January 11, 2013
This report is to provide insight on nefarious computer activities called ping sweeps and port scans as a request from management. I will identify them, explain what they are use for, how they are used and how to stop them from attacking a network. Finally I will discuss how they can be eliminated as security risk. The information in this report is designed to increase the understanding and knowledge of these two activities so that this company’s IT department will be in a better position to recognize them and block potential attacks from their use.
According to S. Branch (2012), in his article What is a Ping Sweep he says “A ping sweep, also called an Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) sweep, is a diagnostic technique used in computing to see what range of (IP) addresses are in use by live host, which are usually computers”. Ping sweeps are not unusual, they are often used by administrators in diagnosing network issues; however, hackers also use ping sweeps to find active computers so they will know where to concentrate their attacks. This can become a serious security breach for an unprepared network. Hackers send not one ping but many packets at the same time. This tends to slow down a network. When the hackers ping sweep finds an active computer it can send request for confidential information.
There is no reason to be alarmed by ping sweeps because the solution for stopping them is very simple. The system administrator only need to disable ICMP packets and if the system administrator wants to do a ping sweep, just enable the ICMP packets temporarily. According to S. Branch (2012), “ping sweeps are older and slower technology, and are not in use as much as in the past”.
A port scan attack is a popular reconnaissance technique that attackers use to discover services they can break into according to Yahoo Answers (2007), Author unknown. Yahoo Answers states that “All
References: Author unknown. (2007). What is a Port Scan Attack? : Yahoo Answers http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061105020422AAtre1p Branch S. (2012). What is a Ping Sweep? : © 2003-2013 Conjecture Corporation http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-ping-sweep.htm