With the internet developing and being used more and more, the technology to keep transactions and information secure is constantly getting more innovative. But so are the threats. This post is about some of the most common threats to internet security and the security that is developed to protect against them.
These are four common internet threats:
Viruses are programs that are normally found attached to a file, they are self replicating and will infect a system when the file they are attached to is opened. What a virus does depends on the virus itself, but all viruses are malicious software that infect the system. An example of a virus is where the infected file keeps copying itself over and over again until the system memory is filled up, causing the machine not to function properly (or at all) due to the lack of memory. There are also viruses that are attached to a program, for example Word, that work in the way that when an infected Word file is opened the virus will cause all following documents to do different bizarre things like adding content or subtracting it.
Eavesdropping is just what it sounds like, it is when the wrong person listens intercepts of listens in to messages on a network. There are two distinct types of eavesdropping, passive and active. Passive eavesdropping is when the wrong person listens secretly to the messages, while active is when the person adds something to the communication such as false messages or removes information.
Hacking is where a skilled computer user analyse and discover a leak point in the target system, they will find ways to access and attack the system, according to Olalekan Adeyinka. What hackers do depends on the mission, but they might hack a large corporation to access their sensitive information or to make an information flood happen.
Today’s Trojans work much like the classic ones in the Iliad by Homer, in which he battle of Troy is described. The Greeks fight the Trojans and create a giant horse in which they hide soldiers and then leave it outside of Troy. The Trojans think it’s a gift of surrender and bring the horse within their walls, but as night falls the soldiers come out of the horse and open the gates for the rest of their army. That way, the Greeks won easily and Troy was defeated. The modern computer Trojans hide inside programs that seem harmless, but carries malware such as viruses or remote access.
Some ways of protecting one’s computer from these risks can be making sure to have a firewall activated and to use a anti virus and anti malware program, as well as scanning regularly.
According to U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (cited on Symantec Corporation) says “Just as nuclear was the strategic warfare of the industrial era, cyberwarfare has become the strategic war of the information era,”
I think this quote is accurate, but as long as you make sure to keep your computer protected with a firewall and anti virus then you should be fine. The bigger issue is for large corporations, not for individuals. Individuals are only infected to spread the malware, and are not normally the target of the crime.