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.


A hoax is a special type of malicious code. It is a mythical piece of malicious code; however its existence is fraudulently promulgated. Often, the hoax takes the form of an email message that warns of some dire new threat, and asks that you forward the note to as many people as possible. Usually, the hoax depends on people to propagate it.