Fernando Ortega’s 750-Word Expanded Definition of Firewall

TO: Prof. Ellis

FROM: Fernando

DATE: 10/4/19

SUBJECT: Expanded Definition of “Firewall”


The importance of this document is to learn about the historical context of a word, the origin of where it came from, and how the word’s definition has changed over time also the accurate definition that is used in the present day. The term that I will be defining will be “Firewall”, I will be providing definitions of the word from the Oxford English dictionary and online sources to analyze the changes it has gone through with the definitions.


The first definition from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is “An unbroken line of flames forming a barrier; a wall of fire. Somewhat rare” (“firewall,” 2019). This is definition explains a barrier on fire used for a line of defense that is resistant. Based on the definition, “firewall” was much like a form defense that does not provide enough context on the word. The second definition is, “A wall or partition designed to inhibit or prevent the spread of fire; spec. such a wall in a building, which extends to a certain height above the roof.” (“firewall,” 2019). This talks about a big wall that has the height of a roof used to prevent the spreading of fire from passing over the wall. The third definition is, “Something designed to protect the security or integrity of a system, process, or institution, esp. by acting as a barrier; a measure taken to prevent something undesirable occurring; a safeguard” (“firewall,” 2019). This explains about an object that protects the trust it has with a certain system by preventing harmful things from happening to the system acting as a barrier or safeguard. This definition has a lot of context than the last two definitions by showing that it is designed for protecting a system and preventing unexpected things from happening to the system. The fourth definition is, “A system, typically a piece of hardware or software, which provides protection against unauthorized access to or from a private network or computer system” (“firewall,” 2019). This is a system that is software or hardware that can be used to protect a private network or computer system from anything that does not have permission from accessing them. It has similarities to the last definition with the concept of protecting a system and the difference is the terms to specify what it’s protecting, this last definition uses computer terms such as network and computer. When reading these definitions, all of them have a similar concept of having to protect or preventing something from happening. By using words, like the wall, barrier, protect, or unbroken to signify something that can’t be trespassed easily. From what I have gathered, the first definition is from the 1570s and the definition is vaguely defined as time passes a little more context is added to the definition. Like in definition 1, it just mentions a wall of fire, definition 2, adds more details by adding on what it prevents, definition 3 using more words to describe the definition. In addition, the fourth definition having more computing terms like hardware, software, private network.


The magazine defines firewall as, “These computer firewalls are actually more like fire doors because they have to let some stuff through.” Firewall is much like a door that opens and closes to let things pass through, this is much different from the other definitions since it does not use the terms like barrier or wall. In a blog they mention, “A firewall is a type of cybersecurity tool that is used to filter traffic on a network” in definition they mention how a firewall is a cybersecurity tool and it filters traffic. I would say that this is almost an accurate definition than the one from the magazine because it is relatable to the fourth definition since it uses more computer terms. In another source Alex X. Liu defines it differently, “A firewall is placed at the point of entry between a private network and the outside Internet such that all incoming and outgoing packets have to pass through it” this definition explains how a firewall is in between a network inside and outside of the internet watching packets that pass inside and outside. Another piece of information I would add from this same source is that they explain the function, “The function of a firewall is to examine every incoming or outgoing packet and decide whether to accept or discard it.” Based on this I can tell the definition from the 1570s focuses from a battling point of view different from Alex’s definition because it focuses on a technological view.

Working Definition

Learning about the firewall relates to my major because it has to do with networking & security and having more knowledge of the word helps understands the term in multiple ways other than in the IT terms. My own definition for this term is a protocol that checks for unwanted data from entering a system or host without permission.


Dosal, E., (2019, Sept 12). What is a firewall? The different firewall types & architectures. Retrieved from www.compuquip.com/blog/the-different-types-of-firewall-architectures

firewall, n.,1. (2019). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/249400. Accessed 12 October 2019

firewall, n.,2. (2019). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/249400. Accessed 12 October 2019.

firewall, n.,3. (2019). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/249400. Accessed 12 October 2019.

firewall, n.,4. (2019). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/249400. Accessed 12 October 2019.

