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Internet Security 2 Essay

1594 words - 6 pages

Internet Security As we head into the next millennium many people are beginning to question the computer systems that so many of us depend on. This is not the first time that people have become scared at the end of a century, let alone a millennium. People have always had on thing or another to be worried about at these turning points in time. When people first heard of the Y2K problem they began to realize just how big of a problem security is on these systems. Not only do we depend on these systems for information; our entire lives are on computers. The nation began to acquire a sense of urgency to fix this problem because they thought about just how vulnerable we are; from bank records and accounts to their driving history and insurance information. There have been countless cases of breaches in security, including theft of money, because of the lack of security on the Internet. I feel that the need for greater security measures on the net is increasing as we move towards the millennium and bigger security problems are created as we depend on computers more and more everyday.Computer Systems these days are protected in one of two ways, or both. The first is through passwords. Passwords work only to a certain extent. Many people lack the forethought to make their password something that is not easily guessable. Your name, birth date, or anything that could be guessed with a little bit of thought is a bad idea. The other way to protect a network is to use a firewall. This technology is often effective but can be bypassed, and is often picky about what to let through. In my opinion firewalls give a false sense of security and cannot be used as a sole means of protection. Given enough time most decent computer science majors or anyone really familiar with networks can bust through a firewall. This is why any thing important should be kept in separate folders with their own passwords or kept in an offline source.Although I found many great cases of Internet crimes I have found the following quite interesting. There was a case in 1993 in which investigators in New York City found that three city Employees had found a flaw in city's real estate tax computer system and erased 20,000,000 dollars in overdue property taxes (Intranet Security XVII). Now, the implications of this crime are endless. If this break-in would have gone unnoticed it would have set off a whole domino affect on the tax system. These taxes that were erased go to the state and in turn the state pays the government part of the taxes. This undoubtedly would have continued if they went without getting caught and eventually would have driven up taxes for everyone else. In this instance the company and many other people were lucky to have caught the criminals, but just imagine how many of these crimes go unnoticed.Another case is when the corporation Citibank had an incident in 1995 in which Russian "hackers" (a term on the Internet and computer world meaning breaking into another...

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