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Logic bomb

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A logic bomb is

a computer program, which may perform some useful function, but which contains hidden code which, when activated, may destroy data, reformat a hard disk or randomly insert garbage into data files.[1] A logic bomb may enter a computer when the user downloads a program or other file that has been tampered with. Once executed, a logic bomb usually does its damage immediately.[2]
is a set of instructions in a computer program executed at appropriate or periodic times in a computer system that determines conditions or states of the computer that facilitate the perpetration of an unauthorized, malicious act.[3]
in programming, [is] a form of sabotage in which a programmer inserts code that causes the program to perform a destructive action when some triggering event occurs, such as termination of the programmer's employment.[4]
[a] small, malicious program that is activated by a trigger (such as a date or the number of times a file is accessed), usually to destroy data or source code.[5]


  1. See Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Infrastructure Threats from Cyber-Terrorists 3 (OCC Bulletin 99-9, Mar. 5, 1999).
  2. Id.
  3. Computer Crime: Criminal Justice Resource Manual, at 21.
  4. Critical Infrastructure Protection: Challenges and Efforts to Secure Control Systems, at 5 n.3.
  5. Practices for Securing Critical Information Assets, Glossary, at 56.

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