Learn how to protect your network from hackers
help network administrators secure there
networks better, as well as help other technical minded people
who want to be network administrators learn about the
techniques and terms that hackers use.
The following information is provided as a
Otherwise known to the n00b' community as "Trojans" due to the
techniques resembling the Trojan horse. Backdoors are
extremely common and some can be very damaging if put on the
right system. These tools are nothing more then stealth
servers that run on your system to allow remote access and
control over your PC. Backdoors usually are resident malicious
server coding that lays in the coding with a legitimate game
or application. When you download this application and execute
it an advanced backdoor will infect your system somewhat
similar to a virus and begin "listening" on a port for the
malicious client to take control of your PC, all the while
also executing the program you wanted to download fooling you.
Common Trojan features have CD-ROM open and close options as
well as switching mouse buttons, hiding start buttons & menus,
and downloading screen shots. More advanced backdoors will
enable users to download cached passwords, credit card
information, and browse all of your files, move, modify them,
as well as upload and execute arbitrary code.
Your best line of defence is a good
firewall to stop these connections
and good anti-virus
software for picking them up.
more on firewalls
The market of selling wireless access points and similar
related hardware has more then doubled over the last couple
years, and is not expected to get smaller in years to come.
Many people run wireless access points in there homes
and businesses so they do not have to run wires
for a wired network. Several businesses and schools are
now offering wireless network services to intended employees
these home users, corporations, and school districts don't
know about implementing these wireless networks is the
security risks each one poses.
If one where to Survey an average populated suburb area by
taking a 15min drive down a main road with the right setup the
results may surprise you. You will be
amazed of how many access points you will pick up, of
which would allow you to hop on and
start using the internet and browse there LAN in a matter of
seconds with no authentication method.
Although some would use WEP encryption
and possibly MAC address filtering enabled. WEP provides a
layer 2 OSI protection for 802.11 wireless networks, it is
very insecure. The problem with WEP is that it does not
encrypt the 802.11 header, ID packet portions, or the
initialization vector between nodes. For those of you that are
packet sniffer savvy you can see where this poses a big
The other attempt to step up security is MAC address control.
By using a MAC address client access list only the addresses
that are permitted will be allowed to connect to the access
point. The problem is with a simple wireless sniffer permitted
client MACs can be observed and the MAC address of the
attacker can be easily changed to match it. War Driving is the
implementation of all the above mentioned techniques and the
scanning and plotting of wireless access points.
The skill known as "Cracking" has many new script kiddies
learning how to use the software that enables even the simple
minded to use these password breaking techniques and gain
entry to your system. Today with the point and click n00b'
environment and not so many shell console utilities, users
with basic knowledge can break into legitimate services of
people on servers and cause lots of damage.
Today many people keep personal information such as resumes,
Social Security Numbers, Passwords, Bank account information,
credit card numbers, contact information, and a lot of other
media that could be very damaging if the wrong person got hold
of it. Don't think because you have an anti-virus and a
firewall you are protected from malicious users browsing your
files. Make the data on your PC safe with a good encryption
method to make the job of a potential attacker or
un-authorized user even harder.
The availability and common occurrences of DoS' attacks are
on the rise at a very rapid pace due to there ease of use and
many different techniques to implement them. These are attacks
that actually use flaws in TCP/IP and other services to
consume resources or bandwidth and prevent other legitimate
users from accessing the intended once public service. These
types of attacks can be devastating to online businesses
causing thousands lost in profit margins due to website and
service down time.
To make things even worse these attacks are often on a wide
scale including several hijacked PCs with access to high-speed
connections to carry out the attacks and the attacker also may
spoof IPs rendering the process for finding this malicious
user that set out to bring down your server an extremely hard
Did you know that most organizations and users that get
hacked do have a firewall, an IDS, honey pots and other
security measures in place? The fact is software errors that
allow unauthorized access or the disruption of service known
as "exploits" account for a big percentage of server and PC
break-ins. These vulnerabilities are also responsible for the
worm viruses that you hear in the
news that travel around the internet at such high speeds. Why
does software have these vulnerabilities? Software has one big
security risk involved with its implementation on systems.
That risk is the unavoidable human error in coding. As long as
humans are programming our software there will always be an
exploit out there to use its flaw to a malicious users
A good firewall guarding network gateways and individual PCs
plays a critical roll in keeping every node protected against
malicious users and worms. Firewalls are also good for
regulating what type of traffic may travel off and onto the
network and from who. Firewalls ( hence the name; are
comparable to those that you find in houses. ) shield network
resources and PCs from users that are not permitted to access
them. Think of a firewall as a wall between your PC and the
internet or network to keep destructive material away from
your property. For users who don't have any legitimate public
services to offer your firewall should shield all ports from
being accessible at any time. Only
permit the services you absolutely need with firewalls and
leave the rest blocked off.
The keylogger can be devastating to both home and companies.
These stealth applications running in the background as you
use your passwords, credit card information, have
conversations, and type documents log all these things and
more. Most keyloggers now have a way of remotely sending this
data to the malicious user who has placed them there. Since
they have all the features as a trojan, you could also qualify
that type of keylogger as a "backdoor". The most common method
data gets sent back to the malicious user is via a listening
port or an email. The program is set to send this data back at
a certain interval usually by email, and also save a log at
The art of phreaking is the use of
different flaws in technology and equipment incorporated
together with other home made devices to crack the telephone
network for uses such as free phone calls, hiding identity,
and other beneficial reasoning. At one point Phreaking was a
respectable act among hackers as an intellectual game of
exploiting and exploring the phone system.
Overtime as old technology was put to rest and new tele
communication equipment was
incorporated into networks the effectiveness of phreak methods
fell through the floor. Some "boxes" are still able to work
today but a lot of them are dinosaurs of phreaking history.
Today phreaking has become an art of stealing phone card
numbers and rigging cell phones for free calling capabilities,
objectives of a mere criminal. Some true Phreaks still use the
boxes for the original purposes, most of the time to just keep
there hand in the pool.
These tools are what attackers use to probe your system(s)
during the first stages of the attack phase. Vulnerability,
Port, and security scanners are usually all used. The
vulnerability scanner may check for well known exploits on
your system and tell the attacker if it has found a vulnerable
one. A simple port scanner is the
non-n00bish way to go. A port
scanner will simply tell the attacker what logical application
pathways are open on the remote system ( ports ). The attacker
then has to go and gather banners on his own by connecting to
the services and look for headers and other such indications
as to what the service software is and the version of it so he
can then exploit it. Security Scanners do all the above with
even more of the work done for you. This type of scanner looks
for vulnerabilities, identifies open ports and there services,
as well as pointing out possible security risks and exposures
to the attacker, also possibly providing the code already to
exploit the system.
Having a good
firewall, updated software and operating systems,
the name or version of the service, and scanning yourself for
vulnerabilities and open ports are the best ways to secure
yourself and make the attackers job a lot more harder.
Simple Mail transfer protocol, probably one of the most
buggiest running services on web servers ( besides Microsoft's IIS ;] ). This is the protocol that governs the transfer of
your email messages across the internet and private networks.
Many fun things can be done with this protocol such as
delivering messages that appear to be from other people, mail
bombing, and gained entry into servers.
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