Liu, X. A., (2009, Nov 10). Firewall policy verification and troubleshooting. Elsevier, Retrieved from https://www-sciencedirect-com/science/article/pii/S1389128609002199

Tero, and Paul., (2013, Jan 30). A comprehensive guide to firewalls. Smashing magazine, Retrieved from www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/01/introduction-to-firewalls/

Julia Shin’s Expanded Definition of Feedback

TO: Prof. Jason Ellis
FROM:Julia Shin
DATE: 10/15/2019
SUBJECT: Expanded Definition of Feedback


Some people say that human beings are like computers in some ways. If you think about it, humans receive data from our senses, then process it in our brains to ultimately come to a decision. This is a direct parallel to how computers work. An important aspect of systems, more specifically automated systems, is the feedback. The same thing can be said for human beings. In order for people to adapt and grow, they must receive feedback. What exactly is feedback? This term can be used in different scenarios and its use has changed over time. The term will be placed under great scrutiny in order to understand its definition completely. 


One definition that the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) provides is “The return of a fraction of the output signal from one stage of a circuit, amplifier, etc., to the input of the same or preceding stage” (“feedback”, 2019). Another definition is “The modification, adjustment, or control of a process or system (as a social situation or a biological mechanism) by a result or effect of the process, esp. By a difference between a desired and an actual result; information about the result of a process, experiment, etc.; a response” (“feedback, 2019). From the integration of these two definitions, feedback (especially in terms of an electrical system) is when the output/result is fed back into the input so that the system can automatically adjust its parameters to meet a certain desired response. Since no system, process, or device is perfect, it is natural for there to be some sort of error. The feedback is responsible for minimizing the error and making the actual result as close to the desired result as possible. 

The etymology of the term, as generated by the OED, can be broken down into the words “feed” and “back”. According to the OED, “feed” means “To give food; to supply with food; to provide food for. Often followed by †of, on, with (a specified food).” (“feed”, 2019). Feeding is an essential part of life, because we would not be able to function properly without the nutrients we get from food. Similarly, automated systems rely heavily on the data they receive. The definition for “back” the OED gives is “In the direction of one’s back, or the back of any object in question; toward the rear; away from a forward position. Often with the verb (go, come, etc.) omitted, esp. in the imperative. back with: move back with, take or draw back.” (“back”, 2019). “Back” emphasizes the notion that sometimes in life we have to take a step back and reevaluate everything to proceed in the right direction. The same thing applies to automated systems and devices. In order for a system to work, it must not always travel linearly in a forward direction. This is why automated systems are also known as closed loop systems; it moves forward and goes back to the beginning in a circle. 


Feedback played an important role in early technological advancements, and it still does today. “State feedback controller is one of the simplest controllers in modern control system that can make the system having good performance. State feedback controller consists of gain controllers which respond to every state in the system. Hence, it can be modified following the dynamics of the system” (Maarif et al., 2019, p. 208). There are different types of controllers that can be used to “eliminate the steady-state error of the system” which is vital in an industrial process (Maarif et al., 2019, p. 208). However, Maarif et al. come to the conclusion that a state feedback controller is the most optimal. Based on the block diagrams provided in the journal, the state feedback controller observes the state the system is in then adjusts the feedback accordingly which, in the long run, aims to reduce the steady-state error. Feedback does not always have to involve some sort of electrical system. For instance, “You hope, as C.E.O., for the team to say ‘Boy, boss, you did a great job this year, are we lucky to have you.’ And, by gosh, every year they’ve come up with three or four things that are quite authentic that I ought to do better. So you’ve got to create those kinds of feedback loops” says Kevin Sharer (2009). In an interview conducted by Adam Bryant, Sharer explains why he seeks feedback from his fellow employees. Although hearing that everything is absolutely perfect is a great boost in morale, receiving feedback on what can be improved on will ultimately yield better results. Humans strive to better themselves in what they do and the way to do that is by receiving feedback from their peers. In a Twitter post, arcapayments wrote, “Getting feedback from your customers is very important in understanding how your business is performing. Feedback helps you to determine strategies to improve your customers’ experiences which helps increase patronage, retention and loyalty” (2019). Arcapayments emphasizes the importance of a business reflecting on customer feedback. In doing so, the customer will have a better experience with the service or product and the business will more likely succeed. This is a win-win situation. 

