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Chapter 2. General Network Security > Defining Access and Rights

Defining Access and Rights

Most home computer systems have been built and shipped assuming that no security will be used. That was sufficient until the advent of the Internet and the increase in use of always-on connections such as xDSL and cable modems. These always-on connections can be located more easily by hackers, because they have relatively predictable and stable addresses—meaning either a static address or one from a small pool of contiguous addresses. If your address is static, you only have to be found once; if it is dynamically assigned, you have to be found each time but often from a small, known collection of addresses. Once you are found by address, the cracker or hacker can begin probing for information or attacking your system. That is why as you connect to more systems, your need for security rises as well.

One of the core ways to achieve security is to allow or restrict access to files or directories and do the same with certain activities that can be performed by users of the system. With such restrictions, a system owner or Administrator can get an idea of who is or is not doing things on their system. More important, the Administrator can control who can do these things. The name for this concept is Access Control. The terms User Rights and User Privileges describe who is allowed to do certain tasks on the system. Rights and Privileges define what you as a user can and can’t do, see, read, and alter. Please note that some security resources distinguish between a User Right and a User Privilege. For the purposes of this book, “User Privilege” covers both Rights and Privileges.


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