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Information Security Awareness. The Problem of Network Security. The Internet allows an attacker to attack from anywhere in the world from their home desk. They just need to find one vulnerability: a security analyst need to close every vulnerability.

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The Problem of Network Security

  • The Internet allows an attacker to attack from anywhere in the world from their home desk.
  • They just need to find one vulnerability: a security analyst need to close every vulnerability.
  • According to , the top vulnerabilities available for a cyber criminal are
    • Web Browser
    • IM Clients
    • Web Applications
    • Excessive User Rights

2008 CSI/FBI Computer Crime and Security Survey

  • The most expensive computer security incidents are those involving financial fraud, with an average loss of $500,000.
  • Frequency of occurrence :
    • Human/Software Incompetence 31%
    • Insider abuse of the network 1%
    • Theft of laptops and mobile devices 35%
    • Outside hacker 32%
    • Unknown 1%


System Administrators

Some scripts are useful

to protect networks…



programmer creates

attack software

Hacker Bulletin Board

Sql Injection

Buffer overflow

Password Crackers

Password Dictionaries

Successful attacks!

Crazyman broke into …

CoolCat penetrated…

Script Kiddies:

Know how to

execute programs

Criminals:Create & sell bots -> spam

Sell credit card numbers,…

Malware package=$1K-2K

1 M Email addresses = $8

10,000 PCs = $1000


Computer Virus

  • A virus attaches itself to a program, file, or disk
  • When the program is executed, the virus too is executed
  • When the program is executed (email/floppy) the virus spreads
  • The virus may be benign or malignant but executes its load pay at some point (often upon contact)
  • Viruses result in crashing of computers and loss of data.
  • In order to recover/prevent virus attacks:
    • Avoid potentially unreliable web sites/emails
    • System Restore
    • Re-install operating system
    • Virus Protection.
      • Freeware i.e. AVG , Avira Antivirus



Extra Code:

Delete file






Independent program which replicates itself and sends copies from computer to computer across network connections. Upon arrival the worm may be activated to replicate.


Logic BombTrojan Horse

  • Logic Bomb: Malware logic will execute upon certain conditions. It is used for more legitimate reasons but could be used for nefarious purposes.
  • Software which will malfunction if maintenance fee is not paid
  • Employee triggering a database erase when he is fired.

Trojan Horse: Malware has malicious purpose in addition to functional purpose

  • Social Engineering: “Try this game…it is so cool”
    • Game also emails password file.
    • The word Trojan war has a piece of history attached to it. (In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris of Troy stole Helen from her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. )

Phishing (Fake Email)

  • Phishing is portraying yourself as a trustworthy entity by an e-mail and asking for sensitive information such as SSN, credit card numbers, login IDs and passwords.
  • Recent example that was in news : 10,000 Hotmail passwords revealed by a user on PasteBin. Believe it not, the password that was used the most was “123456” (a total of 64 times).

Pharming : An Example

The link provided in the e-mail leads to a fake webpage which collects all the important information and submits it to the owner.


Botnets: Bots



Bots: Host illegal movies, music, pornography,

criminal web sites, …

Forward Spam for

financial gain





Social Engineering

Social engineering is the act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. While similar to a confidence trick or simple fraud, the term typically applies to trickery or deception for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or computer system access.


ABC Bank has

noticed a

problem with

your account…

This is John, the System Admin. What is your password?

I have come to repair your machine…

What ethnicity are you? Your mother’s maiden name?

and have some software patches


Hacking Networks

  • War Driving:
  • Can I find a wireless network?

War Dialing:

  • Can I find a modem to connect to?
  • What IP addresses exist, and what ports are open on them?
  • What versions of software are implemented on devices?

Man-In-The-Middle Attack

Man in the middle attacks occur when an attacker pretends to be your final destination on the network. As in the figure, if a person is trying to connect to a specific web server, an attacker can mislead him to his computer, pretending to be that web server. MITM also result in spoofing.


Root Kit

  • Root Kit
  • Upon penetrating a computer, a hacker installs a root kit
  • May enable:
    • Easy entrance for the hacker (and others)
    • Keystroke logger
  • Eliminates evidence of break-in
  • Modifies the operating system
  • Example : Sony BMG CD Protection scandal.

