secondary damage: n.

When a fatal error occurs (esp. 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 fellows.