Glossary

Term

Definition

Air-gapped

A security measure whereby a laptop is kept entirely offline, separate from other local networks and the internet

 

Backdoors

Covert security vulnerabilities that allow a system’s known security mechanisms to be bypassed, allowing undetectable access to the computer or its data

 

BIOS

 

               

Basic Input/Output System - a set of computer instructions in firmware that control input and output operations

 

Bridges (Tor)

Bridges are Tor relays (nodes or computer points that receive traffic on the Tor network and pass it along) that help circumvent censorship

 

Dragnet

 

 

 

A mass surveillance system operated through programs that sift through and collect the world’s online and telecommunication data

 

Faraday cage

A metallic enclosure that prevents the entry or escape of an electromagnetic field

 

Firmware

Software programmed onto hardware that provides instructions for how the device communicates with the other computer hardware (includes BIOS)

 

Hardware

The physical elements that comprise a computer system

 

Malware

Malicious software, typically spyware, designed to disrupt or damage a computer system

 

Man-in-the-middle attack

The covert interception of communications by the impersonation of a target

 

Metadata

Data about data

 

Middleware

Programming that "glues together"/mediates between two separate and often already existing programs: e.g. allows programs to access databases

 

Open source

Freely distributed software for which the source code is publicly available

 

Operating system

The software that takes control of the computer as it boots up, tells the computer what to do and how to do it, and is the interface through which you use the computer

 

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