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Glossary of Internet scam terms

You're bound to come across some obscure technical terms when you read about computer security, but there's no reason to get a technical headache trying to define them. We did the work for you. Refer back to this glossary whenever you come across any jargon you don't understand. Here are 14 words the scammers don't want you to know.

14 Internet scam terms:
Back-door TrojanSpim
BotnetTrojan (horse)
Image spamWeb 2.0

Back-door Trojan -- a program that opens up a user's computer to remote access across the Web without the user knowing.

Bot -- short for robot. A computer program that performs automated tasks. Can be used maliciously to scan for passwords, search browsing history, capture keystrokes, send spam and report information to a third party across the Internet.

Botnet -- a network of compromised robot computers controlled remotely by a third party.

Malware -- a general term for malicious software. Examples include viruses, Trojan horses, spyware and worms.

IM -- instant messenger

Image spam -- a spam e-mail whose content contains text embedded inside an image.

Smishing -- phishing using SMS messages on cell phones. The message tries to lure smart phone users to a Web site, where they download malware without knowing it.

Spim -- spam over instant messaging.

Spit -- spam over internet telephony, or VoIP spam.

Trojan (horse) --a malicious program made to look legitimate or harmless to unsuspecting computer users so that they will run the program.

Virus -- a malicious program capable of copying itself and attaching to other programs. To function, someone must run the program to which the virus is attached.

Vishing -- short for voice phishing. In this scam, consumers receive an e-mail or phone call directing them to call a phone number with regard to a problem on a bank or credit card account. When victims call, they hear an automated message asking them to verify account information and other sensitive data. Keystrokes get recorded as victims enter in their account details. By using Voice over Internet Protocol phones, scammers can choose the area code and prefix of the telephone numbers used so that they closely resemble the real company's phone numbers.

Web 2.0 -- a term used to describe Web sites that allow users to generate content. Examples include blogs, Wikipedia, MySpace, YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Worms-- a virus capable of copying itself without needing a host program.

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-- Posted: Feb. 22, 2007
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