UNIVERSITY OF MAURITIUS FACULTY OF ENGINEERING MSC ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING SYSTEMS AND DEVELOPMENT CSE 6084- ENTERPRISE NETWORKING

Academic Paper

Network security is becoming increasingly important as people spend more and more time connected. Discuss the main security issues and threats that exist today and the measures that are taken to counteract these threats.
Mooruth Ashwina 25th March 2011

Abstract One of the most critical problems on today s Internet is the lack of security. This gives rise to a plethora of different ways in which the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data is compromised. As more and more people have become wired , it is clear that security must be a first-class design consideration. To be able to cater for security, it is first necessary to obtain a thorough understanding of the threats and adversaries that the system must defend against. As a first step toward this understanding, this paper introduce a number of emerging security threats that need to be considered and security solutions which can help to alleviate those issues.

.............................................. 7 Spam ....................................................................................................Table of Contents 1.............................................................. 10 6.................................................................................................................... 6 Password Attacks ..............................................................................................0 Threats to Network Security and their solutions ....... 12 8.................................................................................0 References .............................. 5 Spoofing Attacks............................................................................. 6 Malware .........................................................................0 Introduction ...............................................................1 The Threats ..................................... 3 2.............. 9 5....................................................................................... 8 Nature of Connecting devices to the internet ........................................ 9 5................................................ 8 5..........0 Network Security Issues ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 4 4............. 13 ...........................................................................................................................0 Security Policy.......................... 0 Importance of Network Security..................................................................................................................................... 11 7................................................................... 5 Denial of Service attack ....... 7 Unauthorised access ...................................................................................................................................... 4 3...................................................................................................................................................0 Conclusion ................................................................................................0 Threats to wireless network and their solutions ...............................................................................................................2 Solutions to wireless security .....

more than ever. its growth has been dynamically explosive. Security attacks compromises the information-system security and the need to protect one or more aspects of the network s operation and permitted use is therefore crucial. our world has become interconnected in ways not previously imaginable. computer networks are utilized for sharing services and resources. the network is vulnerable to potential intrusions and attacks. This paper introduces security threats to computer networks and explains available security mechanisms to prevent such threats from happening. When a network is connected to internet to increase information sharing. there are several mechanisms that can protect any information that can be sent over the network. The number of Internet users worldwide has doubled between 2005 and 2010 and it is projected that the number will surpass the two billion mark by the end of 2010 (ITU World Telecommunications/ICT indicators database) [1].1. Although the history of internet is relatively short. Today. communications or productivity.0 Introduction Over the last 10 years. Fortunately. .

2. There are a number of potential pitfalls that may arise if network security is not implemented properly such as breaches of confidentiality. & compromised components. through misuse of data [2]. not only are attacks easy to launch. It also helps in defending the computer system against different types of destructive technologies and protects the PC from damage. Some examples of security issues are: y Abundant vulnerabilities .weak design. data destruction and data manipulation. Finally. feature-rich implementation. Due to insecurity of the current Internet. Network security issues are critical to every information infrastructure.0 Network Security Issues Security issues can no longer be ignored. but stopping or limiting the attack quickly is difficult from the victim's point of view [3]. It aids in monitoring the network and protect it also from different threats. there still remain many potential threats that can cripple a system. This problem exists on many levels. y Heterogeneous networking technologies adds to security complexity Higher-speed communication puts more information at risk in a given time period Ubiquitous access increases risk exposure y y . the culprits behind those attacks are rarely caught. allowing them to continue attacks in the future without fear of retribution. However. 0 Importance of Network Security The purpose of network security is essentially to prevent loss. users are susceptible to various attacks that are very easy to launch. 3. Network security is important because it can provide the opportunity for the users to protect their important information present on the network and also in the system.

2008) [4]. This can be accomplished using flooding: the attacker sends a large number of meaningless packets to the victim and these packets will use all or a majority of the victim's bandwidth or computing power. making it difficult or impossible for the victim to communicate with legitimate nodes. and Subramaniam. and infrastructure. the attacker disturbs the victim in a such way that the victim is unable to continue normal operation. A detailed description of these attacks. IT Experts recommend the adoption of IPSec (IP Security Protocol) and DNSSec (Domain Name System Security Protocol) which offer authentication services which would help identify packets with spoofed return IP addresses before they cause problems. concentrating on attacks that target the Internet's infrastructure and their preventive solutions follows below: Denial of Service attack In a denial-of-service (DoS) attack. Statistics of the Finnish national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-FI)[5] show that the number of DoS attacks has increased fivefold between years 2006 and 2008. servers.4. (Kumar. Park. There exist several types of attacks that can be launched against Internet's users. .0 Threats to Network Security and their solutions A security threat is a condition of vulnerability that may lead to an information security being compromised. Countermeasures Individuals should conscientiously apply security patches to operating systems and install effective firewalls and update them when necessary.

email or other communications vehicles. such as altering existing computer files or making the computer inoperable. Also. Authentication cookies should be protected with SSL(Secure Sockets Layer). This can be accomplished using stolen user credentials or false IP address Countermeasures Users should make use of strong authentication and should not store secrets such as passwords in plaintext. Malware Malware (viruses. etc. They can be transmitted by disk. .) are pieces of disguised code that are typically designed to cause an undesirable event. forged packets are used to attack the network. credentials should never be sent in plaintext over the wire. It should be an essential priority of every individual to use virus protection software and disable unused functionalities to limit the incoming malware. Spoofing is attempting to gain access to a system by using false identity.Spoofing Attacks In spoofing attacks. worms. blocking of unnecessary ports at the firewall and host will go a very long way to keep the network free of viruses. Also. Countermeasures Internet users should stay current with the latest operating system service packs and software patches .

