Cis 324 Final Paper Due - Short History on Cyber Space

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‘A Short History of Cyber Security'
Alex R. Meltzer
Strayer University
Computer Ethics
CIS 324
Professor Prem Jadhwani
September 02, 2012

The Internet has been designed as a ‘pool of endless information’ for anyone who has access. With its introduction in the mid 1990’s, it has vastly changed the way we do business, obtain all kinds of data and the way we communicate in the world today. With its sheer potential, we have created the most powerful tool of our modern day technology. In a series of memos that were first written in 1962, by an MIT expert of the name of J.C.R Licklider, he had envisioned a type of ‘network’ in which a set of computers were globally interconnected in sharing information and anyone could access data from anyone of these terminals (Leiner, Cerf, Kahn & Clark, 1962-1974).

The Internet society believe that the Internet should be used by everyone freely, meaning that the number one objective is to promote the development, security and stability of the World Wide Web. Malicious attacks such as viruses, spams, spyware and other viscous attacks on hardware and software have become well known wide spread through the web. These attacks often result in irreparable damage and abuse the very freedom the Internet principles were based on (Internet security," 2012). Many aspects of our lives include the electronic transferring of data through some means of electronic devices such as cell phones, computers and other mobile devices such as emails and text messaging. Everything from traffic signals, car technology and airport/airplane navigation has been linked to the usage of transferring vital information via the web and through other communication channels. Government data such as birth records, social security documentation and tax records also need to be protected. This information is very confidential and establishes the identity of millions of people in the world today. What exactly is cyber security? In its broadest definition, it is the protection of information and computer systems in we rely on, whether at work or at school. Information is crucial and it may not be altered incorrectly. It should only be shared with the appropriate users and intentional parties. There are, of course, many different levels of security. The information must only be accessible to those who need it and have been intended to see it, for example, medical records. They should have a different level of security and only be made available to those who need this information such as the appropriate doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and other medical staff. These records need to be well protected to prevent anyone from making unauthorized changes resulting in harmful activities.

Cyber security is becoming increasingly more important, because every day, new attack methods are being launched and thousands of web pages are discovered continuously in the involvement of illegal data breaches. Several examples of types of ‘electronic infections’ include ‘Denial-of-Service’, which includes the actual shut-down of many legitimate websites and denies access to its existing user base, rendering many users unable to access important information. Another type of malicious attacks is ‘Malworms’ or ‘Trojan Horses’; these are viruses spread by email and instant messaging, sometimes unaware by the user. They may be downloaded simply by visiting the wrong websites. ‘Botnets or Zombies’ use several computers to launch the attack and steal information across a spread of terminals, copying the ‘evil software’ from one device to the next. Social network attacks are also on the rise and sometimes a link may be posted to steal personal information or download a virus hidden by the attacker. User’s inherent trust in posting vital information for their friends is what causes these social networks to be prime targets for the attackers (Internet security," 2012).

Today, 70% of large companies rank viruses and hacking ahead of...
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