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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
secondary damage
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When a fatal error occurs (especially a segfault) the
immediate cause may be that a pointer has been trashed due to
a previous fandango on core. However, this fandango may
have been due to an *earlier* fandango, so no amount of
analysis will reveal (directly) how the damage occurred. "The
data structure was clobbered, but it was secondary damage."
By extension, the corruption resulting from N cascaded
fandangoes on core is "Nth-level damage". There is at least
one case on record in which 17 hours of grovelling with
"adb" actually dug up the underlying bug behind an instance of
seventh-level damage! The hacker who accomplished this
near-superhuman feat was presented with an award by his