back to article Collective noun search for security vulns moves into beta testing

The recent rash of Android vulnerabilities has made it clear that a new collective noun for such flaws, and possibly a separate one for security bugs in general, is required. In its early days the infosec industry borrowed heavily from the lexicon of biology to talk about problems affecting systems: viruses, worms, bugs etc. …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge


    How about a flop? After all, the number of vulnerabilities seems to increase in proportion to processor speed.

    Whilst we're on the subject can I offer another collective noun. A one-time colleague of mine (himself an accountant) remarked "this business has a surplus of accountants". It seemed appropriate on several different levels.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another

      The collective noun for dead lawyers?

      As in, "What do you call two hundred dead lawyers?"

      A start.

      1. The humble print monkey

        Re: Another

        Not forgetting the collective for the _highly_paid_ bods in finance.

        A wunch of bankers.

        1. Roq D. Kasba

          Re: Another

          A Tedium

          A Bumache

          A Boredom

          An Inveitability

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another

      Why noun and not a new word with an associated value?

      Android this week racked up 100 flawflops.

  2. Fraggle850

    Not that enamoured of the presented options but please

    Anything but 'cyber'

    Why no 'flash' on the list? Adobe deserves some credit for their sterling efforts in this area.

    1. GrumpenKraut

      Re: Not that enamoured of the presented options but please

      > Why no 'flash' on the list?

      That omission struck me immediately, so I went for "Windows" (bit boring, though).

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: Not that enamoured of the presented options but please


        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not that enamoured of the presented options but please


    2. druck Silver badge

      Re: Not that enamoured of the presented options but please

      > Anything but 'cyber'

      How could it be anything other than 'Windows'?

  3. AbelSoul
    Thumb Up


    Is leading.

    This reasserts the faith I already had in my fellow reg readers.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Hatstand

      I didn't vote for it, because I knew the rest of you would. Coincidentally, that's how secure coding works: I don't check for vulns because I know the rest of you will spot them for me.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hatstand

      This confirms the reality-warping power that is Roger Irrelevant.

      1. Doctor_Wibble

        Re: Hatstand

        Exactly my reason for preferring the word - and presumably also the reason it was put forward in the first place, unless I missed an embarrassingly obvious reference somewhere...

        Oh god I am *so* last century!

    3. Probeshorts

      Re: Hatstand

      Is it a Viz reference or what?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hatstand

        Not at all, it's a reference to Newsnight.

  4. Omgwtfbbqtime

    I prefer...

    A government and/or a procurement of security vulnerabilities

  5. GregC

    As soon as I read "hatstand" I knew where my vote was going. I see I was not alone :)

  6. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    Whence the nonce?

    Why is it not a vulture of vulns? Or possibly a "vaulture" -- because identified viruses are put in a vault-ure.

  7. Sean Nevin

    My initial preference was for "Plague" or "Scourge", as they seemed the most appropriate. However, upon further reflection, they already have attached meanings. "Panic" to me is also dismissed for this reason.

    Ultimately, "Hatstand" won out in my opinion. It has a certain whimsy, and connects to the concept of Black/Grey/White hats quite nicely. Voted accordingly.

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      > Ultimately, "Hatstand" won out in my opinion. It has a certain whimsy, and connects to the concept of Black/Grey/White hats quite nicely. Voted accordingly.

      Your logic is impeccable... if only the search were for a collective noun to apply to a group of security researchers.

      None of the options is worthy of a vote, frankly.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, an "Adobe" of flaws sounded good to me. None of the present list has anything sounding good in it (my opinion only of course).

  8. Lomirak

    I lked...

    I liked "A Panic"

    but I think I would like "An Orgasm" better!

  9. jhave



    it's in the title of the article

    it's vulns

    1. Rushyo

      Re: Vulns

      A vulns of vulnerabilities? Nope, don't think you've quite got how this works.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Vulns

        But then several of the options make no sense in the English language. A "windows of vulnerabilities", really?? And I agree with the above, definitely not a Cyber, but don't think any of the options are much good. I'd suggest this is flogging a dead horse, so just give up now and not have a word.

  10. Lomirak

    Like Panic but...

    I prefer an Orgasm.

  11. Shambles

    A "KMH"

    Kate Moss' Handbag

    .. a real proper collective of undesirable items.

