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....aaand if you are not a programmer, and the response from lm makes no sense to you at all...

When you write software, everything gets stored in RAM. Add 2 + 2 and that result gets put into a place in RAM until you decide what to do with it. (Options include write it to disk, use it in another calculation, erase that memory space and free it up for something else to use, etc.)

In older, pre-WWW software languages, you had to map out all the memory space you were using with specific addresses. Each bit had a specific address, just like every house on your street has a specific address.

To add 2 + 2 you would add memory space AB14263 plus memory space RPX9823, and put the result into memory space XXX9999.

The problem was keeping track of every bit of memory, what was currently in it, what was free to be used, and what parts could be emptied to be used again. Every line of code you wrote made memory management more complex, and programs often died due to memory management issues.

Then along came languages like Java, that just said, "Do your calculations. I will worry about keeping the memory map accurate."

So you would write code that would say, "Java, add 2 + 2 and put the result into memory, and label that place in memory "MyResult"."

And Java would do it.

So any time you needed the result of that calculation, could simply refer to it by name, "Java, what is MyResult + 7?" And Java would give you "11".

Memory leaks are what happens when you lose track of your memory map. Malicious coders can ask for the contents of a bit of memory - for example, a 2 character space where that "11" is stored - but intentionally screw up the request and ask for the 5,000 characters beginning with the "11".

If passwords or other delicate data happen to be stored in any of those 5,000 characters, the malicious coder now has them.

Note: Practically speaking, this is not how memory leaks work, and anybody that is a programmer from the old skoool will be stretching his fingers and getting ready to flame my misrepresentation of a memory leak, and buffer overflows, and write protections, and blah blah blah. But. For the person that does not know any programming, my description demonstrates the problem in a simple and easy to understand way, without making their eyes glaze over. I am now putting my fingers in my ears and singing loudly...