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Definitions and Descriptions.


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H

HUMINT

Human Intelligence (HUMINT) refers to information gathered and analyzed by human sources, rather than through electronic or technical means. It involves the collection and analysis of information from people, either directly through conversation or observation, or indirectly through documents, images, or other materials.

Examples of HUMINT include:

  1. Interrogation: Information gathered through questioning or interviewing people, often for intelligence purposes.
  2. Espionage: The act of gathering information from an enemy or foreign power through covert means, such as spying or infiltration.
  3. Network analysis: Examining the relationships between individuals and organizations in order to gather intelligence on their activities and intentions.
  4. Human reconnaissance: Observing and gathering information on a location or situation through the use of human eyes and ears, rather than through technical means such as drones or satellite imagery.
  5. Cultural analysis: Examining the customs, beliefs, and behaviors of a particular group or culture in order to better understand and predict their actions.

HUMINT is often used in conjunction with other forms of intelligence gathering, such as technical intelligence (TECHINT) or open-source intelligence (OSINT). It can be a valuable tool in understanding the motivations and intentions of individuals or groups, as well as in developing strategies for intelligence gathering and analysis.


I

IOC

An indicator of compromise (IOC) is a piece of evidence that suggests that an information system or network has been compromised or is at risk of being compromised. This could include suspicious activity or behavior, changes in system configurations, or other anomalies that suggest the presence of malicious activity.

There are many different types of IOCs that can be used to detect and identify potential threats to a system or network. Some examples include:

  1. Malware: Malware, or malicious software, is a type of IOC that is used to infect a system or network with malicious code. This could include viruses, worms, trojans, or other types of malware that are designed to compromise the security of a system or network.

  2. Network traffic: Network traffic is another type of IOC that can be used to identify potential threats. This could include unusual traffic patterns, such as large amounts of data being transferred between two systems, or strange connections to external servers.

  3. System logs: System logs are a valuable resource for identifying IOCs because they record all activity on a system or network. This could include logins, file access, and other system events that could be indicative of malicious activity.

  4. File changes: Changes to system or network files can also be an IOC. For example, if a system administrator notices that a critical system file has been modified without their knowledge, this could be an indication of a compromise.

  5. User behavior: User behavior is another type of IOC that can be used to identify potential threats. This could include unusual logins, access to sensitive data, or other unusual activities that might suggest malicious intent.

Overall, IOCs are an important tool for detecting and responding to potential security threats. By monitoring for these indicators, organizations can take proactive steps to protect their systems and networks from compromise.



M

Malware Analysis

Malware analysis is the process of studying and examining malicious software (malware) in order to understand how it works, what it does, and how it can be detected and removed. This is typically done by security professionals, researchers, and other experts who specialize in analyzing and identifying malware threats.

There are several different techniques and approaches that can be used in malware analysis, including:

  1. Static analysis: This involves examining the code or structure of the malware without actually executing it. This can be done manually or using automated tools, and can help identify the specific functions and capabilities of the malware.

  2. Dynamic analysis: This involves running the malware in a controlled environment (such as a sandbox) in order to observe its behavior and effects. This can help identify how the malware interacts with other systems and processes, and what it is designed to do.

  3. Reverse engineering: This involves disassembling the malware and examining its underlying code in order to understand how it works and what it does. This can be done manually or using specialized tools.

Examples of malware analysis include:

  1. Identifying a new strain of ransomware and determining how it encrypts files and demands payment from victims.

  2. Analyzing a malware sample to determine its origin, target, and intended purpose.

  3. Examining a malicious email attachment in order to understand how it infects a computer and what it does once it is executed.

  4. Reverse engineering a piece of malware to identify vulnerabilities or weaknesses that can be exploited to remove or mitigate its effects.



MBR

The master boot record (MBR) is a small piece of code located on the first sector of a hard drive that is responsible for booting the operating system. When a computer is turned on, the MBR is loaded into memory and executes the bootloader, which then loads the operating system.

The MBR consists of several components, including:

  1. A bootstrap program: This is a small piece of code that is responsible for loading the bootloader into memory.

  2. A partition table: This table contains information about the layout of the hard drive, including the location and size of each partition.

  3. A disk signature: This is a unique identifier for the hard drive that is used to identify it to the operating system.

The MBR has a fixed size of 512 bytes and is typically stored on a hard drive in the first sector. It is important to note that the MBR is separate from the bootloader and the operating system, and is not affected by changes to these components.

One example of the importance of the MBR is in the case of malware that infects the MBR. Some types of malware, such as bootkits, are designed to infect the MBR and modify the boot process in order to gain access to the system. This can allow the malware to persist even after the operating system is reinstalled, making it difficult to remove.

