Network Security Essay

1735 words - 7 pages

Over the past few years the world of computers has grown into a complex mix of different components. Along with this growth, the number of security issues has also doubled in the last decade. We use computers on a daily basis for everything from banking and investing to shopping and communicating with others through email or chat programs. Due to high demand, lots of hardware and software is being developed as quickly as possible; unfortunately this leaves little time for testing and developing protection against threats. Great steps must be taken to secure the network and protect it. And due to the high levels of threats, many companies have begun to develop different types of software and hardware to help people protect their networks.
A threat is defined as anything that endangers the safety of the network, and today there are more threats then ever before. The damage that the threats cause can be classified using three ratings: high, medium, and low (http://www.interhack.net). To get a better idea of what types of damage each rating includes, they are listed below:High- System becomes unusable (e.g. flash bios, format hard drive disk)- System data or files are unrecoverable (e.g. encryption of data)- System cannot be automatically recovered using tools- Recovery requires restoring from backup- Causes large amounts of network traffic (packet flooders, mass-mailers)- Data/files are compromised and sent to a third party (backdoor capabilities)Medium- System/files can be recovered using Trend Micro products or cleaning tools- Minor data/file modification (e.g. file infectors)- Malware which write minimal amount of data to the disk- Malware which kill applications in memory- Causes medium amount of network traffic (e.g. slow mailers)- Automatically executes unknown programs- Deletes security-related applications (e.g. antivirus, firewall)Low- No system changes- Deletion of less significant files in the system- Changes can be recovered by users without using any tools- Damage can be reversed just by restarting the systemOne type of threat is called a back door; this is a means of access to a computer program that bypasses security mechanisms. When a programmer develops software they sometimes install a back door so that the program can be accessed for troubleshooting or any other purposes that the programmer wishes to do. However, attackers often use these back doors that they can detect or they can even install them themselves. In some cases, a worm, which will be discussed later, has been designed to take advantage of a back door which could have been created by an earlier attack.
Another type of threat is called spoofing. Basically spoofing is making data seems to appear to come from an IP address that it really is not coming from. Some programs have security measures that check the authentication of the IP address. Attackers avoid this security measure by changing the IP address in the header of the packet so that it appears as if it is coming...

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