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Chapter 21. Network Security > Who Would Be Interested in My Computer?

Who Would Be Interested in My Computer?

Most of us don’t give security risks a second thought. After all, who is a data thief going to target: me or the Pentagon? Who’d be interested in my computer? Well, the sad truth is that there are thousands of people out there who’d be delighted to find that they could connect to your computer. They might be looking for your credit card information, passwords for computers and Web sites, or a way to get to other computers on your LAN. Even more, they would love to find that they could install software on your computer, which they could then use to probe other peoples’ computers. They might even use your computer to launch attacks against corporate or governmental networks. Don’t doubt that this could happen to you.

With the advent of high-speed, always-on Internet connections, the risks are increasing, because your computer is connected and exposed for longer periods of time. And because operating systems (like Windows XP) are including more and more complex and relatively untested networking software, even if you only use a dial-up modem to link up to the Internet, you’re not immune from getting hacked.


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