Glossary: P -TEISS® : Cracking Cyber Security

Glossary / Glossary: P

Glossary: P

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P2P Peer to Peer. See File sharing
Packet sniffing See Sniffing
Password A secret (or not so secret) sequence of characters that is used as a means of authentication to confirm your identity in a computer program or online; it is unwise, although surprisingly common, to use “password” as a password
Password cracking The process of attempting to guess. See also Brute Force Attacks, Dictionary Attacks and Hybrid Attacks.
Password sniffing Passive (automated) monitoring of a network to gain knowledge of passwords
Patch A piece of software designed to fix a software bug such as a security vulnerability; regular patching is an essential of maintaining a high level of security
Payload The piece of software transported by malware or uploaded during an attack that actually performs the malicious action e.g. stealing information
PCI DSS Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. A standard de­signed to ensure that systems that accept payments via consumer credit and debit cards is secure
Peer to peer See File sharing
Peer-to-Peer Programs See File-Sharing Programs
Pen test See Penetration test
Penetration test A process where authorised people try to circumvent cyber security features in order to find weaknesses in the system; a technique employed by “white hat” (i.e. authorised) hackers (qv)
Penetration test A process where authorised people try to circumvent cyber security features in order to find weaknesses in the system
Personal information Information (or data) that can be used, on its own or with other information, to identify an individual
Petabyte 1,000,000,000,000,000 (10005) bytes
Pharming The practice of directing Internet users to a fake website in order to obtain personal information such as passwords; the process involves infecting the victim’s computer so that when they type in a website address like www.mybank.com they are in fact taken to a site that may look like mybank.com but is in fact controlled by criminals
Phishing Password fishing. The process of conning people into giving up passwords. This is often achieved via an email that persuades individuals to open an email attachment that contains malware (qv or visit a fake website where they will be asked to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers
PII Personally identifiable information; the US term for personal information (qv)
Ping A small file sent as a query to a computer to see if it connected to another computer
Ping flood attack A Denial of Service (qv) attack that uses a large number of “pings” to overwhelm a computer
Ping of death attack A method of making a computer crash by sending it a malformed ping file that the computer cannot handle. See Ping flood attack
PKI Public key infrastructure. An encryption system that allows people to use basically insecure systems such as the Internet to conduct transactions securely
Plaintext Text before it has been encrypted or after being decrypted
Playbook See Scenario playbook
Polymorphic code Code that is capable of changing while maintaining its original purpose; polymorphic malware is hard for security systems to detect because the signature (qv) is constantly changing
Power virus A piece of code designed to make a CPU (the central processing unit of a computer) emit as much heat as possible, and potentially cause the computer to fail
Precursor A sign that an attacker may be preparing to cause an incident
Private key A secret key for decrypting messages that is only known by the parties exchanging the messages; generally used together with a public key
Profiling Measuring the characteristics of expected activity on a computer network so that changes to it can be identified and investigated; a profile might indicate that a computer is generally used between 8 am and 8 pm and activity outside these times may well warrant some investigation
Proxy server A server between a computer and the internet, designed to prevent hackers from penetrating a computer network
Public key A unique series of letters and numbers used for encrypting messages and digital signatures and provided by a recognised organisation

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