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Security Dictionary
Can't tell 'smtp' from 'snmp'? Find the precise meaning of these and hundreds of other security-related terms in our convenient and up-to-date Security Dictionary.
covert channel
(I) A intra-system channel that permits two cooperating entities, without exceeding their access authorizations, to transfer information in a way that violates the system's security policy. (See: channel, out of band.)

(O) "A communications channel that allows two cooperating processes to transfer information in a manner that violates the system's security policy." [NCS04]

(C) The cooperating entities can be either two insiders or an insider and an outsider. Of course, an outsider has no access authorization at all. A covert channel is a system feature that the system architects neither designed nor intended for information transfer: - "Timing channel": A system feature that enable one system entity to signal information to another by modulating its own use of a system resource in such a way as to affect system response time observed by the second entity. - "Storage channel": A system feature that enables one system entity to signal information to another entity by directly or indirectly writing a storage location that is later directly or indirectly read by the second entity.

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