= I =
[coined by Usenetter Tom Maddox, popularized by
William Gibson's cyberpunk SF novels: a contrived acronym for
`Intrusion Countermeasure Electronics'] Security software (in
Gibson's novels, software that responds to intrusion by attempting
to immobilize or even literally kill the intruder). Hence,
`icebreaker': a program designed for cracking security on a
Neither term is in serious use yet as of early 2001, but many
hackers find the metaphor attractive, and each may develop a
denotation in the future. In the meantime, the speculative usage
could be confused with `ICE', an acronym for "in-circuit
In ironic reference to the speculative usage, however, some hackers
and computer scientists formed ICE (International Cryptographic
Experiment) in 1994. ICE is a consortium to promote uniform
international access to strong cryptography.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.