Computer Networking and security

Shital Tadas Sweta Matale

Abstract
A computer network is a group of computers that shares information across wireless or wired technology. This paper introduce the history of computer networks, the different types of networking methods i.e. Local Area Networks (LAN) , Metropolitan Area Networks, Wide Area Networks (WAN) and wireless networks (WWAN). The network topology defines the way in which computers, printers, and other devices are connected, physically and logically. A network topology which describes the layout of the wire and devices as well as the paths used by data transmissions and some commonly use network topologies (Bus, Star, Tree, Linear, Ring, Mesh). Security means Freedom from danger, fear or ensuring safety. Measures adopted to prevent the authorized use, misuse modification or denial of use of knowledge or facts, data or capabilities. Network security is an issue of great significance today where a single problem can change the fate of companies and organization. A single layer of security cannot ensure good security. Effective security is achieved by the combination of all security disciplines. Computer security is critical in almost any technology-driven industry which operates on computer systems. Computer security can also be referred to as computer safety. The issues of computer based systems and addressing their countless vulnerabilities are an integral part of maintaining an operational industry. The prominent security technologies and product categories used today are anti-virus software, firewalls, smart cards, biometrics, intrusion detection, policy management, vulnerability scanning, encryption etc. This paper introduces Cryptography Techniques. Cryptography is “The science of protecting data” & Network Security “keeping information private and Secure from unauthorized Users”. This paper gives the Fundamental Requirements for the Data Transmission, the security attacks like Interruption, Interception and Modification of the data Transmission. The Cryptographic Process explaining through a generalized function is discussed through which encryption and decryption is done by the various algorithms like RSA algorithm, Hash Functions and many cryptographic algorithms.

Introduction:
Computer networking is the engineering discipline concerned with communication between computer systems or devices. Networking, routers, routing protocols, and networking over the public Internet have their specifications defined in documents called RFCs. Computer networking is sometimes considered a sub-discipline of telecommunications, computer

science, information technology and/or computer engineering. Computer networks rely heavily upon the theoretical and practical application of these scientific and engineering disciplines. There are three types of networks: 1.Internet. 2. Intranet 3.Extranet. A computer network is any set of computers or devices connected to each other with the ability to exchange data. Examples of different networks are:

Local area network (LAN), which is usually a small network constrained to a small geographic area. An example of a LAN would be a computer network within a building. Metropolitan area network (MAN), which is used for medium size area. Examples for a city or a state. Wide area network (WAN) that is usually a larger network that covers a large geographic area. Wireless LANs and WANs (WLAN & WWAN) are the wireless equivalent of the LAN and WAN.

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All networks are interconnected to allow communication with a variety of different kinds of media, including twisted-pair copper wire cable, coaxial cable, optical fiber, power lines and various wireless technologies. The devices can be separated by a few meters (e.g. via Bluetooth) or nearly unlimited distances (e.g. via the interconnections of the Internet).

Fig. Computer networking

History of Computer Networks Before the advent of computer networks that were based upon some type of telecommunications system, communication between calculation machines and history of computer hardware early computers was performed by human users by carrying instructions between them. Many of the social behavior seen in today's Internet were demonstrably present in nineteenth-century and arguably in even earlier networks using visual signals. In September 1940 George Stibitz used a teletype machine to send instructions for a problem set from his Model at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire to his Complex Number Calculator in New York and received results back by the same means. Linking output systems like teletypes to computers was an interest at the Advanced Research Projects

Agency (ARPA) when, in 1962, J.C.R. Licklider was hired and developed a working group he called the "Intergalactic Network", a precursor to the ARPANet. Throughout the 1960s Leonard Kleinrock, Paul Baran and Donald Davies independently conceptualized and developed network systems which used datagrams or Packet information technology that could be used in a network between computer systems. In 1969 the University of California at Los Angeles, SRI (in Stanford), University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah were connected as the beginning of the ARPANet network using 50 Kbit/s circuits. Commercial services using X.25 were deployed in 1972, and later used as an underlying infrastructure for expanding TCP/IP networks. Now a day’s computer networks are the core of modern communication. All modern aspects of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) are computer-controlled, and telephony increasingly runs over the Internet Protocol, although not necessarily the public Internet. The scope of communication has increased significantly in the past decade and this boom in communications would not have been possible without the progressively advancing computer network.