  12. Lomirak

    Duplicate post

    Sorry about the duplicate post, but two orgasms in such a short period of time aint bad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Premature posting

      you can also withdraw one of the posts....

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: Premature posting

        As the prostitute said to the bishop.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Premature posting

          s/prostitute/alter boy/

      2. Lomirak

        Re: Premature posting

        Withdraw Sir! Withdraw!! You are not a gentleman.

        1. James O'Shea

          Re: Premature posting

          "Withdraw Sir! Withdraw!! You are not a gentleman."

          You might, however, be St. Julian the Ass(tm).

  13. Novatone

    I would suggest a (curly) bracket of bugs

    A Pwn of vulnerabilities

    But a stack or overflow would also be good

  14. Identity

    What about...


    I voted for scourge as the most reasonable of the bad choices provided, but only to see the results, Vulns (already in use) is an excellent choice,

    1. Daggerchild Silver badge

      Re: What about...

      Yeah, I'd vote for that - this clatter of vanillas is too boring. Gimme a collapse of flaws, or a persecution of vulnerabilities anyday.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Deja Vu?

    Um, wasn't there a discussion earlier this week? That had a couple of usable suggestions, even with votes yet, few of those made it into this poll.

    I know I'm wasting office time here, but you don't have to be *that* obvious about it :).

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what about a "clusterfuck" ?

  17. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    "Plague", but

    I'd prefer "restart", since you install all your patches, then restart your system. Unless you have to perform multiple restarts for different vulnerability patches that come out at the same time, thank you Adobe WHY DOES A DOCUMENT APPLICATION HAVE TO REBOOT MY PC TO UPDATE ITSELF.

    I don't like "panic" as the collective since one sufficiently serious vuln causes panic. If you want a word for a lorryload of panics, then, how about "pantechnicon".

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge


      I suppose, a "bootload" of security flaws and/or fixes.

  18. TeeCee Gold badge

    Sounds like the ideal use for Sir Pterry's wonderful neologism.

    An embuggerance of flaws says it all really.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not as neo as you think but it works.

  19. XioNYC

    A cyberia of cybers, a fail of flaws, a vulture of vulns, an exception of excrement, an Agincour of breaches...

  20. Terje

    In my opinion you missed the most obvious one.

    an adobe of bugs!

    for those of you not familiar with the word here's a definition.

    adobe : A building material consisting of clay mixed with straw or dung.

    i.e. a pile of s..t!

  21. Michael Thibault
    Big Brother

    el Reg un-good

    Fowl! What was that 'collective noun' exercise earlier this week about, then? Was it to demonstrate to the collective readership that while their input will be playfully solicited, it will be roundly and immediately ignored? Un-nice. Wrong turn, el Reg.

  22. obdev

    A Flaw-gasm ?

    No need to explain

  23. Albert Hall

    Don't make me repeat myself again...

    It can only be "google". Seriously.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Toys out of the pram time

    None of my choices have been selected, so you can whistle for your vote!

  25. Werner McGoole

    Normally it would be a shedload

    Except, obviously, you don't keep vulns in a shed.

    So sandbox (or sandboxload) is clearly the correct term here.

  26. Innocent-Bystander*

    Missed the Alpha Round

    I'd say "Bork" just about covers it.

  27. Not Elvis


    I think maybe we should call them Obama's. Between Iran and "Obama" care I don't think there is any better nomer as opposed as misnomer for this class of flaw.

    Unless we want to call it a Trump. What could Trump that?

    Just sayin...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obamacare

      Please, lets try and keep anything that promotes US "culture" *out* of this.

  28. Nixinkome

    A suggestion but no vote-

    A "Moore" of flaws.

  29. Nixinkome

    A Suggestion no vote

    A "Moore" of flaws.

  30. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Personally I'd call it a 'click-bait' of flaws cos every tech website uses these vulns as, well, click -bait.

  31. The Original Steve


    I like a 'flash of failures' or a 'flash of flaws'. personally. Of course with recent events (well, the last 5 years really) there's a 'droid of vulnerabilities'.

  32. Cardinal

    A Clench?

  33. dif

    Haras of pwnies

  34. Jucking Fidiot

    HAs anyone done a Flash joke yet? in, "A Flash of malware"?

    Oh, I see it has. Sorry, I was late to the party.

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