tiger team /n./ [U.S. military jargon] 1. Originally, a team
(of sneakers) whose purpose is to penetrate security, and thus
test security measures. These people are paid professionals who do
hacker-type tricks, e.g., leave cardboard signs saying "bomb" in
critical defense installations, hand-lettered notes saying "Your
codebooks have been stolen" (they usually haven't been) inside
safes, etc. After a successful penetration, some high-ranking
security type shows up the next morning for a `security review'
and finds the sign, note, etc., and all hell breaks loose. Serious
successes of tiger teams sometimes lead to early retirement for
base commanders and security officers (see the patch entry for
an example). 2. Recently, and more generally, any official
inspection team or special firefighting group called in to
look at a problem.
A subset of tiger teams are professional crackers, testing the
security of military computer installations by attempting remote
attacks via networks or supposedly `secure' comm channels. Some of
their escapades, if declassified, would probably rank among the
greatest hacks of all times. The term has been adopted in
commercial computer-security circles in this more specific sense.
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