Working Definition

Feedback can be applied in different situations. In the field of electrical engineering, feedback is used through a means of a sensor that measures the output and is then connected to a summing amplifier. All of this is done to produce an error of close to zero, where error is measured in desired output (input) minus the present condition (output). Whether it is in regards to a network of components that come together to form a complete system or a network of people, feedback is key to having the best possible results that can be produced.


Arcapayments [arca_payments]. (2019, October 11). Getting feedback from your customers is very important in understanding how your business is performing. Feedback helps you determine strategies to improve your customers’ experiences which helps increase patronage, retention, and loyalty. Some businesses do not care about [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/arca_payments/status/1182763416534081538

Back, adj.,1. (2019). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from www.oed.com/view/Entry/14336

Bryant, A. (2009, March 28). Feedback in Heaping Helpings. Retrieved from  https://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/29/business/29corner.html?searchResultPosition=1.

Feedback, n.,1. (2019). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from www.oed.com/view/Entry/68965.

Feedback, n.,2. (2019). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from www.oed.com/view/Entry/68965.

Feed, v.,1. (2019). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from www.oed.com/view/Entry/68963

Maarif, A., Cahyadi, A., Herdjunanto, S., Iswanto, & Yamamoto, Y. (2019). Tracking control of higher order reference signal using integrators and state feedback. IAENG International Journal of Computer Science, 46(2), 208-216. 

Alain Palmer’s Expanded definition of cyber

TO: PROF. Jason Ellis

FROM: Alain Palmer

DATE: 10/15/19

SUBJECT: Expanded Definition of Cyber


Ileana Stefan once said, “The use of web presents a series of advantages and disadvantages.” This quote couldn’t be any more honest when it comes to the truth being told. With such advanced usage of technology now, the usage of computer and the internet isn’t just beneficial now. Technology affiliation to crime is now a major problem. With the advancement in our technology, computers over the internet are now being used in countless malicious ways by some individuals and organizations. One term that I thought of immediately is Cyber. This term is used in many ways over the years and are defined differently as well.


I wanted to know the very meaning of cyber. I was able to understand cyber as it is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) “In predicative use. Of, relating to, or involving (the culture of) computers, virtual reality, or the internet; futuristic” (Cyber, 2019). This relates back to the quote in the introduction by Ileana Stefan about the advantages and disadvantages of using the web. This means that it allows good and bad. When it comes to malicious ways over the internet, cybercrime is a word derived from cyber for bad activity. Cybercrime in the OED is defined as “crime or a crime committed using computers or the internet” (Cybercrime, 2019). This means that there are now official ways of committing crimes over the internet. As there are always consequences to crimes that are committed that has nothing to do with technology, there are also consequences to crimes committed using technology. Cyber-attack is another word that derived from the term cyber. It is defined in the OED as “the use of information technology to infiltrate or disrupt computer systems; an instance of this” (Cyber-attack, 2019). This is the deliberate attack over the internet carried out by an individual or an organization in an illegal way to get a hold of sensitive information of an individual or an organization. Another word that is derived from the term cyber is cybercriminal. Cybercriminal is defined in the OED as “a person who commits crime using computers or the internet” (Cybercriminal, 2019). This is an individual who uses computer or the internet with the means of robbing anyone or anything that they can get a hold of that will be beneficial to them


