Home arrow Security arrow What’s behind the curtain? Part II

What’s behind the curtain? Part II

In this second of a three-part series covering threats to computer security, we focus on attacks that are more specifically directed against a particular person or company.

  1. What’s behind the curtain? Part II
  2. Denial of service (DoS) attack
  3. Password cracking attack
  4. Social engineering attack
  5. Conclusion
By: Eliana Stavrou
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February 28, 2005

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Internet usage entails many risks. You surf the Internet to do your work and you end up with a system with degraded performance and an unexpected behavior. Congratulations! No, you did not win the lottery; you have just been hacked!

In the first part of “What’s behind the curtain” article I explained the threats associated with malicious code (viruses, Trojan horses, worms, backdoors, logic bombs and mobile code). As I mentioned in the first part, my target is to briefly list all possible attacks you may face when using the Internet; therefore I will continue my attempt to record the rest of attacks. In this way, you will become informed about the existence of all of these threats, so you can try to avoid them when that's possible. 

In this article I will discuss four more threats to add to the list:

  1. Denial of Service attack
  2. Password cracking attack
  3. Social Engineering attack
  4. Packet Sniffing attack

Before I go into more detail about these attacks, I would like to briefly discuss the distinction between "hacker" and "cracker." I received a number of comments about this after the first part of this series was published. I will discuss this issue in more detail in the next article in this series; for now, keep in mind that a "hacker" is more likely to break into a system for the purpose of discovering the system's flaws and pointing them out to the owner, while a "cracker" is malicious and actively engages in harming system. The literature on the topic is not careful about distinguishing between these two terms, but its practitioners certainly are!

Now, with that out of the way, let's look at the attacks. 

>>> More Security Articles          >>> More By Eliana Stavrou

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