Term Paper: Computer Virus

Pages: 9 (2494 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Education - Computers  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Hackers and Crackers

Aside from the computer viruses, worms, and Trojan horses that has the capability of destroying important data and information in computer systems, another problem that the world of the Internet and other network connections currently face is the existence of hackers and crackers.

4.4.1 Hackers

Hackers are often misidentified as those who perpetrates the offenses committed by the crackers. According to Mark Adams, the crackers give hackers a bad name. Adams (1999) indicates that hacking is a noble activity. The term originated during those times when computers are just starting to emerge in educational institutions and that there are not much manual for students to use (Adams, 1999). Hence, the students prepared bits of codes that they can use for their programs. Adams suggests that the following as referring to hacking.

A refers to a clever, benign, and "ethical" prank or practical joke, which is both challenging for the perpetrators and amusing to the user community. Hacking is viewed as a noble activity to satisfy one's curiosity and educate oneself on a complex piece of hardware or software. It's all about learning, not destruction.

4.4.2 Crackers

Nowadays, the Internet is a very important innovation that connects diverse organizations and businesses around the globe. The Internet now serves diverse purposes, the most common of which is that it is used as a medium in the transfer of important data and information. One particular type of industry that greatly uses the Internet is e-commerce. With all the information that travels across the Internet, there is a high risk for malicious computer users will try to intercept and capture such information. These malicious computer users, in our technical world, are most commonly known as crackers.

In layman's terms, crackers are like thieves. They try to connect to networks, or try to retrieve information, where they are not legally authorized to have access. Usually, their intention is to get pertinent data or information that they can use in other malicious activities. For instance, in e-commerce sites, credit card information is prone to being cracked.

Securing Networks Systematically

Customizing Software

Customizing a software entails a well-organized and detailed plan and structure of program flow. This method prevents the risk of having holes in the software where unwanted elements, such as data intrusion caused by crackers, can cross in. Moreover, when customizing a software, such as an application for an e-commerce site, it is important to equip the application with software that verifies the integrity of user information. An example of such software is the VeriSign. Also, turning off features that poses vulnerabilities to the application is essential. Cert Coordinator Center lists the following important steps to follow when customizing software.

A eliminate services that are unneeded and insecurely configured restrict access to vulnerable files and directories turn off software "features" that introduce vulnerabilities mitigate vulnerabilities that intruders can use to break into systems

Harden and Secure the Network

One way of securing a network is by implementing network firewalls and security applications. Such applications provide a network with the necessary security that the network data and network users need.

Prepare

Due to the continuous emergence of threats to networks, there is always no 100% assurance that networks can be free from viruses or data thefts. Hence, to anticipate emergency cases where networks became vulnerable, it is always important to have different plans that can solve network problems. Perhaps, one of the most important procedure that must be accomplish to save an organization from problems caused by network vulnerabilities is to always keep a backup of important files and data.

Detect

This phase is almost similar to equipping a network with firewalls and security applications. The only difference is that this phase involves the implementation of detection software, such as anti-virus software, to provide a network with a warning device against malicious activities.

Respond

An immediate response to network vulnerabilities is important. For instance, when a computer system that is connected to a network gets infected by a virus, it is essential to immediately render the necessary actions to prevent the virus from spreading to other computer systems. In this phase, the emergency plans that were mentioned and were developed in phase 4.5.3 (Prepare) would be useful. Cert Coordinator Center lists the following essential Respond steps to follow.

A analyze the damage caused by the intrusion and respond by adding new technology or procedures to combat it monitor an intruder's actions in order to discover all access paths and entry points before acting to restrict intruder access.

A eliminate future intruder access return the system to a known, operational state while continuing to monitor and analyze

Improve the System network system should not be stagnant with its features. Since there is a continuous development of different threats to a network, there must also be a continuous effort in developing and finding methods to prevent and stop network vulnerabilities. Cert Coordinator Center lists the following essential steps in improving a system.

A hold a post-mortem review meeting to discuss lessons learned update policies and procedures select new tools collect data about the resources required to deal with the intrusion and document the damage it caused

Repeat the Cycle of Steps

Repeating this cycle of steps is a must to maintain the security of a network.

Bibliography

Brouwer, Mark W. Virus or Hoax?

1997. Virusall.com. June 01, 2004. http://virusall.com/virus.html

Landesman, Mary. Boot Sector Viruses.

2004. Antivirus.com. June 01, 2004. http://antivirus.about.com/cs/tutorials/a/bsvirus.htm

Mehta, Saumil. Virus Basics.

2001. Internet Explorer Supersite. June 01, 2004. http://balasainet.com/iesupersite/support/virus.htm

Schmugar, Craig. I Love You Virus Information.

2000. Get Virus Help. June 01, 2004. http://getvirushelp.com/iloveyou/

Brouwer, Mark. Virus or Hoax?

Virusall.com. June 01, 2004. http://virusall.com/worms.html

Adams, Mark. Hackers or Crackers.

The Magazine of Hal-PC User Group. June 01, 2004. http://www.hal-pc.org/journal/dec99/Column/hackers/hackers.html

Securing Networks Systematically - the SKIP Method.

Cert Coordinator Center. June 01, 2004. http://www.cert.org/archive/pdf/SKIP.pdf [END OF PREVIEW]

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