Views of networks
Users and network administrators often have different views of their networks. Often, users who share printers and some servers form a workgroup, which usually means they are in the same geographic location and are on the same LAN. A community of interest has less of a connection of being in a local area, and should be thought of as a set of arbitrarily located users who share a set of servers, and possibly also communicate via peer-to-peer technologies. Network administrators see networks from both physical and logical perspectives. The physical perspective involves geographic locations, physical cabling, and the network elements (e.g., routers, bridges and application layer gateways that interconnect the physical media. Logical networks, called, in the TCP/IP architecture, subnets, map onto one or more physical media. For example, a common practice in a campus of buildings is to make a set of LAN cables in each building appear to be a common subnet, using virtual LAN (VLAN) technology. Both users and administrators will be aware, to varying extents, of the trust and scope characteristics of a network. Again using TCP/IP architectural terminology, an intranet is a community of interest under private administration usually by an enterprise, and is only accessible by authorized users. Intranets do not have to be connected to the Internet, but generally have a limited connection. An extranet is an extension of an intranet that allows secure communications to users outside of the intranet. Informally, the Internet is the set of users, enterprises, and content providers that are interconnected by Internet Service Providers (ISP). From an engineering standpoint, the Internet is the set of subnets, and aggregates of subnets, which share the registered IP address space and exchange information about the reach ability of those IP addresses using the Border Gateway Protocol. Typically, the human-readable names of servers are translated to IP addresses, transparently to users, via the directory function of the Domain Name System (DNS).

The ISO/OSI Reference Model
The International Standards Organization (ISO) Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) Reference Model defines seven layers of communications types, and the interfaces among them. Each layer depends on the services provided by the layer below it, all the way down to the physical network hardware, such as the computer's network interface card, and the wires that connect the cards together.

An easy way to look at this is to compare this model with something we use daily: the telephone. In order for you and I to talk when we're out of earshot, we need a device like a telephone. (In the ISO/OSI model, this is at the application layer.) The telephones, of course, are useless unless they have the ability to translate the sound into electronic pulses that can be transferred over wire and back again. (These functions are provided in layers below the application layer.) Finally, we get down to the physical connection: both must be plugged into an outlet that is connected to a switch that's part of the telephone system's network of switches. If I place a call to you, I pick up the receiver, and dial your number. This number specifies which central office to which to send my request, and then which phone from that central office to ring. Once you answer the phone, we begin talking, and our session has begun. Conceptually, computer networks function exactly the same way. It isn't important for you to memorize the ISO/OSI Reference Model's layers; but it's useful to know that they exist, and that each layer cannot work without the services provided by the layer below it.

Figure 1: The ISO/OSI Reference Model

Networking methods One way to categorize computer networks is by their geographic scope, although many realworld networks interconnect Local Area Networks (LAN) via Wide Area Networks (WAN) and wireless networks (WWAN). These three (broad) types are: Local area network (LAN) A local area network is a network that spans a relatively small space and provides services to a small number of people. A peer-to-peer or client-server method of networking may be used. A peer-to-peer network is where each client shares their resources with other workstations in the network. Examples of peer-to-peer networks are: Small office networks where resource use is minimal and a home network. A client-server network is where every client is connected to the server and each other. Client-server networks use servers in different capacities. These can be classified into two types: 1. Single-service servers 2. Print server The server performs one task such as file server, while other servers can not only perform in the capacity of file servers and print servers, but also can conduct calculations and use them to provide information to clients (Web/Intranet Server). Computers may be connected in many different ways, including Ethernet cables, Wireless networks, or other types of wires such as power lines or phone lines. The ITU-T G.hn standard is an example of a technology that provides high-speed (up to 1 Gbit/s) local area networking over existing home wiring (power lines, phone lines and coaxial cables). Wide area network (WAN) A wide area network is a network where a wide variety of resources are deployed across a large domestic area or internationally. An example of this is a multinational business that uses a WAN to interconnect their offices in different countries. The largest and best example of a WAN is the Internet, which is a network composed of many smaller networks. The Internet is considered the largest network in the world.[6]. The PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) also is an extremely large network that is converging to use Internet technologies, although not necessarily through the public Internet. A Wide Area Network involves communication through the use of a wide range of different technologies. These technologies include Point-to-Point WANs such as Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) and High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC), Frame Relay, ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) and Sonet (Synchronous Optical Network). The difference between the WAN technologies is based on the switching capabilities they perform and the speed at which sending and receiving bits of information (data) occur. Metropolitan area network (MAN) A metropolitan network is a network that is too large for even the largest of LAN's but is not on the scale of a WAN. It also integrates two or more LAN networks over a specific geographical area ( usually a city ) so as to increase the network and the flow of communications. The LAN's in question would usually be connected via " backbone " lines. For more information on WANs, see Frame Relay, ATM and Sonet. Wireless networks (WLAN, WWAN) A wireless network is basically the same as a LAN or a WAN but there are no wires between hosts and servers. The data is transferred over sets of radio transceivers. These types of

