound). See IRQ.
||Short for Interrupt Request Line; A number used to
describe an interrupt. An IRQ can
be any number from 0 to 15, inclusive. IRQ
problems occur because two pieces of hardware
try to use the same IRQ.
||Short for Internet Service Provider; these are the folks
who bill you for access to the Internet.
If you have free Internet access through a university, then the
university is your ISP. Tip: look for an ISP that doesn't
charge by the hour!
||An abbreviation for Kilobyte.
||One thousand bytes, or more precisely, 1,024
||Local Area Network - a network with all
its computers close together (geographically).
||Pieces of files that are no longer being
used, but are still taking up disk space. Use
Scandisk to clean up your lost
chains and delete them. If you convert them to files, they
will have the CHK extension - these files
will be useless to you unless you know how to retreive your data
||The only way a company with a customer satisfaction rating as
low as Microsoft's could be so successful.
||An abbreviation for Megabyte.
||One million bytes, or more precisely, 1,024 kilobytes
(totalling 1,048,576 bytes).
||Also known as RAM, this is what allows your applications
to run. The more memory you have, the more windows
you can have open, and the more applications you can run
simultaneously. Memory, while not the same as disk
space, is also measured in bytes, kilobytes,
||A list of things that an application
does. In Windows, nearly every application has a menu along the
top of its window, usually containing the
items File, Edit, View, and Help - when clicked, additional
subordinate menu items are displayed.
||This isn't as much of an actual term, as it is a frequently-seen
acronym in the.
It stands for Most Recently Used, and is generally used in
conjunction with lists of stuff you've recently typed in. For
example, there's an MRU list for the things you've most recently
typed into the Start Menu's Run command.
||An operating system performs multitasking
when it runs more than one application
simultaneously. See Preemtive
Multitasking, and Multithreading.
||The method by which an operating
system is able to run different parts of the same application
simultaneously. See Multitasking.
||A network is what you get when you connect two or more computers
together - the Internet is a type of
network. The terms LAN and WAN
describe the geographic scope of the network.
||A general term used to describe almost everything on the screen.
In a stricter sense, objects are used in an object-oriented
||An overused term, originally used to describe an advanced method
of computer programming. For example, the interface
in Windows is considered to be sortof object-oriented, because files
and most of the controls are treated as
strict objects, each having its own property
||Short for Object Linking and Embedding; a method by which
applications can share information.
Basically, it allows you to Cut something from one
application and Paste it into another, and then edit the
object in place. This second-rate technology (invented and pushed
by Microsoft) has been known to cause Pentium-class systems to
behave like 286's, and is responsible for much of the unecessary
complexity found in Windows and Windows Applications. See DDE
||The software used to control a computer
and run applciations. Windows, DOS,
and Unix are all examples of operating
||A division of a hard disk. For example,
a 500 megabyte hard disk can be divided
into two 250-megabyte partitions. Smaller partitions can be used
to further organize files and reduce the cluster
||From Navy terminology, ping is used to find out if a
machine on the Internet exists and is
responding. To use this feature, open a DOS
window while you're connected, and type FINGER
WWW.CREATIVELEMENT.COM (or any other server). Ping will
send small pieces of information to the machine, and you know if
the server is "up" if you get a
||A type of multitasking where the operating
system assigns processor cycles to applications
depending on how much power they need. Preemtive multitasking
is used in Windows, and is better than the less efficient cooperative
multitasking found in Windows 3.1. However, only 32-bit
applications can take advantage of this feature.
||This is the chip in your computer that does all the calculations
- for Windows users, it's based upon Intel's x86 architecture,
which includes the 386, 486, and Pentium series. This is also
referred to as the CPU.
||Short for Random Access Memory - this is the main type of
memory in your computer. See ROM.
||The process of re-starting your computer. If you turn it off and
then on again, or use the reset button on the front of your
computer, it's called a cold boot. If you hold Ctrl
and Alt while pressing Del, it's called a warm-boot.
||A complicated database of settings for
use in Windows. You can edit these settings with the Registry
Editor, REGEDIT.EXE. The registry is stored in two files
in your Windows directory, USER.DAT and
||Short for Read-Only Memory - this is a type of storage or
memory that can only be read, not written
to. A CD-ROM is an example of a ROM storage. See RAM.
||The top-level directory in the tree.
