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Security from A to Z: Neologisms

An inordinate number of new terms have been created to keep up with the dubious activities of spammers, scammers and their ilk.

An inordinate number of new words and terms are continually being forged to keep pace with the dubious activities of spammers, scammers and malware writers.

Some common security-inspired neologisms you still won't find in the average dusty dictionary are: adware, spyware and malware. But there are many, many more--and many more obscure ones too.

Another common industry-inspired term, "spam"--which derives its name from the well-known Monty Python spam sketch--has in recent years spawned a couple of lesser-known siblings: spit and spim, or "spam over Internet telephony" and "spam over IM."

And then there are the "ph" words--phishing, phreaking and pharming--which strap themselves into the hacker convention of using "alternative" phonetic spellings.

Some more portmanteaus--hacktivism and hackmail--describe politically motivated hacking, and the act of blackmailing a Web site for money by using a threat to take it offline, as experienced by many an online gambling site.

A few more colorful neologisms include "bruteforce," "honeypot," "logicbomb," "scriptkiddie," "sniffer" and "zombie."

Natasha Lomas reported for in London.