networks are beneficial when it is too costly or inconvenient to run the necessary cables. For more information, see Wireless LAN and Wireless wide area network. The media access protocols for LANs come from the IEEE. The most common IEEE 802.11 WLANs cover, depending on antennas, ranges from hundreds of meters to a few kilometers. For larger areas, either communications satellites of various types, cellular radio, or wireless local loop (IEEE 802.16) all have advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the type of mobility needed, the relevant standards may come from the IETF or the ITU.

Network topology The network topology defines the way in which computers, printers, and other devices are connected, physically and logically. A network topology describes the layout of the wire and devices as well as the paths used by data transmissions. Network topology has two types: 1. Physical 2. logical Commonly used topologies include: 1. Bus

2. Star Topology

3. Ring topology

4. Mesh Topology

1. Partially connected 2. Fully connected

The network topologies mentioned above are only a general representation of the kinds of topologies used in computer network and are considered basic topologies. As a matter of fact networking is defined by the standard of OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) reference for communications. The OSI model consists of seven layers. Each layer has its own function. The OSI model layers are Application, Presentation, Session, Transport, Network, Data Link, and Physical. The upper layers (Application, Presentation, and Session) of the OSI model concentrate on the application while the lower layers (transport, network, data link, and physical) focus on signal flow of data from origin to destination. The Application layer defines the medium that communications software and any applications need to communicate to other computers. Layer 6 which is the presentation layer focuses on defining data formats such as text, jpeg, gif, and binary. An example of this layer would be displaying a picture that was received in an e-mail. The 5th Layer is the session layer which establishes how to start, control, and end links or conversations. The transport layer includes protocols that allow it to provide functions in many different areas such as: error recovery, segmentation, and reassembly. The network layers primary job is the end to end delivery of data packets. To do this, the network layer relies on logical addressing so that the origin and destination point can both be recognized. An example of this would be, ip running in a router’s job is to examine the destination address, compare the address to the ip routing table, separate the packet into smaller chunks for transporting purposes, and then deliver the packet to the correct receiver. Layer 2 is the data link layer, which sets the standards for data being delivered across a link or medium. The 1st layer is the physical layer which deals with the physical characteristics of the transmission of data such as the network card and network cable type. An easy way to remember the layers of OSI is to remember All People Seem to Need Data Processing (Layers 7 to 1).

Computer network security
Network security is a complicated subject, historically only tackled by well-trained and experienced experts. However, as more and more people become ``wired'', an increasing number of people need to understand the basics of security in a networked world. This document was written with the basic computer user and information systems manager in

mind, explaining the concepts needed to read through the hype in the marketplace and understand risks and how to deal with them. Some history of networking is included, as well as an introduction to TCP/IP and internetworking. We go on to consider risk management, network threats, firewalls, and more special-purpose secure networking devices.

