Internet Security - Problems and Solutions

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Internet Security: Problems & Solutions

Table of contents:


Internet Vulnerabilities and Threats:3

Digitial “Eavesdropping” or Password sniffing3
Denial of Service (DoS)4

Security solutions:7

Security Token7
Antivirus software8




“The Internet is a global network of interconnected computers, enabling users to share information along multiple channels.” (1) It was introduced to the public in the 1990s and became a part of everyday life. The internet enables people from different locations to connect and share data and files. The internet is also used to transfer important and sensitive information such as credit card numbers and passwords. Because of that many people try to exploit the vulnerabilities of the internet in order to gain access to this information or simply to cause malicious damage or use your computer for illegal purposes. In this report I will discuss some of the vulnerabilities and talk about the solutions used such as software and hardware.

Internet Vulnerabilities and Threats:

Vulnerabilities are perceived threats. If they were exploited, the system would no longer be reliable. For example, a virus infecting a computer is a threat if this virus deletes all the system files on the computer then this computer will no longer be useful.

There are many internet threats, I will list some of them and explain what they are:

• Digitial “Eavesdropping” or Password sniffing

A password sniffer is a program that watches all the traffic on the network, paying particular attention to packets that carry the password.The hacker will then use the sniffer to collect a list of users and their passwords.



An example of a password sniffer software is SniffPass. According to the creators it “listens to your network, capture the passwords that pass through your network adapter, and display them on the screen instantly”. SniffPass can capture the passwords of the following Protocols: POP3, IMAP4, SMTP, FTP, and HTTP (basic authentication passwords).”


• Denial of Service (DoS)

“A "denial-of-service" attack is characterized by an explicit attempt by attackers to prevent legitimate users of a service from using that service.” (2) There are many ways to do this including attempts to "flood" a network, thereby preventing legitimate network traffic. A denial-of-service attack can be done by one computer or many computers all over the world. There are many reasons a denial-of-service attack may be used. A business organization may want to harm its competitor’s system so it uses a denial-of-service attack.


There are many tools used to launch a Denial-of-service attack. These tools are distributed over the internet which makes it easier for anyone to start an attack. Some examples of these tools are: Trinoo , TFN, TFN2K and Stacheldraht.

• Viruses

A computer virus is software that is used to infect a computer. Different viruses have different effects ranging from annoying but harmless to malicious, such as deleting all the files on the computer’s hard disk. Viruses usually spread by E-mail. It is sent as an attachment and usually has an intriguing name to trick the user into downloading it. A virus consists of 3 main parts:

1. Replicator: The Replicator has to make sure that the virus “survives” in the computer. It does not damage the computer but it attaches itself to legitimate programs in the machine. Every time that program is used the virus becomes active and reproduces.

2. Concealer: The Concealer is responsible of hiding the virus. This way the user will not delete the virus simply because he does not know it exists!

3. Payload: If a virus is going to have a long life then any damage it causes must either be very slight or not take place for a long period of...
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