In order to protect against MBR infections, it is important to regularly update the operating system and antivirus software, and to be cautious when downloading and installing software from untrusted sources. Additionally, it is a good practice to regularly create backups of the MBR in case it is compromised.



Meta Data

Meta data refers to data about data, or information that provides context and context for a specific set of data. In computer forensics, meta data can be incredibly useful in helping to identify and understand the context of various types of data that may be present on a computer or digital device.

Here are some examples of meta data in computer forensics:

  1. File metadata: This refers to information about a specific file, such as its name, size, creation date, last modified date, and any other relevant details. For example, if a forensic investigator is examining a computer for evidence of illegal activity, they may look at the file metadata for files that were created or modified around the time of the alleged crime.

  2. Email metadata: Email metadata includes information about an email message, such as the sender, recipient, subject line, and any other details that may be relevant to the investigation. For example, if an investigator is looking at emails related to an insider trading case, they may look at the metadata for emails sent between two individuals in order to identify any patterns or connections.

  3. Web browser metadata: Web browsers often store metadata about the websites that a user visits, such as the URL, title, and date visited. This can be useful in forensic investigations to identify which websites a person has visited and when.

  4. Exif metadata: Exif metadata refers to information that is embedded in a digital image file, such as the camera make and model, date and time the photo was taken, and any other details about the photograph. This can be useful in forensic investigations to help identify the origin of an image or to establish a timeline of events.

Overall, meta data can provide valuable context and context for computer forensics investigations, helping investigators to identify patterns, connections, and trends in the data they are examining



N

Nmap

Nmap (Network Mapper) is an open source network security tool used for network exploration and security auditing. Its primary purpose is to detect active network connections and services as well as hosts and operating systems that are running on the network. Nmap can be used to perform port scans, run intrusion detection systems, identify system vulnerabilities, and more. It is often used as a tool for security professionals to gain an understanding of their networks or to detect and analyze suspicious activity.

For example, an administrator may run a Nmap scan to see what machine addresses, ports, and services are available on the network and afterwards use this information to configure a firewall. For instance, they may block or limit access to ports they do not trust or use to improve the security of their network.

Another example is using Nmap to detect hosts on the network. This can be helpful for identifying potential intruders or for tracking down machines that are not visible to the network due to being outside of the allowed range. In addition, Nmap can be used to look for open ports and services running on those ports so the security team can investigate further what is running and if any potential threats are present.

Nmap can also be used for vulnerability scanning to detect potential security issues. For example, a scan can be used to determine if services and services versions that are vulnerable to known threats are running on the network. This allows the security team to take appropriate and timely action to fix or mitigate the issue.

Finally, Nmap can be used to run operating system fingerprinting to detect what operating system is running on a given machine. This can help identify possible malicious activity or detect compromised machines on the network.


O

OPSEC

Operational security (OPSEC) refers to the protection of sensitive information and activities in order to prevent adversaries from gaining an advantage or disrupting operations. In the military, OPSEC is critical to the success of missions and the safety of personnel.

Examples of OPSEC considerations in the military include:

  1. Security of communications: Ensuring that sensitive information is not compromised through unsecured communication channels, such as phone or email. This may involve using encrypted communication methods or secure communication devices.

  2. Physical security: Protecting military facilities and equipment from unauthorized access or tampering. This may involve measures such as security patrols, perimeter fencing, and access controls.

  3. Personnel security: Protecting the identities and personal information of military personnel in order to prevent adversaries from targeting individuals or their families. This may involve measures such as strict control of personal information and use of pseudonyms or code names.

  4. Operations security: Protecting the details of military operations in order to prevent adversaries from gaining an advantage or disrupting the mission. This may involve measures such as disguising the true purpose of an operation or using misdirection to mislead adversaries.

Overall, OPSEC is an important consideration in the military as it helps to protect sensitive information and activities, ensuring the success of missions and the safety of personnel.



OSI Model

The OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model is a framework for understanding how communication occurs between different devices within a computer network. It is composed of seven different layers, each of which performs a specific function in the communication process. These layers are:

  1. Physical Layer: This layer deals with the physical connection between devices, including the transmission media (such as cables or wireless signals) and the hardware (such as network interface cards) used to transmit data. Protocols at this layer include Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth.

  2. Data Link Layer: This layer is responsible for establishing a connection between two devices and ensuring that the data is transmitted accurately between them. Protocols at this layer include MAC (Media Access Control) addresses, which are unique identifiers assigned to each device on the network.

  3. Network Layer: This layer is responsible for routing data packets between devices, ensuring that they reach their intended destination even if the network topology changes. Protocols at this layer include IP (Internet Protocol), which provides a unique address for each device on the network, and routing protocols such as OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) and BGP (Border Gateway Protocol).

