Zombies and worms and bots—oh my! Most Mac users haven’t had a reason to be familiar with the security world’s colorful terminology. Here’s a primer.
||A means of accessing your computer or protected data without your knowledge or permission.
||A small program designed to mimic a person’s behavior—for instance, by sending messages via chat software.
||A program, usually hidden, that records everything you type. Its purpose is to capture your passwords, credit card numbers, Web passwords, and other private info and send them back to someone.
||A general-purpose term for all software written for nefarious reasons.
||The process of using counterfeit e-mail messages or Web pages to trick people into providing user names, passwords, and more.
||What keyloggers and other spyware programs running on your computer do when it’s time to transmit your private info to the malware’s author.
||Hidden software that collects your private information—either by keylogging or by accessing your documents—and then phones home.
||Malware that pretends to be something else—an image or a software program. It can’t do anything to your computer until you activate it.
||Malware that can spread itself by infecting applications, operating-system files, or documents on your computer.
||Malware that can spread itself without touching existing applications. Usually it’s a stand-alone piece of code.
||A computer that has been hijacked, without the owner’s knowledge, to perform tasks for someone else.