- A back door is the name given to a 'secret' access route into the system. Such routes are usually undocumented and almost certainly were not originally specified. In fact, usually only the original developer would be aware of the back door(s) to their system. So why design a back door? Some boffin programmers, suspected that the end users would, at some point, make such a mess of the system, that normal ID and password routines would not allow access, and that another route into the system (known only to the programmers) would be required - the back door.
In this particular context the existence of a Back Door can be a useful feature but, it does represent a significant risk in that a person - not necessarily on the staff of the organisation - could be in a position to penetrate the system with malicious intent without the organisation's knowledge. It is reasonable to assume that a programmer with sufficient skill to build the system in the first place will also have the skills necessary to penetrate the system and withdraw again without leaving any evidence of the incursion.
- Name of several unpleasant viruses/Trojans which jeopardise network security and attempt to give malicious users access to the computer.
*** The Information Security Glossary ***