For drive C:, the root directory is signified by a single
||A computer on a network that handles a
specific function for the rest of the network. For example, a
print server can allow all the computers on a LAN
use a printer. A World Wide Web server
contains pages (like what you're viewing) that are sent to other
computers on the Internet for viewing.
||A small file that allows you to put an icon
for an application in a directory
other than the one containing the application. You can also make shortcuts
to folders and files. Useful places for shortcuts
are the desktop and the Start
Menu. You can tell a shortcut from other icons by the
little curved arrow in the lower-left corner. For those users
familiar with Unix, this is similar to a
||Short for Single Inline Memory Module; a SIMM is a
small circuit board that holds memory chips. Rather than
installing individual chips to increase your system's memory, you
install SIMMs, which are much easier to install and remove.
Nearly all newer computers (those capable of running Windows) use SIMMs.
||In reference to Windows applications,
a method by which an application uses your computer's memory
and communicates with other applications. 16-bit (sometimes called
Legacy) applications lack several features found in their 32-bit
||The amount of disk space that is wasted by
having a large cluster size. For
example, if a 300-byte file is stored on a
disk with a cluster size of 1,024 bytes, there will be 724 bytes
of slack space that can't be used for any other files. You
can see how much space is allocated to a file by typing "DIR
/v" at the command prompt.
||A general term used to describe the programs that can be used on
a computer, such as applications, drivers,
and operating systems. To the
beginner, software is what ever you see on the screen, and hardware
is everything you can touch.
||The menu that appears when you click the button labelled Start
at the bottom of your screen, on the Taskbar.
||A file on your hard disk
called WIN386.SWP that Windows uses to store information when you
run out of memory. Since a hard disk is
slower than memory, a system without a lot of RAM
will run out of memory sooner, requiring heavier use of the swap
file, thereby resulting in slower performance. Note that if
you've upgraded from Windows 3.x, the old filename for the swap
file (386SPART.PAR) is preserved.
||Any program that is currently running on your computer. You can
switch between tasks with the Taskbar
or by pressing Alt-Tab on the keyboard.
||The bar along the bottom of your screen, containing the Start
Menu and a button for each running Task.
||A method of connecting to other computers on the Internet.
You need a Telnet client (software),
and an appropriate account to use Telnet. Windows comes with a
simple telnet client, TELNET.EXE.
||In reference to Windows applications,
a method by which an application uses your computer's memory
and communicates with other applications. 32-bit applications
typically embody several features not found in their 16-bit
counterparts, such as long filenames, preemtive
multitasking, and multithreading.
||The stripe across the top of a window
containing the title of the application
in the window. You can move a window by dragging its titlebar.
||The small indented area on your Taskbar
that holds the clock by default.
||A graphical diagram used to display the hierarchal structure of
the directories on a disk.
The Windows Explorer allows the disk to be
viewed in this fashion.
||The primary operating system used
on the Internet. It is the networking
counterpart to DOS, as it also is based upon a command
||The Interface to your computer - a
combination of controls used to perform any
operation. See graphical user interface and command
||Wide Area Network - a network with all
its computers geographically far apart - the Internet
is the ultimate WAN.
||A rectangular box containing an application,
a part of an application, a message, or a folder.
This concept is the basis for the user
interface in Windows.
||Short for Windows Sockets - this is the language your
computer speaks when it's connected to the Internet.
Dial-Up Networking is the winsock support built into
Windows. Once you've connected Windows to the internet, you can
use winsock clients (software).
||See Client (software).
||A type of LAN. The computers that make up a workgroup
tend to share the responsibilities equally, as opposed to a client
/ server relationship.
||The portion of the Internet you used to
access this page. WWW for short, it is a subset of the
Internet. Netscape, Mozilla, and Internet Explorer are examples of
browsers used to navigate the World Wide
More Tech Glossary
anti-virus scanner: Software that scans your computer for viruses,
worms, and other malicious software, usually using
pattern matching and heuristic algorithms. Pattern-matching involves
comparing data in your files to a database of all known viruses. Heuristic
algorithms attempt to find files on your computer containing code that
does illicit operations, in order to find undiscovered viruses. The latter
form of virus scanning is still imperfect, so new viruses often go
undetected until scanning software is updated.
apache: Open-source web server software originally for Linux
systems but now freely available for numerous platforms. See the Apache.Org
website for more information.
BBS: Acronym for Bulletin Board System, a BBS is a computer
service where users can chat, post messages, download files, etc. Most
BBS's are dial-in. While very popular in the 1980s, the advent of the
internet has led to their gradual extinction.
bot: Short for "robot", an automated program usually
coded in C for use on IRC.
buffer: A segment of memory assigned by programs to store data.
buffer overflow: The most common security hole, frequently exploited
by hackers. It occurs when more data is sent to an input buffer than it
can hold. For properly-coded programs that are compiled with memory
protection or check for overflow character-by-character, this is not a
problem. However, vulnerable programs frequently crash upon buffer
overflows. Exploit code left on the memory stack is subsequently executed
under the program's process ID. In other words, the hacker can hijack the
permissions of the program and use them to execute new commands.
