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At the Core

In the same way that email messages can be read from the files on your computer, they can also be read from your email server before you retrieve your email. The technique is similar, but a large number of users can be affected in a short time. With corporate email, this attack could reveal business information that should have been private. If the attack is carried out against an ISP, it might expose many customers at one time.

Case Study 8-7

Rumors were flying about the company's likely announcement of a major reorganization, and everyone was wondering what this change would mean to them. As usual, the HR staff was particularly tight-lipped about the whole matter.

At lunch, Linda and her friends were discussing the rumors and said it would be helpful to know beforehand what was going to happen. Often these reorganizations went hand in hand with layoffs, and getting a head start on others with the same skill sets sometimes meant the difference between walking right into a new job and spending some time on unemployment.

When Linda got back to her desk, she continued the task she had been working on, which was making some changes to the way the Web server logged information. All of a sudden, it hit her. She could find out what was going to happen.

Linda quickly navigated to the directory where emails were stored. As a system administrator, she had sufficient privileges to get to any directory. She scanned the files, looking for the phrase “reorganization.” Within minutes, she was reading an internal HR memo stating when the reorganization would be announced and which departments would be most affected.



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