Terminology

An A-Z guide to the technical terms used in digital security

Java

A popular programming language developed by Sun Microsystems in 1995 specifically for the Internet; Java allows Web designers include interactive programs known as 'applets' to their site.

Malicious applets may be used to perform an unwanted action on an unsuspecting visitor's machine, such as downloading malware. They may also direct visitors to another website, where another tool (such as an exploit kit) can be used to perform the unwanted actions.

Java programs can also be used for non Web-based purposes and in this case, is known as a Java 'application'. The related Java runtime environment (JRE) is a very popular software as it is commonly used to run Java applications. Due to its popularity, the JRE has been a popular target for attackers in recent years.

Viruses, trojans and worms which are coded in Java may be described as 'operating on the Java platform'.

JavaScript

A popular scripting language (only loosely related to the Java programming language) that is commonly used on Web pages to add interactivity to its elements.

JavaScript code can be maliciously used on websites to direct unsuspecting users to other harmful websites, or to perform an unwanted action on the visitor's system.

Applications that run on JavaScript, or have JavaScript components, may be compromised if a vulnerability in the JavaScript code is exploited by an attacker.

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What is malware?

A term commonly used in digital security to refer to 'malicious software'

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