Glossary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z 

Back-up
The practice of making copies of important documents so that vital information will not be lost due to computer malfunction, human error, or malicious intrusion. Making backups of important documents is an important part of information security.

Backbone
The term used to describe the main network connections that make up the Internet. The Internet Backbone consists of three components. The first component, made up of phone lines and cable provide the channels for the movement of information. The second component, Network Service Providers (NSPs), provides high-speed Internet access. They provide Internet services for Internet Service Providers. Finally, Network Access Points (NAPs) allow data to transfer from one network to another

Bandwidth
Bandwidth is the carrying capacity of any communications technology. In computing terms, it typically refers to the amount of information that can be sent through a network connection. As Internet usage has increased, the need for greater bandwidth has become a more important issue.

BBS
A Bulletin Board System is a web site or other remotely accessible resource at which a group 'meets' to exchange messages. BBSs are one of the sites at which virtual communities gather on the Internet.

BIOS or basic input/output system
Built-in software that provides an interface between the operating system and the hardware, controlling such functions as the keyboard, display screen, disk drives and the time and date functions. Many BIOSes include the ability to prompt for a password before the computer will boot, or before the BIOS settings can be edited, or both.

Bit
Short for binary digit, a bit is the smallest unit of data a computer can handle. Bits are used in various combinations to represent different kinds of data. Each bit has a value of 0 or 1.

Browser
A software application used to locate and display web pages. Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer are the two most popular browsers and are examples of graphical browsers that allow users to view graphics and other media as well as text.

Buffer Overflow
Possibly the most prevalent software vulnerability used to infiltrate a computer or a system. A buffer is a memory location in which a program stores variable data. This data is often supplied directly by the user, as in a name or other text entry. The data may also be supplied by a client program, such as a web browser or email client. These buffers are usually of a fixed, predetermined size. If the program restricts the amount of data that can be input to the amount of data that the buffer can store, a buffer overflow is not possible. Some programs do not do this. Buffer overflow occurs when more data is entered than there is space for in the buffer. The extra data then gets written to the memory locations after the buffer. Often, the memory after the buffer location originally contains code, and that memory location is referenced for future execution. A buffer overflow attack is possible when an attacker is able to input data that will cause either a program crash (creating a Denial of Service attack) or cause the system to run code granting the attacker further access.

Bug
Any programming glitch, mistake, or problem that interferes with the smooth operation of a program or the computer system as a whole. Some bugs lead to incorrect results; others to poor performance; others to system crashes. In terms of computer security, bug is another name for a vulnerability or a weakness in software that makes the system running that software vulnerable to attack. A program that doesn't work as it is supposed to may be said to be buggy.

Byte
The fundamental unit of data a computer uses to operate. There are eight bits in each byte of information. A Kilobyte (or 1 K) represents 1024 bytes and a Megabyte (1 Mb) represents 1024 "K" bytes, or approximately one million bytes.



 

Privacy Statement
Copyright 2010, SecurityFocus