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In this list, you will find explanations of some terms frequently used in connection with Information Security. These will be explained in as simple terms as possible.

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Drive-by Infection

This is the term used for a computer which becomes infected with malware solely by visiting a website. Websites affected often contain reputable offers and have been compromised beforehand to distribute malware. Simply calling up an affected website is sufficient to infect your computer.

In early April 2016, the «20 Minuten» magazine website was hit. Criminals were able to intrude into the web server and manipulate their website. A script with malicious effects then attempted to land visitors with Windows computers with malware.


This is one of the oldest Internet services. Using e-mail, you can send texts entered as letters on your computer to anyone in the world with an e-mail address. To be able to send e-mails, you must know the recipient’s e-mail address.


This is a process which makes it possible to check a cryptographic key without having to match the whole key. This can for instance be used to check the authenticity of a certificate upon which an SSL connection is based. A fingerprint is usually displayed as a hexadecimal character string consisting of the letters A-F and the numbers 0-9.


This is a security system which protects a computer network or an individual computer against unwanted network access.


This is a technology by Adobe which allows you to display interactive and animated content (e. g. video clips, animated ad banners, etc.) on websites.


Hackers are good or excellent programmers with exceptional knowledge of hard- and software. They use their skills to protect a system by discovering vulnerabilities in systems and advising «victims» of suitable options to resolve them. Hackers are not out to make money.

Hyperlink (Link)

This is a cross reference, for instance to websites, which makes it possible to jump to another electronic document or a different location inside a document when clicked. On the WWW, the target addresses of such jumps could also be other websites.


Presenting yourself under a false identity In the context of e-banking, this means that a third party logs into a financial institution’s site with someone else’s access data and therefore under someone else’s name. This then gives the third party unlimited account access. For the financial institution, it becomes exceedingly difficult to distinguish whether they are communicating with customers themselves, with an intermediary on their behalf, or with a criminal attacker. Impersonation is used in classic-style phishing attacks and when third party providers access bank accounts.

Internet Protocol (IP)

Amongst others, this is used as a protocol of the network layer on the Internet and creates the terminal system connection between computers. This protocol therefore controls the process used for data to reach their destination via a network.

Internet Protocol Address (IP Address)

This is an address in computer networks based on the Internet Protocol. It is allocated to devices connected to the net, and renders devices addressable, and hence reachable.

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