Essay Preview: Internet Security
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October 13, 2013
Even though the threats are made faster than a prevention method or solution, it is vital to programs and computers to be kept up-to-date on security threats on both the computer users end, as well as the Internet servers. The Internet is a perfect place to find any information a person could want to know from the convenience of their home, but with this comes a risk not only to the computer itself, but also the information stored on and sent from the computer. These attacks are constantly updated to programs that prevent these attacks from occurring. Defenses for these attacks are on two major factors, personal security options and Internet server security implications. Each of these components helps ensure the integrity and privacy of the information stored on the computer and sent from the computer from the threats present on the Internet. There is a wide variety of threats present at any given moment on the Internet. And according to Niblett (2012) “So-called advanced persistent threats (APT), or continued state of ignorance (CSI), will continue. These are large-scale compromises, over a long period of time, possibly state-sponsored or condoned, aimed at extracting commercially or personally sensitive information from the targets.” One common method used is a targeted attack. This form of attack includes malware, spyware, and phishing attempts in order to obtain information from the computer or the computer user (Niblett, 2012). The information gained from phishing attacks can be used to compromise the security of a website or program by falsely asking for the user name and password be entered in to a site that is not legitimate, which results in a person having access to that account other than the intended user. Malware attacks are the method used to entice the use of an infected link that looks like it leads to a legitimate site and begins to attempt to obtain the persons e-mail, which can then be flooded with spam (Niblett, 2012). Next is spyware attacks, such as key loggers that collects every keystroke up to a certain number of strokes, pose a large threat to the integrity and security of the information stored and sent from a computer connected to the Internet, due to the attackers ability to upload all the keystrokes made on the computer, which can then be used to find usernames and passwords for accounts. The next main group of threats is called mass attacks which target vulnerabilities in popular software gaining full unrestricted access to information within, and the use of cracked software to spread viruses (Niblett, 2012). These attacks use what is called a “backdoor” in the programming. The backdoor is a flaw in the program that allows access that would otherwise be restricted. A recent example of a Mass attack would be the attack on the PlayStation Network in April of 2011. That attack compromised millions of email account information, along with other financial and personal information from the networks database.
To reduce the threat from an attack there are things that a computer user can do including keeping all software up-to-date, use of a firewall, and the use of proper security software. It is common knowledge that any out-of-date software is not going to be as secure as it should be, but this is often overlooked by some users increasing the threat of a successful attack. Enabling the automatic update option is an excellent solution to ensure the maximum benefit from protection software. Next according to Oppliger (1997) “A firewall builds a blockade between an internal network that is assumed to be secure and trusted, and another network, usually an external (inter) network, such as the internet, that is not assumed to be secure and trusted.” (p. 94). Larger network operators also have an additional security option available a standardized user-level authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) has been implemented for editing packet filters (Oppliger, 1997). Furthermore using the proper security software is vital to ensure the best level of security. It is best to have at least an antivirus, malware, and cleaner software installed and ran on a schedule that fits in with the amount of use the