“The use of a password by a user, even he or she received the password from another user, cannot be considered a crime. On the other hand, if the password was stolen and used, this can be considered a cybercrime” (Stefan, 2011. P2). Stefan explains that if an individual were to get a password from another individual and use it then it will not be considered as a cybercrime. If the was stolen and used, then that would label the individual as a theft and that would then be labeled as a cybercrime. “Cyber criminals are driven by financial gains and target consumers and businesses. They are not organized, and their skill level ranges from basic to intermediate” (Warikoo, 2014. P5). Warikoo explained that there are reasons for cyber criminals’ schemes. Their schemes are driven by beneficial factors and the most important one is financial gains meaning whatever they are doing is causing them to receive money. Warikoo also explains that cyber criminals are not professionals. They lack professional skills and the skills they possess are quite basic to intermediate. There is a big problem profiling these guys because they can be the inside people who has privileged/administrative access to IT system. Because of that, it is hard profiling these criminals until they have committed their crime. “A cyber-attack is defined as an assault on the system’s security, any type of offensive maneuver that targets computer information systems, infrastructures, computer networks, or personal computer devices” (Cangea, 2018. p 2). Cangea explains that any unethical and malicious actions on any network or IT systems is an attack in the cyber world. “The essential purpose of the informational safety concerns the insurance of three main security objectives: confidentiality, integrity and availability” (Cangea, 2018. p 1). This highlights the importance of what needs to be secured the most, which are availability, confidentiality, and integrity. Because those 3 categories are so important to any organization, it became cyber-attackers top target. It is much more than a small financial gain, cracking though these is the big league in breaching systems as a cyber-attacker.

Working Definition

In conclusion, the examples and definition that I have found throughout my research on the term cyber. It is in relation to my field of study where I am focused on network security, I was able to understand that cyber is culture using computer, web, and the internet while it has its advantages and disadvantages. I was taught to look out for the disadvantages before affiliating myself with anything, this is what inspired to research the disadvantages of cyber.


Cangea, O. (2018) Ethical Hacking Solution to Defeat Cyber Attacks, from


Stefan, I. (2011) Cyber Crime, from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=21&sid=388b466c-167e-44ad-9957-4b9b2492446d%40pdc-v-sessmgr04

Warikoo, A. (2014) Proposed Methodology for Cyber Criminal Profiling, from


Cyber (2019). In Oxford English Dictionary Online, from https://www-oed-com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/view/Entry/250878?rskey=2m1lH6&result=1&isAdvanced=false#eid

Cybercrime. (2019). In Oxford English Dictionary Online, from https://www-oed-com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/view/Entry/250879?redirectedFrom=cybercrime#eid11735280

Cyber-attack. (2019). In Oxford English Dictionary Online, from https://www-oed-com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/view/Entry/250879?redirectedFrom=cyber+attack#eid212385738

CyberCriminal. (2019). In Oxford English Dictionary Online, from https://www-oed-com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/view/Entry/250879?redirectedFrom=cybercriminal#eid11735284

Jing Sheng Zhao’s 750-Word Expanded Definition of Hacker

TO: Prof.  Jason Ellis

FROM: Jing Sheng Zhao

DATE: 10/15/19

SUBJECT: Expanded Definition of Hacker


By examining the hacking history, most of the hackers had been become cybercrime, and sadly, so far there’s no absolute solution to stop them. From the history view, according to Richard Darell, hackers were who used hacking technic to illegally gain access into others computer and stole their data for benefits.  Along with the increasingly used of network in people’s life and work, hackers had more changes to steal others data and would be able to make more money than ever before. Even so, a lot of company, organization or even the government, they couldn’t do much about it, because hackers could always get away from it. So, it’s not surprise that it’s a good time for cybercrime, the hackers would probably choose to be cybercrime rather than ethical hacker just for the sake of money.


To understand the word “hacker”, you must know its historical development. At the beginning, hackers were not start off bad, when the term “hacker” was first used in 1960s, at MIT, an extremely skilled programmer could use hacking skills to increase the efficiency of the computer.  Then start in 1971, hackers were getting bad reputation, when John Draper invented the “blue box”, it’s a technic that allow making free long distance phone calls. Furthermore, more hackers were using the hacking technic for their own benefits, such as hackers like Robert Morris who create the “Morris Worm” in 1988, Kevin Mitnick hacked the federal computer network in 1991 and Adrian Lamo hacked the websites of The New York Times in 2002, etc. From the research in 2014, there are more than a million people become victims of cybercrime every day, and 30000 websites are hacked every day. As we know, hacking back then was use to improve the computer system, but unfortunately, these technical had been using in the wrong place and they had been create many chaos around the world (Darell).