Backdoor entry

Keystroke Logger

Hidden user


Wisconsin 134.98Data Breach Notification Law

  • Restricted data includes:
  • Social Security Number
  • Driver’s license # or state ID #
  • Financial account number (credit/debit) and access code/password
  • DNA profile (Statute 939.74)
  • Biometric data

In US, HIPAA protects:

  • Health status, treatment, or payment

Recognizing a Break-in or Compromise

  • Symptoms:
  • Antivirus software detects a problem
  • Pop-ups suddenly appear (may sell security software)
  • Disk space disappears
  • Files or transactions appear that should not be there
  • System slows down to a crawl
  • Stolen laptop (1 in 10 stolen in laptop lifetime)
  • Often not recognized
malware awareness
Malware awareness

Spyware symptoms

Change to your browser homepage/start page

Ending up on a strange site when conducting a search

System-based firewall is turned off automatically

Lots of network activity while not particularly active

Excessive pop-up windows

New icons, programs, favorites which you didn’t add

Frequent firewall alerts about unknown programs trying to access the Internet

Bad/slow system performance

malware awareness cont
Malware awareness (cont.)

Virus symptoms

Antivirus software often catches viruses

Unusual messages or displays on your monitor

Unusual sounds or music played at random times

Your system has less available memory than it should

A disk or volume name has been changed

Programs or files are suddenly missing

Unknown programs or files have been created

Some of your files become corrupted or suddenly don't work properly

malware awareness cont1
Malware awareness (cont.)

Trojan Horse symptoms

Your computer screen flips upside down or inverts

Documents or messages print on your printer by themselves

Your screen saver settings change by themselves

Your mouse pointer disappears

Your mouse moves by itself

Your Windows Start button disappears

Your computer shuts down and powers off by itself


Security: Defense in Depth

  • Defense in depth is a strategy to place multiple layers of defense on a system to address all the technical, personnel and operational issues.
  • It is an approach conceived by NSA in order to ensure information and electronic security.

A Firewall is a Filter

A firewall, as the name suggests acts as a wall between your computer/private network and the internet. Hackers may use the internet to find, use, and install applications on your computer. A firewall prevents hacker connections from entering your computer.


Protecting the Network

Border Router: Packet Filter

The Internet



Bastion Hosts

Proxy server firewall


Private Network


Creating a Good Password

Merry Christmas




Merry Xmas






(convert vowels

to numeric)




(Keypad shift

Right …. Up)











Password Recommendations

  • Never use ‘admin’ or ‘root’ or ‘administrator’ as a login for the admin
    • Use a software firewall on each computer system, with antivirus & antispyware.
  • A good password is:
    • private: it is used and known by one person only
    • secret: it does not appear in clear text in any file or program or on a piece of paper pinned to the terminal
    • easily remembered: so there is no need to write it down
    • at least 8 characters
    • a mixture of at least 3 of the following: upper case letters, lower case letters, digits and punctuation
    • not guessable by any program in a reasonable time, for instance less than one week. Why you must change passwords
  • Even if you choose a good password, it can still be discovered: someone may see you typing it or capture it by snooping on the computer or network. If you accidentally type your password in place your login name, it may appear in system log files


  • Microsoft regularly issues patches or updates to solve security problems in their software. If these are not applied, it leaves your computer vulnerable to hackers.
  • The Windows Update feature built into Windows 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP can check your PC against a common database of patches
  • More recent versions of windows have an Automatic Update feature

Combat Viruses

  • Maintain Operating System Updates
  • Install anti-virus, anti-spyware software

There are many freeware and paid options available in the market.

  • Beware of opening unknown attachments
  • Do not open email on your main server
  • In case you are infected with a virus there are various options available : system restore, virus removal tool, re-install OS.
sensitive data
Sensitive data
  • Know if your information is securely transmitted when browsing!

Back up Important Information

  • What information is valuable to you?
  • Who has access to that information?
  • Is your back-up:


Off-site & Secure?

Process Documented?



the fraud problem
The Fraud Problem
  • Organizations lose 5-6% of revenue annually due to internal fraud = $652 Billion in U.S. (2006)
  • Average scheme lasts 18 months, costs $159,000
  • 25% costs exceed $1M
  • Smaller companies suffer greater average $ losses than large companies

Essentials of Corporate Fraud, T L Coenen, 2008, John Wiley & Sons

how fraud is discovered
Essentials of Corporate Fraud, T L Coenen, 2008, John Wiley & SonsHow Fraud is Discovered

Some fraud is discovered via multiple reporting methods,

Thus results do not sum to 100%

Tips come from Employee 64%, Anonymous 18%,

Customer 11%, Vendor 7%


Protected Computer is…

  • Computer fortified against attackers
  • Applications turned off
  • Operating system patched
  • Security configuration tightened
    • Authorization
    • Authentication
    • Physical Access
  • Using appropriate measures to stop malware: viruses, worms: Use antivirus AND avoid unreliable emails or web pages!