Risk Management:
It's very important to understand that in security, one simply cannot say ``what's the best firewall?'' There are two extremes: absolute security and absolute access. The closest we can get to an absolutely secure machine is one unplugged from the network, power supply, locked in a safe, and thrown at the bottom of the ocean. Unfortunately, it isn't terribly useful in this state. A machine with absolute access is extremely convenient to use: it's simply there, and will do whatever you tell it, without questions, authorization, passwords, or any other mechanism. Unfortunately, this isn't terribly practical, either: the Internet is a bad neighborhood now, and it isn't long before some bonehead will tell the computer to do something like self-destruct, after which, it isn't terribly useful to you.

Every organization needs to decide for itself where between the two extremes of total security and total access they need to be. A policy needs to articulate this, and then define how that will be enforced with practices and such. Everything that is done in the name of security, then, must enforce that policy uniformly.

Types and Sources of Network Threats
Now, we've covered enough background information on networking that we can actually get into the security aspects of all of this. First of all, we'll get into the types of threats there are against networked computers, and then some things that can be done to protect yourself against various threats.

Unauthorized Access
``Unauthorized access'' is a very high-level term that can refer to a number of different sorts of attacks. The goal of these attacks is to access some resource that your machine should not provide the attacker. For example, a host might be a web server, and should provide anyone with requested web pages. However, that host should not provide command shell access without being sure that the person making such a request is someone who should get it, such as a local administrator.

Executing Commands Illicitly
It's obviously undesirable for an unknown and untrusted person to be able to execute commands on your server machines. There are two main classifications of the severity of this problem: normal user access, and administrator access. A

normal user can do a number of things on a system (such as read files, mail them to other people, etc.) that an attacker should not be able to do. This might, then, be all the access that an attacker needs. On the other hand, an attacker might wish to make configuration changes to a host (perhaps changing its IP address, putting a start-up script in place to cause the machine to shut down every time it's started or something similar). In this case, the attacker will need to gain administrator privileges on the host.

Some precautions to be taken:
1: Hope you have backups
This isn't just a good idea from a security point of view. Operational requirements should dictate the backup policy, and this should be closely coordinated with a disaster recovery plan, such that if an airplane crashes into your building one night, you'll be able to carry on your business from another location. Similarly, these can be useful in recovering your data in the event of an electronic disaster: a hardware failure, or a breakin that changes or otherwise damages your data.

2: Don't put data where it doesn't need to be
Although this should go without saying, this doesn't occur to lots of folks. As a result, information that doesn't need to be accessible from the outside world sometimes is, and this can needlessly increase the severity of a break-in dramatically.

3: Avoid systems with single points of failure
Any security system that can be broken by breaking through any one component isn't really very strong. In security, a degree of redundancy is good, and can help you protect your organization from a minor security breach becoming a catastrophe.

3: Stay current with relevant operating system patches
Be sure that someone who knows what you've got is watching the vendors' security advisories. Exploiting old bugs is still one of the most common (and most effective!) means of breaking into systems.

4: Have someone on staff be familiar with security practices
Having at least one person who is charged with keeping abreast of security developments is a good idea. This need not be a technical wizard, but could be someone who is simply able to read advisories issued by various incident response teams, and keep track of various problems that arise. Such a person would then be a wise one to consult with on security related issues, as he'll be the one who knows if web server software version such-and-such has any known problems, etc.

Firewalls
In order to provide some level of separation between an organization's intranet and the Internet, firewalls have been employed. A firewall is simply a group of components that collectively form a barrier between two networks. A number of terms specific to firewalls and networking are going to be used throughout this section, so let's introduce them all together.

Types of Firewalls
There are three basic types of firewalls, and we'll consider each of them.

1: Application Gateways
The first firewalls were application gateways, and are sometimes known as proxy gateways. These are made up of bastion hosts that run special software to act as a proxy server. This software runs at the Application Layer of our old friend the ISO/OSI Reference Model, hence the name. Clients behind the firewall must be proxitized (that is, must know how to use the proxy, and be configured to do so) in order to use Internet services. Traditionally, these have been the most secure, because they don't allow anything to pass by default, but need to have the programs written and turned on in order to begin passing traffic.

A sample application gateway

These are also typically the slowest, because more processes need to be started in order to have a request serviced. Figure shows a application gateway.

