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Chapter 26. Network Security > Who Would Be Interested in My Computer?

Who Would Be Interested in My Computer?

The truth is that as inviting as you think your network or Web site is, hackers are not at all interested in the public parts of it. They are trying to find a hole—a security breach—through which they can get into the rest of your computer or into your larger network. After they get inside, the hackers aim to gain access to valuable data and critical system functions. Your credit cards might end up financing someone's excessive and dubious tastes. Your Web site might become a trafficking center for stolen information or pornography. If your Internet server is connected to internal networks, hackers may have a free ride deep inside your company. Even a single computer at home might have something worth using in future exploits.

The Internet is a gateway, but it works both ways, and it's quite simple now for any of the millions of Internet users worldwide to scan hundreds or thousands of computers at a time for potential means of access: the presence of a Web server or file sharing or remote control software. These hackers can then narrow down their search and concentrate their attack on promising candidates. If you're directly connected or just happen to be online at the right time, you could be their next target.


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