salami attack
n. A series of minor computer crimes—slices of a larger crime—that are difficult to detect and trace.
Faced with the equivalent of a cyber-crime tidal wave, the FBI has at last begun to grapple with such arcane computer mischief as the deployment of Trojan horses — destructive data viruses. Agents are learning how to recognise the infamous salami attack — programmes that capture information in barely detectable slices — and how to defuse a logic bomb.
—Tony Allen-Mills, “FBI ‘geekbusters’ hack into higher reaches of computer crime,” The Sunday Times, February 08, 1998
According to one knowlegdeable source, another hacker brags that he recently found a way to get into Citibank’s computers. For three months he says he quietly skimmed off a penny or so from each account. Once he had $ 200,000, he quit. Citibank says it has no evidence of this incident and we cannot confirm the hacker’s story. But, says computer crime expert Donn Parker of consultants SRI International: "Such a salami attack is definitely possible, especially for an insider."
—William G. Flanagan & Brigid McMenamin, “‘The playground bullies are learning how to type’,” Forbes, December 21, 1992
1988 (earliest)
The "salami attack" executes barely noticeable small acts, such as shaving a penny from thousands of accounts.
—Philip J. Hilts, “Computers Face Epidemic of ‘Information Diseases’,” The Washington Post, May 08, 1988
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