2: Packet Filtering
Packet filtering is a technique whereby routers have ACLs (Access Control Lists) turned on. By default, a router will pass all traffic sent it, and will do so without any sort of restrictions. Employing ACLs is a method for enforcing your security policy with regard to what sorts of access you allow the outside world to have to your internal network, and vice versa.

There is less overhead in packet filtering than with an application gateway, because the feature of access control is performed at a lower ISO/OSI layer (typically, the transport or session layer). Due to the lower overhead and the fact that packet filtering is done with routers, which are specialized computers optimized for tasks related to networking, a packet filtering gateway is often much faster than its application layer cousins. Figure 6 shows a packet filtering gateway. Because we're working at a lower level, supporting new applications either comes automatically, or is a simple matter of allowing a specific packet type to pass through the gateway. (Not that the possibility of something automatically makes it a good idea; opening things up this way might very well compromise your level of security below what your policy allows.) There are problems with this method, though. Remember, TCP/IP has absolutely no means of guaranteeing that the source address is really what it claims to be. As a result, we have to use layers of packet filters in order to localize the traffic. We can't get all the way down to the actual host, but with two layers of packet filters, we can differentiate between a packet that came from the Internet and one that came from our internal network. We can identify which network the packet came from with certainty, but we can't get more specific than that.

3: Hybrid Systems
In an attempt to marry the security of the application layer gateways with the flexibility and speed of packet filtering, some vendors have created systems that use the principles of both.

A sample packet filtering gateway

In some of these systems, new connections must be authenticated and approved at the application layer. Once this has been done, the remainder of the connection is passed down to the session layer, where packet filters watch the connection to ensure that only packets that are part of an ongoing (already authenticated and approved) conversation are being passed. Other possibilities include using both packet filtering and application layer proxies. The benefits here include providing a measure of protection against your machines that provide services to the Internet (such as a public web server), as well as provide the security of an application layer gateway to the internal network. Additionally, using this method, an attacker, in order to get to services on the internal network, will have to break through the access router, the bastion host, and the choke router.

Conclusion: Examining the threats and managing them appropriately is very important for the smooth running of any organization. Although the security techniques are indeed successful and serve their purpose to a great extent, they are not completely fool proof. Every technique does have its flaw. Man is very skilled at developing new security mechanisms, but an equally destructive code can be written to foil the already existing mechanisms. Network security does not guarantee the safety of any organization, information or computer systems. Physical security must not be neglected at any cost. In spite of its minor drawbacks, network security techniques do offer a great deal of safety and we cannot disregard the revolution brought about by techniques like cryptography and authentication in the field of network security. Everyone has a different idea of what ``security'' is, and what levels of risk are acceptable. The key for building a secure network is to define what security means to your organization. Once that has been defined, everything that goes on with the network can be evaluated with respect to that policy. Projects and systems can then be broken down into their components, and it becomes much simpler to decide whether what is proposed will conflict with your security policies and practices. Many people pay great amounts of lip service to security, but do not want to be bothered with it when it gets in their way. It's important to build systems and networks in such a way that the user is not constantly reminded of the security system around him. Users who find security policies and systems too restrictive will find ways around them. It's important to get their feedback to understand what can be improved, and it's important to let

them know why what's been done has been, the sorts of risks that are deemed unacceptable, and what has been done to minimize the organization's exposure to them. Security is everybody's business, and only with everyone's cooperation, an intelligent policy, and consistent practices, will it be achievable.

References
1. The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3, RFC 2026, October 1996. 2. http://www.atis.org/tg2k/_computer_network.html Computer network definition 3. http://www.bellevuelinux.org/network.html Computer networks defined. 4. Interplanetary Internet, 2000 Third Annual International Symposium on Advanced

Radio Technologies, A. Hooke, September 2000
5. http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term/0,2542,t=internet&j=54184,00.asp

"internet" defined
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Andrew S. Tanenbaum, Computer Networks (ISBN 0-13-349945-6). Important publications in computer networks Vinton G. Cerf "Software: Global Infrastructure for the 21st Century" Meyers, Mike, "Mike Meyers' Certification Passport: Network+" ISBN:0072253487" Odom, Wendall, "CCNA Certification Guide" Network Communication Architecture and Protocols: OSI Network Architecture 7 Layers Model.

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