CGI: Acronym for Common Gateway Interface, a protocol that
allows for communication between a program and forms on the Web. CGIs are
frequently written in C, Perl, or shell scripts, and
are used for a variety of form-processing applications. Insecure CGI's are
often exploited by web hackers to run illicit commands on a server.
cookies: Cookies are small files that web sites you visit can
place on your computer. They are used to track your viewing habits, and
often any personal information you provide to the site through forms or
other registration processes.
compiler: Program involved in the first step of converting
source code writen in a high level language such as C++ to an executable
program. Compilers translate the instructions into object code, which is
passed on to a linker.
checksum: A value generated by applying some sort of
mathematical function to a file. If even a single bit of the file changes,
the checksum this function generates should be completely different.
Checksums are used to verify the integrity of a file when it is being
exchanged over insecure networks.
cron: A UNIX service used to automate tasks, such as daily
cross-site scripting: A security vulnerability in a web
application that results from improper filtering of input used to generate
some sort of web page (in a form, for example). If the input contains a
script which is not stripped out by the web application, it could be
processed as part of the output and execute within the domain of the
hosting web site. A hostile third-party could 'inject' a malicious script
which would run in the user's browser under the security context of the
trusted web site. This is frequently exploited to gain access to a user's
cryptography: Cryptography is the science of transforming data
into an unintelligible format (encryption) which can later be restored to
its original, readable form (decryption).
daemon: Pronounced "demon." A program that extends the
functionality of the operating system, running in the background and
working when needed. Web servers, mail servers, print spoolers, etc. are
all examples. Also called a service.
DNS: Acronym for Domain Name Service, the system that translates
human-readable addresses (such as www.yahoo.com) to IP addresses, and
Denial of Service: Often abbreviated "DoS" - a form of
attack intended to disrupt or halt a server's functionality, usually by
flooding it with massive amounts of data.
exploit: A program released to demonstrate a security bug.
finger: A UNIX service that provides
information about a system's users. Fingering user@host often displays the
individual's .plan file. Some hosts will display the users currently
logged in upon receiving a finger request in the form of @host. (no
firewall: A software or hardware-based filter that controls
access to internal networks by restricting/allowing certain packets from
flooding: A common Denial of Service attack,
in which a large amount of data is continually streamed to a single port
of a system. The victim computer may slow down or even crash due to the
excessive processing overhead.
format string: A vulnerability similar to a format
string attacks for more details.
FTP: Acronym for "File Transfer Protocol." A
client/server TCP/IP service for transferring files between two computers.
Usually runs on port 21.
HTTP: Acronym for "Hypertext Transfer Protocol." A
client-server TCP/IP protocol used on the web. Usually runs on port 80.
ICMP: Acronym for Internet Control Message Protocol, a TCP/IP
protocol used for sending error and control messages. Ping
sents out ICMP echo requests.
IDS: Abbreviation for Intrusion Detection System. Software used
to detect and intercept various forms of online attacks.
IIS: Acronym for "Internet Information Server" -
Microsoft's line of web server software.
IRC: Acronym for Internet Relay Chat, a popular service that
allows users to talk with one another in individual rooms called channels.
kerberos: A network authentication system which provides users
or services with tickets and keys used to prove identity and encrypt data
streams (to prevent sniffing.)
kernel: The core of an operating system, which always stays in
memory and is loaded first. It is responsible for allocating memory,
process and disk management, and other functions.
LAN: Acronym for Local Area Network, a set of computers
physically linked together to share data or devices.
Linux: A freely distributable implementation of UNIX
that runs on many platforms.
mail bomb: A massive amount of e-mail sent to a single person,
in an attempt to overload their system. A form of Denial of
Service, as networks can become extremely clogged due to the flood of
NetBIOS: A protocol Windows PCs use for file and printer sharing
on local networks.
NUA: Acronym for Network User Address, address for reaching a
particular system via telenet.
