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Port (networking)

Quick Definition

When computers send information to one another, they also need to specify which program is to receive that information. To do this, operating systems provide "ports" that programs can use.

Each port is a bit like a telephone: programs use specific ports to call programs on other machines, and are said to be "listening" to a port when they are waiting for another program to contact them.

Worms are notorious for smuggling copies of themselves through ports. This permits the malware to spread the infection without a user knowing.