The main reason for people to become a cybercrime is because they can get easy money. Some people needed more money from their job, if they couldn’t get enough; they were more likely to become a crime. For instance, Clifford Trigo, an ethical hacker, having a difficult to earn a living, he pointed out that sometimes he could work for hours but only get paid 50 or 100 bucks. So some of his colleges will used their skills to hack people’s credit-card to make extra gains (Lu 11). Also, Dmitri Alperovitch, chief technology officer at CrowdStrike, he said that hacking is easy, even a first-year computer-science student can do it, thus, it’s not surprising that a broke fresh man would not want the easy money. Another crucial reason for became a hacker is they can always get away from the law, even the FBI agent admit they can’t do much about it, the only advise they gave to the victims is to pay the ransom if they wanted the data back. Therefore, when the skilled programmers in a broke situation, it’s hard for them to resist the temptation of money (The New Economics of Cybercrime).The fight between the ethical hackers and hacker had been going on for decades, but for several reasons, the victory always favor on the hacker side. For example, on May 13 2107, there was a global cyberattack on business, universities, and health systems; it affected more than 150 countries (Bendix 1). The U.K. government blamed The Labour Party for failing to protect the system, but The Labour Party said that they fail because of the government underestimate the cost to preventing the security, they also pointed out the government cut their budget, and didn’t renew a contract that protected the computer system (Bendix 2). There was a debate shows that companies allow to hack back if they get hacked, the reason was that some company might use this opportunity to attack their enemy, and no one wanted that happen, so they can only passively defense. Some lawmakers point out to attack back against the law; they stated that “such activity might well violate foreign laws even if permitted by the U.S.”. Thus, if the hackers were from other country, we got no chance to catch them because the restriction between different nations. In short, hackers can still get away from the laws (When Companies Get Hacked, Should They Be Allowed to Hack Back?).

Working Definition

Overall, hacker had been causing a lot of chaos around the world, and it’s still a problem to be solved in the future. But in fact, hack technology is just a double –edge sword, when you’re using to guard against cyber security breaches, you are ethical hacker. And when you’re using it to attack someone for benefits, then you’re are evil cybercrime. So, it depends on who use it, and use it on what purpose. Thus, to teach a technical to the leaner should to optional, but teach a technic along with the moral have to be mandatory.


Wolff, Josephine. “When Companies Get Hacked, Should They Be Allowed to Hack Back?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 14 July 2017, from www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/07/hacking-back-active-defense/533679/.

Lu, Donna. “When Ethical Hacking Can’t Compete.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 8 Dec. 2015, from www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/12/white-hat-ethical-hacking-   cybersecurity/419355/

Wolff, Josephine. “The New Economics of Cybercrime.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 7 June 2016, from www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/06/ransomware-new-       economics-cybercrime/485888/.

Bendix, Aria. “Global Cyberattack Reaches ‘Unprecedented’ Scale.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media     Company, 13 May 2017, from www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/05/global-cyberattack-reaches-unprecedented-       scale/526647/.

Darell, Richard. “Hacking History – A Timeline Of Hack Tactics.” Bit Rebels, 21 May 2014, from www.bitrebels.com/technology/hacking-history-timeline-hack- tactics/utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed: bitrebels       (Bit Rebels).

Karmoko Sillah’s 750-Word Expanded Definition Of Malware


To:Prof. Ellis

From:Karmoko Sillah


Subject: According to the oxford dictionary, Malware is defined as “Programs written with the intent of being disruptive or damaging to (the user of) a computer or other electronic device; viruses, worms, spyware, etc., collectively” (“malware”, 2019.)

Reference: Firmware, n. (2019) In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from https://www-oed-com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/view/Entry/267413?redirectedFrom=malware#eid


This paper will thoroughly examine and evaluate the term “malware” which is an integral part of the new age of technology. Malware is one of the biggest and original attacks that have been used for years by hackers in order to compromise systems. This paper will look into its origins. Dialogues pertaining to the topic of malware, and among other interesting things. I will be using various articles, books, and dialogues that I have found in order to dive deep into the term malware.


