The 10 Most Hilarious Terms in Information Security

1. Salami attack

What’s it mean?
A salami attack is a series of minor data-security attacks that together results in a larger attack. For example, a fraud activity in a bank where an employee steals a small amount of funds from several accounts, can be considered a salami attack. (source: wikipedia)
Why is it so hilarious?
Think SuperMan or Office Space. Now say “Salami attack” aloud and try not to snicker. See, I told you it was funny.

2. Cyberwoozle

What’s it mean?
This refers to the practice of siphoning data from users’ PCs as they surf the ‘net. (source: itsecurity.com)
Why is it so hilarious?
As best as I can remember a woozle is a weasel like creature that was friends with the heffalumps and arch enemy to Winnie the Pooh in the 80’s cartoon series. But this one would be upgraded with mechanized parts. Hence the ‘cyber’ prefix.

3. Smurf Attack

What’s it mean?
The Smurf attack works by spoofing the target address and sending a ping to the broadcast address for a remote network, which results in a large amount of ping replies being sent to the target. (source: sans.org)
Why is it so hilarious?
Call me a child of the 80’s but this is one attack that I have a hard time taking seriously simply because of its name. It always conjures up images of Gargamel and Smurfet.

4. Sheep Dip

What’s it mean?
A computer that is isolated from a business core network used to screen incoming digital devices. They will often contain multiple malware scanners and egress packet detection. (source: wikipedia)
Why is it so hilarious?
Just picture it in literal terms and try not to laugh. In my head I always see a sheep being lowered into a vat of… something… by a crane with a leather strap holding the sheep up. That’s funny stuff.

5. OikMaster

What’s it mean?
A script that will help you update and manage your Snort rules. (source: oikmaster site)
Why is it so hilarious?
For starters it has the word oink in it. Call juvenile, but that’s funny. If you compound oink (the sound a pig makes) with a mastery of it, that’s just downright hilarious.

6. chaffing and winnowing

What’s it mean?
Chaffing and winnowing are dual components of a privacy-enhancement scheme that does not require encryption. The technique consists of adding false packets to a message at the source (sender end of the circuit), and then removing the false packets at the destination (receiver end). The false packets obscure the intended message and render the transmission unintelligible to anyone except authorized recipients. (source: searchsecurity.com)
Why is it so hilarious?
Not a single term, but yet a strange situation in which two terms are tied to a single concept, and both of them are down right hilarious. Chaffing on its own means “To make fun of in a good-natured way; tease.” Good-natured teasing is humor based and… I’m grasping at straws here… besides, it sounds funny.

7. Port Swigger/Burp Suite

What’s it mean?
Burp suite is an integrated platform for attacking web applications (source: portswigger.net)
Why is it so hilarious?
Now this is a project that doesn’t take it too seriously. It was previously known as Port Swigger, which, I guess, means to rapidly drink a port (or data from a port) and I’m sure Burp needs no explanation.

8. Diffie-Hellman

What’s it mean?
A key agreement algorithm published in 1976 by Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman. Diffie-Hellman does key establishment, not encryption. However, the key that it produces may be used for encryption, for further key management operations, or for any other cryptography. (source: sans.org)
Why is it so hilarious?
I’d like to immediately apologies to Whitfield and Marin for making light of their last names, but when you combine them it just sounds silly. This is another one that has to be said aloud to be appreciated. Hearing it conjures images of rotten mayonnaise. Maybe I’m just warped.

9. Fuzzing

What’s it mean?
The use of special regression testing tools to generate out-of-spec input for an application in order to find security vulnerabilities. Also see “regression testing”. (source: sans.org)
Why is it so hilarious?
Think puppies and kittens with their tickley softness.

10. Honeymonkey

What’s it mean?
Automated system simulating a user browsing websites. The system is typically configured to detect web sites which exploit vulnerabilities in the browser. Also known as Honey Client. (source: sans.org)
Why is it so hilarious?
Monkeys are, by default, funny. They do human things, make funny faces and fling poo. Cover them in honey and you have a sure-fire recipe for hilarity. Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

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