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Network Security Risks

A network security incident is any network-related activity with negative security implications (Napier et al., 2001). Security incidents on the Internet can come in all shapes and sizes, launched from specific systems or networks. An intrusion may be a comparatively minor event involving a single site or a major event in which tens of thousands of sites are compromised. A typical attack pattern consists of gaining access to a user’s account and using the victim’s system as a launch platform for attacks on other sites. The following are other examples of security risks in the network environment.

Hacking

Hacking is any attempt by an intruder to gain unauthorised access to a computer system. Activities carried out by hackers can include denial of service (DoS), dumping, port scanning and sniffing. Denial of service (DoS) prevents or inhibits the normal use or management of communication facilities. The attacker can redirect or suppress all messages to a particular destination (Minoli & Minoli, 1998). DoS attacks are initiated with software and can be launched by rival businesses or individuals with little or no computer skills (NOIE, 2002). Internet ’dumping’, more applicable to small businesses, is when someone utilises the company’s modem to place calls to high-cost premium rate or international numbers. This can be achieved by inducing users (often by promising adult content) to download new Internet dialer software, replacing their ISP connection. Proving that dumping was conducted without the user’s knowledge can often be difficult. To prevent dumping, telecommunications companies can place a bar on all premium calls starting with 190 (e.g., 1900, 1901, 1902, etc.) and on international phone services. If business computers are not equipped with modems, dumping should not be a problem (NOIE, 2002).


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