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Friday, 22 March 2013


            There are several types of internet security breach or attacks. Expert has identify 9 common type of internet security intrusion which consist of Probe, Scan, Account Compromise, Root Compromise, Packet Sniffer, Denial of Service, Exploitation of Trust, Malicious Code and Internet Infrastructure Attacks
1.      Probes
            A probe is characterized by unusual attempts to gain access to a system or to discover information about the system. One example is an attempt to log in to an unused account. Probing is the electronic equivalent of testing doorknobs to find an unlocked door for easy entry. Probes are sometimes followed by a more serious security event, but they are often the result of curiosity or confusion.

2.      Scan
            A scan is simply a large number of probes done using an automated tool. Scans can sometimes be the result of a misconfiguration or other error, but they are often a prelude to a more directed attack on systems that the intruder has found to be vulnerable.
3.      Account Compromise
            An account compromise is the unauthorized use of a computer account by someone other than the account owner, without involving system-level or root-level privileges (privileges a system administrator or network manager has). An account compromise might expose the victim to serious data loss, data theft, or theft of services. The lack of root-level access means that the damage can usually be contained, but a user-level account is often an entry point for greater access to the system.
4.      Root Compromise
            A root compromise is similar to an account compromise, except that the account that has been compromised has special privileges on the system. The term root is derived from an account on UNIX systems that typically has unlimited, or "superuser", privileges. Intruders who succeed in a root compromise can do just about anything on the victim's system, including run their own programs, change how the system works, and hide traces of their intrusion.
5.      Packet Sniffer
            A packet sniffer is a program that captures data from information packets as they travel over the network. That data may include user names, passwords, and proprietary information that travel over the network in clear text. With perhaps hundreds or thousands of passwords captured by the sniffer, intruders can launch widespread attacks on systems. Installing a packet sniffer does not necessarily require privileged access. For most multi-user systems, however, the presence of a packet sniffer implies there has been a root compromise.
6.      Denial of Service
            The goal of denial-of-service attacks is not to gain unauthorized access to machines or data, but to prevent legitimate users of a service from using it. A denial-of-service attack can come in many forms. Attackers may "flood" a network with large volumes of data or deliberately consume a scarce or limited resource, such as process control blocks or pending network connections. They may also disrupt physical components of the network or manipulate data in transit, including encrypted data.
7.      Exploitation of Trust
            Computers on networks often have trust relationships with one another. For example, before executing some commands, the computer checks a set of files that specify which other computers on the network are permitted to use those commands. If attackers can forge their identity, appearing to be using the trusted computer, they may be able to gain unauthorized access to other computers.
8.      Malicious Code
            Malicious code is a general term for programs that, when executed, would cause undesired results on a system. Users of the system usually are not aware of the program until they discover the damage. Malicious code includes Trojan horses, viruses, and worms. Trojan horses and viruses are usually hidden in legitimate programs or files that attackers have altered to do more than what is expected. Worms are self-replicating programs that spread with no human intervention after they are started. Viruses are also self-replicating programs, but usually require some action on the part of the user to spread inadvertently to other programs or systems. These sorts of programs can lead to serious data loss, downtime, denial of service, and other types of security incidents.
9.      Internet Infrastructure Attacks
            These rare but serious attacks involve key components of the Internet infrastructure rather than specific systems on the Internet. Examples are network name servers, network access providers, and large archive sites on which many users depend. Widespread automated attacks can also threaten the infrastructure. Infrastructure attacks affect a large portion of the Internet and can seriously hinder the day-to-day operation of many sites.

            There are no such things as one technique can protect us from being attack; internet security required a combination of several technologies to minimize the potential of being breach. The technologies that can help us in preventing the attacker consist of One-Time Passwords technologies, Firewalls technologies and Monitoring Tools technologies.  
1.      One-Time Passwords technologies
            Intruders often install packet sniffers to capture passwords as they traverse networks during remote log-in processes. Therefore, all passwords should at least be encrypted as they traverse networks. A better solution is to use one-time passwords because there are times when a password is required to initiate a connection before confidentiality can be protected.
One common example occurs in remote dial-up connections. Remote users, such as those traveling on business, dial in to their organization's modem pool to access network and data resources. To identify and authenticate themselves to the dial-up server, they must enter a user ID and password. Because this initial exchange between the user and server may be monitored by intruders, it is essential that the passwords are not reusable. In other words, intruders should not be able to gain access by masquerading as a legitimate user using a password they have captured.
One-time password technologies address this problem. Remote users carry a device synchronized with software and hardware on the dial-up server. The device displays random passwords, each of which remains in effect for a limited time period (typically 60 seconds). These passwords are never repeated and are valid only for a specific user during the period that each is displayed. In addition, users are often limited to one successful use of any given password. One-time password technologies significantly reduce unauthorized entry at gateways requiring an initial password.
2.      Firewalls technologies
            Intruders often attempt to gain access to networked systems by pretending to initiate connections from trusted hosts. They squash the emissions of the genuine host using a denial-of-service attack and then attempt to connect to a target system using the address of the genuine host. To counter these address-spoofing attacks and enforce limitations on authorized connections into the organization Is network, it is necessary to filter all incoming and outgoing network traffic.
A firewall is a collection of hardware and software designed to examine a stream of network traffic and service requests. Its purpose is to eliminate from the stream those packets or requests that fail to meet the security criteria established by the organization. A simple firewall may consist of a filtering router, configured to discard packets that arrive from unauthorized addresses or that represent attempts to connect to unauthorized service ports. More sophisticated implementations may include bastion hosts, on which proxy mechanisms operate on behalf of services. These mechanisms authenticate requests, verify their form and content, and relay approved service requests to the appropriate service hosts. Because firewalls are typically the first line of defence against intruders, their configuration must be carefully implemented and tested before connections are established between internal networks and the Internet.
3.      Monitoring Tools technologies
            Continuous monitoring of network activity is required if a site is to maintain confidence in the security of its network and data resources. Network monitors may be installed at strategic locations to collect and examine information continuously that may indicate suspicious activity. It is possible to have automatic notifications alert system administrators when the monitor detects anomalous readings, such as a burst of activity that may indicate a denial-of-service attempt. Such notifications may use a variety of channels, including electronic mail and mobile paging. Sophisticated systems capable of reacting to questionable network activity may be implemented to disconnect and block suspect connections, limit or disable affected services, isolate affected systems, and collect evidence for subsequent analysis.

Tools to scan, monitor, and eradicate viruses can identify and destroy malicious programs that may have inadvertently been transmitted onto host systems. The damage potential of viruses ranges from mere annoyance (e.g., an unexpected "Happy Holidays" jingle without further effect) to the obliteration of critical data resources. To ensure continued protection, the virus identification data on which such tools depend must be kept up to date. Most virus tool vendors provide subscription services or other distribution facilities to help customers keep up to date with the latest viral strains.
Article by
Heywood Jehia
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