PERL: Acronym for Practical Extraction and Report Language, a
powerful interpretive language used primarily for text processing on UNIX
systems. Perl is the most popular language for writing CGI
PGP: Acronym for Pretty Good Privacy, a public
key cryptography system developed by Philip Zimmerman. It is free, and
frequently used to encrypt e-mail.
ping: A program used to test if a server is functional and
determine the network latency between two hosts. Ping sends out ICMP
packets and waits for responses ("pong").
port: : A software-implemented channel used for network
communications. Each server application has a unique port number
associated with it. For example, web servers usually are bound to port 80
port scan: Systematically enumerating the open ports on a
computer system to determine active services.
public-key cryptography: A form of cryptography which uses two
keys - a private key and a public key. Anything encrypted with your public
key can only be decrypted with your private key. So you can distribute
your public key to anyone in the world, because it only is useful for
encrypting data intended for you. The private key, on the other hand, must
be kept secured. This form of crypto is used frequently for encrypting
e-mail because you don't need a secure mechanism for exchanging the public
key. Even if someone intercepts it, without your private key they won't be
able to decrypt any of the messages intended for you.
root: User in UNIX systems with superuser
power, typically the owner of the machine.
sendmail: A mail-transport program based on SMTP,
it is the agent that stores and forwards messages.
service: See daemon.
shell: The outermost layer of a program that provides an
interface for users to issue commands. UNIX has
multiple shells, including Bash, C shell, and Korn.
SMTP: Acronym for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, a TCP/IP
protocol for sending e-mail. See sendmail.
sniffer: A program which collects/displays all data packets
passing through an ethernet device on a LAN. Sniffing
is accomplished by setting the device to promiscuous mode, which enables
it to listen to all packets, not just the ones destined for it.
spam: Unsolicited commercial e-mail.
spoofing: The process of forging data packets so they appear to
come from another host, commonly used to gain access through
packet-filtering firewalls and other security
SSH: Acronym for Secure Shell - an alternative to Telnet that
uses key-exchange cryptography to secure sessions and defend against sniffing.
SSL: Acronym for Secure Sockets Layer - a "handshake
protocol" used to establish a secure HTTP
connection with both authentication and encryption. SSL uses public-key
cryptography to set up a connection. See the RSA
SSL FAQ for more information.
steganography: The science of hiding data in seemingly innocuous
formats such as pictures, audio, or video.
SUID: Acronym for Set User Identifier, a designation for UNIX
programs that need the privleges of root when executing. Because they have
superuser access rights, SUID programs are the most common targets of
symmetric-key cryptography: A form of cryptography that involves
the use of a single key to both encrypt and decrypt data. This key is
frequently based on a password phrase. The only key that can decrypt
ciphertext (encrypted data) is the same one used to encrypt it - thus it
is important that anyone who needs to decrypt your information gets the
key over a secure communications medium.
SYN/ACK: Signals used in the "three-way handshake"
that establishes a TCP/IP connection between two computers:
1.) Computer A -> SYN -> Computer B ("I want to connect to you,
B") 2.) Computer A <- SYN/ACK <- Computer B ("OK, A, I'm
here") 3.) Computer A -> ACK -> Computer B ("Acknowledged,
B, I'm proceeding") SSL/
telnet: Protocol for connecting to other systems via terminal-
traceroute: Program that shows the pathway packets travel to a
destination host by sending ICMP echo requests.
Trojan Horse: A program that seems to be legitimate but actually
performs illicit actions when executed. Note that a trojan horse does not
necessarily replicate like a virus does.
UDP: User Datagram Protocol, a connectionless TCP
UID: Acronym for User Identifier, a 16-bit integer that is
mapped to a username on UNIX systems. UNIX identifies a user by this
number, not the username itself.
UNIX: Acronym for Uniplexed Information and Computing System, a
multiuser, multitasking operating system primarily used on workstations
and servers. Most internet servers run some variant of UNIX.
UUCP: Acronym for UNIX to UNIX CoPy, an old service used to
directly transfer files from one computer to another. It was mostly
utilized for mail transport.
VMS: Acronym for Virtual Memory System, an operating system
designed for Digital's 32-bit VAX (Virtual Address eXtension) computers.
Like UNIX, it is frequently used in server and
virus: A program which illicitly copies itself into memory and
other programs, replicating and possibly deleting files or causing some
other harm. Infected programs transferred from one system to another
spread the virus further.
wardialer: Program which dials a series of numbers within a
phone exchange (for example, 555-55XX) to locate modem-connected systems.
warez: Pirated software, illegally downloaded and distributed.
whois: Internet utility used to query a host to find out what
users are registered on that system.
worm: A program which illicitly propagates itself on a local
system and network, consuming disk space, bandwidth, and other resources.
The line between worms and viruses is often blurred - if a malicious
program does nothing but try to copy and spread itself then it usually is
referred to as a worm instead of a virus.
wrapper: A program used to control access to a second program on
UNIX systems, enabled for security reasons.