As generally defined by Kramer, “Intuitively, malware is software that harmfully attacks other software…Logically speaking, a harmful attack on a software system is nothing else than the falsification of a necessary condition for the correctness of that system. Hence, pieces of malware are falsifiers of the correctness hypothesis made de facto by the shipment of the software system”(Kramer, 2019). This definition given by Kramer, offers the definition that malware is an attack on computing systems through which falsified data is sent to systems in order to compromise individuals and exploit their vulnerable systems. Another definition given by Damshenas of malware is as stated, “Malware is a general term, which stands for malicious software and has many shapes (codes, scripts, active content and others). It has been designed to achieve some targets such as, collecting sensitive data, accessing private computer systems, even sometimes harming the systems“ (Damshenas, 2013). This author dives deeper into the definition of malware, where he says that malware takes on many different shapes . It’s not always just codes that are used to compromise a system, but scripts are used, ads, content, etc. This is why it is so hard to detect because there isn’t a single attack mechanism that is used in malware, it takes on various attacks. Similar to Kramer’s definition, this author also states that malware is used to cause intentional harm to a computer system for the purpose of accessing unauthorized information. The third definition given by Britannica’s book “From privacy to piracy” states, “Malware, or “ mal icious soft ware ,” is any kind of malicious computer program, such as a virus, trojan, spyware, or worm. Malware typically infects a personal computer (PC) through e-mail, Web sites, or attached hardware devices” (Britannica, 2011). The authors of this book define malware as being a code of malice which can be used as many different forms of attacks which are then injected into a person’s computer using false emails and sites. This definition is also similar to the ones prior to it , where it too defines malware as an intended attack towards another individual using different techniques . These authors don’t really differ in their definition of malware, some offer a more in-depth definition than the other, but they all lean towards the same denotation of the word “malware”.


As technology continues to evolve so will the threat of malware. According to Mohd Fazal Ab Razak, “With the availability of new technologies, malware authors are able to use novel approaches to hide detection. This has led to the many studies which are conducted to explore the malware do- main… Verizon reported that around 170 million of malware events occur across organizations, with the frequency of five malware occurring every one (1) second” (Razak, 2016). As technology continues to advance and evolve, the opportunities for hackers to perform malicious attacks becomes greater and greater. They are using these new technological tools to hide detection and secretly perform malicious attacks on individuals without them realizing it. A newspaper article from the New York Times states that individuals stole millions of dollars from various banks using malware. David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth stated, “The bank’s internal computers, used by employees who process daily transfers and conduct bookkeeping, had been penetrated by malware that allowed cybercriminals to record their every move… the group impersonated bank officers, not only turning on various cash machines, but also transferring millions of dollars from banks in Russia, Japan, Switzerland, the United States and the Netherlands into dummy accounts set up in other countries” (Sanger & Perloth, 2016). Individuals from russia impersonated bank officers through which they sent malware to bank computers which in turn allowed for them to study banks actions and routines. From being able to access this, they then started secretly stealing money from 100’s in various countries. They were doing this for a very long period of time before inevitably being caught. This is a perfect case of malware attacks being carried out to perform heinous criminal acts against individuals in this case multiple institutions. Hackers are finding efficient ways to avoid detection and perform harmful attacks such as this one in order to afflict as much damage as they can to a system. In another instance, a popular database server known as MySql was hacked using malware. According to virus bulletin, “This is what happened to mysql.com: the website was modified to include a small JavaScript file hosted on the same server. This file generated an iframe which contained a URL that redirected to another URL. This final URL contained the ‘BlackHole’ exploit pack” (Bulletin, 2019). During 2011 famous software service “MySql” was hacked using an injected malware file in the form of an image which would then send the user to another URL, and this is where the damage started. They were able to infect the iFrame by exploiting vulnerabilities in plug-ins and javascript that were outdated. This is the exact reason why ensuring that these two things are always up to date, because you could leave yourself vulnerable to a malware attack. In another situation, international hackers injected malware into the computers of government officials who weren’t given the proper security training, and left themselves vulnerable to attack. According to Josh Halliday, “Victims’ computers were infected when they opened a cleverly disguised Adobe PDF attachment to an email. The document would be tailored specifically to its target, according to the researchers, as unsuspecting government victims are more likely to open an attachment that mentioned foreign policy, a human rights seminar, or Nato membership plans” (Halliday, 2011).  This is another example that is similar to the previous examples of malware, where international hackers injected malicious malware into the form of PDF documents which looked legit and official. When these government officials received these emails including the PDF links, they clicked on them and left their computers exposed to these attackers. This malware attack is actually one of the first malware attacks created. Although there was no discovery as to what was targeted, nonetheless valuable governmental information was exposed, and usually these attacks are done just for the fun of it.

