The glossary below contains many of the terms you will find in common use throughout the Symantec Security Response website. Please refer to this list to find definitions of terms and answers to other Internet security-related questions.

buffer overflow attack

An attack that works by exploiting a known bug in one of the applications running on a server. This then causes the application to overlay system areas, such as the system stack, thus allowing the attacker to gain administrative rights. In most cases, this gives the attacker complete control over the system. Also called stack overflow.