Letterbomb

Slang Dictionary

letterbomb


1. n. A piece of email containing live data intended to do nefarious things to the recipient's machine or terminal. It used to be possible, for example, to send letterbombs that would lock up some specific kinds of terminals when they are viewed, so thoroughly that the user must cycle power (see cycle, sense 3) to unwedge them. Under Unix, a letterbomb can also try to get part of its contents interpreted as a shell command to the mailer. The results of this could range from silly to tragic; fortunately it has been some years since any of the standard Unix/Internet mail software was vulnerable to such an attack (though, as the Melissa virus attack demonstrated in early 1999, Microsoft systems can have serious problems). See also Trojan horse; compare nastygram.
2. Loosely, a mailbomb.
FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

letterbomb definition

messaging
1. An e-mail message containing live data intended to do nefarious things to the recipient's computer or terminal. It is possible, for example, to send letterbombs that will lock up some specific kinds of terminals when they are viewed, so thoroughly that the user must turn the terminal off to unwedge it. Under Unix, a letterbomb can also try to get part of its contents interpreted as a shell command. The results of this could range from silly to tragic.
See also Trojan horse; compare nastygram, talk bomb.
2. Loosely, a mailbomb.
[Jargon File]
(1998-01-16)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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