Cyber.dic - Spellchecking For Tech Terms and Acronyms
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Friday, 25 October 2019

Tired of your word processor red squiggling perfectly acceptable technical terms and acronyms? The cyber.dic spellcheck dictionary puts an end to that! 


Default spellcheck dictionaries do not include the niche technical terms that most security professionals need to use in their emails, reports, and presentations. Cyber.dic solves that problem by augmenting your word processor’s dictionary with more than 1,700 terms that are likely to be treated with a red underline in your documents

The dictionary is derived from the Cybersecurity style guide, created by the information security consulting firm Bishop Fox. It was designed to address the pressing needs of the firm's security researchers in keeping up to speed with the ever-evolving tech sector's language landscape.

One notable aspect of Cyberdic is that for selected terms it includes their proper pronunciation. For example:

  • CIO is pronounced as letters, but CISO is pronounced as “seeso.”

  • UI is pronounced as letters, but GUI is pronounced as “gooey.”

  • PoC is pronounced as letters, but T-POC is pronounced as “tee-pock.”

A short and random list of the terms included in the guide follows:

Triple DES. A symmetric key block cipher.
DES is pronounced as letters or “dezz.”

0-day (n. or adj.)
A “zero-day” or “oh-day” finding. In formal
writing, it’s better to use zero-day finding,
previously undisclosed vulnerability, or
publicly undisclosed vulnerability.

adb or adb
Android Debug Bridge. adb is both a
technology and a command. When writing
about the command, use the tech font.

app vs. application
Smart devices like phones and tablets have
apps, computers have applications. App can
also be a shortened form of application. To
the security industry, they are all computer

An open source .NET assembly browser and

Java virtual machine. Spell out on first use.

JSON Web Tokens. Pronounced “jot.” Do not
spell out

military-grade encryption (n.)
May refer to AES-256 encryption. Do not
use this term; refer to the type of
encryption by name instead.

Man-in-the-Middle. When written as MitM,
precede with “an.” If spoken, say the whole
phrase, not the acronym. In cryptography,
this can also refer to the Meet-in-the-Middle

It is evident that, despite being primarily designed for security professionals, it will also be of value to other tech tribes such as  programmers, cryptographers, network engineers, and more.



The guide closes with some handy tips, like how to codify your own terms or how to write terms that don’t follow your style.

Cyber.dic currently supports Microsoft Word and LibreOffice Writer. The dictionary is not set in stone, however, as it constantly updates when the people at Bishop Fox come across new terms, for example when attending hacking conferences.

The file can be found online on its Github repo together with setup instructions for Word and LibreOffice.

More Information

Cybersecurity style guide

Cyber.dic repo on Gibhub


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