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Typically, a client is a
When the server serves data in a commonly used manner, for example according to standard
Programs that run on a user's local computer without ever sending or receiving data over a network are not considered clients, and so the operations of such programs would not be termed client-side operations.
In a computer security context, client-side vulnerabilities or attacks refer to those that occur on the client / user's computer system, rather than on the server side, or in between the two. As an example, if a server contained an encrypted file or message which could only be decrypted using a key housed on the user's computer system, a client-side attack would normally be an attacker's only opportunity to gain access to the decrypted contents. For instance, the attacker might cause malware to be installed on the client system, allowing the attacker to view the user's screen, record the user's keystrokes, and steal copies of the user's encryption keys, etc. Alternatively, an attacker might employ cross-site scripting vulnerabilities to execute malicious code on the client's system without needing to install any permanently resident malware.
Distributed computing projects such as SETI@home and the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, as well as Internet-dependent applications like Google Earth, rely primarily on client-side operations. They initiate a connection with the server (either in response to a user query, as with Google Earth, or in an automated fashion, as with SETI@home), and request some data. The server selects a data set (a server-side operation) and sends it back to the client. The client then analyzes the data (a client-side operation), and, when the analysis is complete, displays it to the user (as with Google Earth) and/or transmits the results of calculations back to the server (as with SETI@home).
- "What are the differences between server-side and client-side programming?". softwareengineering.stackexchange.com. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
- JS (2015-10-15). "Week 4: Is There a Difference between Client Side and Server Side?". n3tweb.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
- Espinosa, Christian (2016-04-23). "Decoding the Hack" (PDF). alpinesecurity.com. Retrieved 2017-07-07.[permanent dead link]