Working Definition

In conclusion, with all the definitions and examples of malware that could be found throughout various sources and cites I have generated a working definition of the term after doing much research. Malware can be defined as a malicious software program, that can be injected into a system via email, pdf, etc, using various techniques such as coding, scripting, phishing, etc which in turn falsifies itself as a reliable entity, and when it is trusted by an end-user and opened it can then spread throughout a system compromising it, and leaving valuable information exposed to an outside entity. Malware is only growing more and more as technological advancements continue to grow. Finding a stop to malware has become more and more of a challenge due to the advancement of technology and the tools that come with it which are available to hackers for use.


1.Kramer, Simon, and Julian C. Bradfield. “A General Definition of Malware.” SpringerLink, Springer-Verlag, 29 Sept. 2009, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11416-009-0137-1.

2.Damshenas, M., Dehghantanha, A., & Mahmoud, R. (2013). A survey on malware propagation, analysis, and detection. International Journal of Cyber-Security and Digital Forensics, 2(4), 10+. Retrieved from https://link-gale-com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/apps/doc/A359172420/AONE?u=cuny_nytc&sid=AONE&xid=906ba4aa

3.Britannica, Educational Publishing Staff. Issues in Cyberspace : From Privacy to Piracy, edited by Robert Curley, Rosen Publishing Group, 2011. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/citytech-ebooks/detail.action?docID=798344.

Created from citytech-ebooks on 2019-10-10 14:42:38.

4.Razak, M., Anuar, N., Salleh, R., & Firdaus, A. (2016). The rise of “malware”: Bibliometric analysis of malware study. Journal of Network and Computer Applications, 75(C), 58-76.

5.Sanger, D. E., & Perlroth, N. (2015, February 14). Bank Hackers Steal Millions via Malware. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/world/bank-hackers-steal-millions-via-malware.html.

6.Bulletin, V. (n.d.). Mysql.com hacked, serving malware. Retrieved October 12, 2019, from https://www.virusbulletin.com/blog/2011/09/mysql-com-hacked-serving-malware/.

7.Halliday, J. (2011, February 27). Hackers attack European governments using ‘MiniDuke’ malware. Retrieved October 13, 2019, from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/feb/27/hackers-attack-european-governments-miniduke.

Dominick Denis’ 750 Word Expanded Definition of Ground

TO: Prof. Jason Ellis

FROM: Dominick Denis

DATE: 10/15/19

SUBJECT: Expanded Definition of Ground


The purpose of this document is to provide an elaborate explanation on a technical term that is relevant to either my major studies or future professional field of practice. In order to acquire information on my chosen term I will, thorough research, be using various academic and general audience sources. In the following paragraphs, I am to quote from those sources the several definitions that my term contains, the use in context (via etymology), the specific definition that best suits my chosen career path, as well as, offering proper citations. The technical term that I have chosen to use for this document is ground.


Through exploration, I have found that the term ground happens to be inherited from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language consisting of German, Dutch, Gothic, etc. A few lexicons had led me to numerous definitions of the term ground. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), ground (1) is defined as, “the soil of the earth” (ground, 2019). This definition can alternatively be expressed as, the surface in which all living things walk upon, as well as grow from. Another definition of ground (2), according to the OED, is defined as, “Any material surface, natural or prepared, which is taken as a basis for working upon” (ground, 2019). This definition can alternatively be expressed as, provided by an example, using a backdrop for photography or even using makeup which involves the application of a substance atop a surface as a starting foundation.  A third definition of ground (3), is defined as “Reduced to fine particles by grinding or crushing” (ground, 2019). This definition can alternatively be expressed as, the energy of forcing the surfaces of two or more solid matter against one another until their physical structure changes into a powder or dust. Lastly, the fourth definition of ground (4), according to the Cambridge Dictionary, is defined as “a reason, cause, or argument” (ground, 2019). This definition can alternatively be expressed as, important topics centered around a single point in order to reach solutions.

