descriptors / writers resources

22 Cybersecurity Descriptions

For the next few months, weekly writing tips will include word choice suggestions. That includes:

  • colorful and original descriptions
  • pithy words and phrases
  • picture nouns and action verbs
  • writing that draws a reader in and addicts them to your voice

I keep a  collection of descriptions that have pulled me into the books. I’m fascinated how authors can–in just a few words–put me in the middle of their story and make me want to stay there. This one’s on how to describe cybersecurity stuff.

A note: These are for inspiration only. They can’t be copied because they’ve been pulled directly from an author’s copyrighted manuscript (intellectual property is immediately copyrighted when published).

cybersecurityCybersecurity (and cyberwarfare)

  1. Crack the encryption
  2. free web email site thru an anonymizing proxy
  3. receives its instructions hidden in files on the auction site eBay.com.
  4. Cell D receives its message via IRC in channel #satanic_verses.
  5. Each email sent is infected with viruses designed to capture keystrokes and documents and email them back to the cell members
  6. The phone company’s website is then mirrored
  7. Data mining is the process of extracting patterns from data.
  8. A spyware program that would allow him to trace all of P’s internet activities in real time
  9. “I’ll start a sniffer to identify snoopers and malware.”
  10. The locator was held in place by strong magnets and could broadcast to a receiver up to a hundred miles away.
  11. member of cell A gets a job as a receptionist. She manages to set up a reverse VPN through the corporate proxy server using an SSH tunnel to give her associates access to servers
  12. gained root access
  13. “wardriving”. Essentially, wardrivers use the wireless signals to ride into a computer network. What many organizations cease to understand is that the wireless signals emanating from their network are not confined to their offices. These signals can easily pass through their office ceilings, walls and floors. As many incidents have shown, an unauthorized user could gain access to a wireless network by simply standing across the street or from an office above or below the organization in the same building. A perfect example is the large retailer Best Buy. Some Best Stores use cash registers with wireless networks that beam data — including credit card numbers — to a central computer elsewhere in the store. But a wardriver can sit in a store’s parking lot and “listen in” to the data. Once alerted to this security breach, Best Buy shut off wireless cash registers at its stores. The practice of “wardriving” is simple: All a hacker needs is a device capable of receiving an 802.11b signal, a device capable of locating itself on a map, and software that will log data from the second when a network is detected by the first. You then move these devices from place to place, letting them do their job. Over time, you build up a database comprised of the network name, signal strength, location, and ip/namespace in use. The network is then open to illicit use.

hackerGeneral geekiness

  1. delurking: Coming out of online “lurking mode”, usually motivated by an irresistible need to flame about something. “I just had to delurk and add my two cents to that conversation about the Singapore caning.”
  2. hackers have more words for equipment failures than Yiddish for obnoxious people.
  3. bipolar belief system two popular attitudes toward the Internet: either the Net changes everything or the Net changes nothing.
  4. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
  5. hackers, trolls (likes fucking with pp, doing pranks), virus carriers
  6. Gifted hacker, vicious troll, long history of digital breeches and assaults
  7. *67 to block caller ID
  8. Hi-tech gizmos
  9. Tech geek

Click for the complete list of 69 writer’s themed descriptions.

Related collections:

28 Ways to Describe Geeks

19 Ways to Describe Spies

55 Interesting Intel Devices

What is a ‘Hacker’


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

41 thoughts on “22 Cybersecurity Descriptions

  1. Hi, Jacqui. I’ve always loved word list, they spark my imagination. Sometimes simply flipping through a magazine will do that for me. I’ve had a hard time settling into books this past year while Tom has been so sick. Seems my attention span is that consisting of a nano-second. It had been months since I’d had the desire to pick up a highlighter while reading but then I started reading, ‘The Life We Bury’ by Allen Eskens. Suddenly I found, ‘The place squatted on its foundation like a football tackle and seemed equally formidable.’ ‘Stepped into a bar when I was a mere nub of a kid.’ “Wreck of a family,’ leaving me wanting to know more about what made the family such a total wreck. It’s refreshing to finally start a novel I don’t want to put down.
    Thanks for your hard work in putting these lists together for us. Sheri

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Right now I’m having a problem with junk email. I know everyone gets this stuff, but I’m getting tons that don’t have valid email addresses. I call Microsoft about it, and supposedly they’re working on it. However, my junk folder is still filling up. Maybe I need to use Mozilla’s email client. I hate the thought of that causing more problems on my hard drive though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Being decidely untech and ungeek, you know I’m certain not to use anything similar in my books. My most contemporary book has everyone absorbed by their cell phones – just like in real life. My own best skill is losing my password, banging on the computer desk eight or nine times, then searching for pencil and paper.

    However, though I read #11, I understood none of it. I’m terrified by unlucky #13 about wardriving. No idea how I could do this, (don’t want to anyway) but I get how my credit can be hacked by the damn trolls lurking in the sewer.

    And as for hacker language, let that young geek hang with me – I know a lot of Yiddish, and there are more insulting words than he realizes.

    Great post, Jacqui, even if I understood less than half. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LOL! Time to expand the dictionary, eh? I’m sure I’ve heard several of those unique terms, being married to a programmer and with 4 programming brothers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Jacqui – I’m sure some of those terms will be so useful to blogging authors and others! I’m fascinated to read them … some of them I am sure are very serious … wish I was more educated in that direction, I need to rely on others – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

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