  4. Transport Layer: This layer is responsible for ensuring that data is delivered reliably between devices, including retransmitting any lost or corrupted packets. Protocols at this layer include TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol).  Some argue that SSL and TLS now reside on this layer.

  5. Session Layer: This layer is a framework for understanding how data is transmitted over networks. The session layer is responsible for establishing, maintaining, and terminating communication sessions between computers. Some of the protocols that operate at the session layer include:

    • NetBIOS (Network Basic Input/Output System)
    • RPC (Remote Procedure Call)
    • SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)
    • SS7 (Signaling System No. 7)

    NetBIOS is a protocol that provides services such as name resolution, datagram transmission, and session establishment for applications on a network. RPC is a protocol that allows a computer to request a service from a program located on another computer, and it is used to build distributed applications. SIP is a signaling protocol used for initiating, maintaining, modifying and terminating real-time sessions that involve video, voice, messaging and other communications applications and services between endpoints on the Internet. SS7 is a signaling system that is used to set up and tear down telephone calls, as well as to provide other services such as caller ID and call forwarding

  6. Presentation Layer: This layer is responsible for formatting and encoding data so that it can be transmitted between devices. Protocols at this layer include ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) and JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group).

  7. Application Layer: This layer is the highest layer in the OSI model and is responsible for providing services to the user, such as file transfer, email, and web browsing. Protocols at this layer include FTP (File Transfer Protocol), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), and SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol).

In summary, the OSI model is a framework that helps to understand how communication occurs between devices on a computer network, with each layer performing a specific function in the process. Protocols at each layer provide the necessary standards and protocols to ensure that data is transmitted accurately and reliably between devices.



OSINT

OSINT stands for "Open-Source Intelligence." It is the practice of collecting and analyzing information from publicly available sources to support decision-making or research. This includes information from the internet, social media, newspapers, television, radio, and other open sources.

Examples of OSINT include:

  1. Researching a company's financial performance by analyzing publicly available financial statements and news articles.

  2. Investigating a person's background by searching for their name on social media platforms, public records, and online directories.

  3. Analyzing a country's political climate by studying news articles and social media posts from local sources.

  4. Tracking the spread of a disease by collecting data from healthcare websites and social media accounts.

  5. Monitoring the activities of a political organization by analyzing their website and social media posts.

Overall, OSINT is a powerful tool for gathering information about a wide range of topics, from individuals and organizations to countries and events. It is an essential part of intelligence gathering and is often used in conjunction with other forms of intelligence, such as human intelligence (HUMINT) and signal intelligence (SIGINT).


P

Plain View

The plain view doctrine is a legal principle that allows law enforcement officers to seize evidence that is in plain view without a warrant. This doctrine is based on the idea that if an officer is lawfully present in a location and sees evidence of a crime in plain view, they have the right to seize that evidence without the need for a warrant.

Here are some examples of how the plain view doctrine might be applied:

  1. If an officer is conducting a traffic stop and sees drugs or a weapon in plain view in the vehicle, they can seize those items without a warrant.

  2. If an officer is responding to a noise complaint and sees illegal drugs on a coffee table as they enter the apartment, they can seize the drugs without a warrant.

  3. If an officer is serving a warrant for one crime and sees evidence of another crime in plain view, they can seize that evidence without a separate warrant.

There are some limitations to the plain view doctrine. The evidence must be in plain view, meaning that it is clearly visible to the officer. The officer must also be lawfully present in the location where the evidence is found. Additionally, the officer must have probable cause to believe that the evidence is connected to a crime.

Here are some examples of how the plain view doctrine might be applied in digital forensics:

  1. Searching a suspect's home: If a police officer has a warrant to search a suspect's home for drugs, and while searching they come across a laptop on the kitchen table with child pornography on the screen, they can seize the laptop and use the evidence against the suspect without violating their Fourth Amendment rights.

  2. Searching a suspect's phone: If a police officer has probable cause to search a suspect's phone and while searching they come across evidence of a crime, they can seize the phone and use the evidence against the suspect without violating their Fourth Amendment rights.

  3. Searching a suspect's email: If a police officer has probable cause to search a suspect's email account and while searching they come across evidence of a crime, they can seize the email account and use the evidence against the suspect without violating their Fourth Amendment rights.

Overall, the plain view doctrine allows law enforcement officers to seize evidence that is in plain view if they have a legitimate reason for being in the location where the evidence is found and if the evidence is clearly related to a crime. This doctrine can be a powerful tool for digital forensics investigators, as it allows them to seize electronic devices and data without having to obtain a warrant. 




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