Each definition in comparison to one another have similarities in the sense that a core, or source area must, initially, be defined followed by the implementation of matter whether from a tangible or a situational aspect. Their differences, might often, present themselves through professional occupations, on a regular day outside, or even by the act of cooking a meal. A gardener, for example, may want to plant a garden and for that to be done the ground (or soil) must be dug up. I, personally, find this version of the term used more frequent in society because it constantly surrounds life, as it is the earth. Whether on land, sea, or air, a sense of a solid surface below us always arrives to the subconscious mind.  Another use of the word, ground (4), can be found within the legal system under the stand your ground law which is denoted as, according to Dictionary.com, “…[a] law that eliminates the duty to retreat by allowing, as a first response, self-defense by deadly force.” These two examples can justify just how broad the term ground is easily spread.


With research, I will be elaborating on the wide-range use of the term and providing quotations from various sources. Those quotations will allow me to discuss how the term is used in context. Context is everything that surrounds a word(s), idea, environment, etc. giving that main subject a clear and concise meaning when outputted. It is a graspable flow of understanding the bigger picture. I acquired from a New York Times article a reference example that read from the words of Odede saying, “This, perhaps, is terrorism’s fertile ground” (Odede, 2014, 23). In terms of context, I was able to gather that ground is described, metaphorically, as a place of growth. This term will be in relation to the following quotes in context. In the land of Nairobi, Kenya, there are slums (fertile ground) where terrorism is bred, and the youth would ultimately face a life growing up under the conditions of inculcated survival. Another example of my term in context is found in a blog posted by the username Shanegenziuk suggesting, “This is how you want to be recycling coffee grounds – making use of a small strip of soil under some trees will do just fine!” (Shanegenziuk, 2017). This example consists of ground (3) which is defined in the beginning of this document. Coffee grounds refer to the tiny particles that coffee beans become after being processed in a grinder. In this case, once the coffee grounds have been used, would be thrown into the soil as compost, due to their remaining nutrients, to better the environment. In relation to the previous quote, the term is described as a fertilizer. Lastly, according to Roselli, “…to increasing interest both in the introduction of ground source heat pump (GSHP) and in the use of battery storage system to reduce electricity exported to the grid” (Roselli, 2019, 488-500). The context of this version of ground is concerned with a call for increased sustainable energy. In order to acquire this type of energy absorbed heat would have to be gathered from the ground of the Earth. In relation to the other quotes, the term is described as a power source.

Working Definition

Based on my particular major, electrical engineering technology (EET), the definition of ground (5), according to Wikipedia, is defined as “the reference point in an electrical circuit from which voltages are measured, a common return path for electric current, or a direct physical connection to the earth” (ground, 2019). Ground (5) can be contextually expressed through the latter example of the previous paragraph. The specific context for my working definition can be expressed as, the most stable point of connection within any circuit assuring that a sense of equilibrium is in place as to avoid damage, both internally and externally (to the user).


Ground (1). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/81805#eid2545697

Ground (2). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/81805#eid2545697

Ground (3). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/81805#eid2545697

Ground (4). In Cambridge English Dictionary. Retrieved from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/ground

Ground (5). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_(electricity)

Odede, K. (2014). Terrorism’s Fertile Ground. The New York Times, 23. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/09/opinion/terrorisms-fertile-ground.html?searchResultPosition=13

Roselli, C., Diglio, G., Sasso, M., & Tariello, F. (2019). A novel energy index to assess the impact of a solar PV-based ground source heat pump on the power grid. Renewable Energy: An International Journal143, 488–500. Retrieved from https://doi-org.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/10.1016/j.renene.2019.05.023

Shanegenziuk (2017) Coffee Grounds for Soil and Trees. Ground to Ground, 1. Retrieved from https://groundtoground.org/2017/09/02/coffee-grounds-recycling-street/

Stand your ground. In Dictionary Online. Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/stand–your–ground