Trap door

A trap door is an entrance point in an information processing system which circumvents the normal safety measures. It is generally a hidden program or an electronic component which makes the protection system ineffective if certain not documented orders are placed to him. Moreover, the trap door is often activated by an event or a normal action.

A trap door can also be a hole of safety in a system which was deliberately set up by the creators or the people in charge of maintenance. The principal interest of these trap doors is not always harmful: certain operating systems, for example, have accounts users with high privileges intended to facilitate the work of the maintenance men. But in this case, they must be documented.

The best guaranteed against the trap doors is to use software whose source codes public and are analyzed by a maximum of people.

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