Wildcard Abuse

A wildcard character can be used as a replacement for other characters and are interpreted by the shell before other actions. Examples of wild cards include:



An asterisk that can match any number of characters in a file name.


Matches a single character.

[ ]

Brackets enclose characters and can match any single one at the defined position.


A tilde at the beginning expands to the name of the user home directory or can have another username appended to refer to that user's home directory.


A hyphen within brackets will denote a range of characters.

  • See here and here for examples of wildcard abuse

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