Captcha[7] ( Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart) is a good measure for preventing comment spams . Spam Spam is another threat that is increasing each year. Countermeasures Spams can be filtered out by a good email filter and also by staying current on the latest techniques that spammers use. hardware-based security methods. In business. which uses legitimate headlines such as "Howard Stern Earns $83M Bonus" [6] to trick recipients into opening spam emails that are filled with spammy drug advertisements. lack of diversity in usernames and passwords and other security flaws make it easier for password attackers to succeed. Spam email takes a variety of forms. Automated testing such as dictionary scanning. Another brand new technique that spammers are using is called "news service" spam. passwords need to be as long and complex as possible. such as tokens providing one-time passwords can help provide a higher level of security.Password Attacks A 'Password Attack' is a general term that describes a variety of techniques used to steal passwords to accounts. . Countermeasures To prevent hackers from compromising accounts. Regular change of passwords especially for highly sensitive logins should be adopted by individuals. ranging from unsolicited emails promoting products like Pharmaceuticals. to coordinated spam attacks designed to take up so much bandwidth on a network so as to cause it to crash.

Voice authorization products are becoming popular because they allow remote authentication (Vaughan-Nichols. As a consequence. but the technology is the least accurate and network administrators have to use it cautiously until researchers improve it. and different sorts of other sensors now latch onto a common infrastructure. including web permissions. 2004) [8]. a type of access control mechanism used to verify an individual s identity. Common vulnerabilities include weak IIS web access controls. Countermeasures Rules should be enforced on which systems and devices can connect to networks to ensure network integrity. Nature of Connecting devices to the internet The nature of devices connected to the Internet is changing[9]. PDAs. In addition to traditional computer equipment. Networks should be isolated from all potential sources of infection and from methods of data theft. . Modern Malware.Unauthorised access Inadequate access controls could allow an unauthorized user to access restricted information or perform restricted operations. new security threats arise.such as Conficker and Stuxnet[10] exploit USB drives to automatically run when inserted into a target computer. security cameras. Countermeasures Unauthorized access can be prevented via access controls enhanced with biometric systems. smartphones. Plug and play devices are a subtle way sneaking contraband data past normal security checks and are less likely to be analysed than more recognizable forms of moving data around.

The Evil Twin waits for an unsuspecting user to sign into the wrong access point and then steals the individual's network data or attacks the computer. y The Evil Twin: Sometimes referred to as WiPhishing. More nefarious freeloaders will exploit the connection to send email from a company's domain or to download pirated content action. y Network Resource Theft: Cheapskates like to get free Internet access from nearby wireless networks. while fundamentally innocuous. Criminals use network scanners. an evil twin is a rogue access point that hides under a nearby network's name. such as NetStumbler. draining network performance.1 The Threats y Roaming Attackers[11]: Attackers don't have to be physically located on a business's premises in order to access data on its wireless network. y Rogue Access Points: A rouge access point is one that exists without the permission or knowledge of the wireless network's owner. they still hijack network bandwidth to surf the Web and perform other online activities.0 Threats to wireless network and their solutions The rapid growth and deployment of wireless systems into a wide range of networks and for a wide variety of applications drives the need to support security solution as with wireless systems communications take place through the air using radio frequencies and hence the risk of interception is greater than that with wired networks. with a laptop or other portable device to sniff out wireless networks from a moving vehicle an activity called "wardriving . can create an unprotected gateway that serves as an open door to intruders. Even if these individuals intend no direct harm. Employees often install rogue access points to create hidden wireless networks that circumvent the installed security measures. exposing the host business to legal . Such stealth networks. 5.5.

11i are much stronger security tools. WPA2 and IEEE 802. it's no surprise that a wide array of security tools and techniques have arrived methods: y to help businesses secure their networks. WPA2 and 802. WPA2 and IEEE 802. the specification used by many U. government agencies.2 Solutions to wireless security With wireless providing so many opportunities for attackers to enter and harm networks and business systems. Businesses can use this same approach to uncover attacker-exploitable weaknesses in their wireless network. Newer specifications.S. such as WPA (Wifi Protected Access). y Security Standards: The first wireless-network security standard Privacy) WEP (Wired Equivalent was highly insecure and easily compromised. y Encryption and Authentication: WPA. Businesses with wireless networks should take full advantage of a least one of these technologies.11i both support AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). . such as unsecured access points. Here are some of the protection Firewalls: A strong network firewall can effectively block intruders trying to enter a business's network via a wireless device. such as SSID (service set identifier) and MAC (machine access code) names and numbers. y Vulnerability Scanning: Many attackers use network scanners that actively send messages to probe nearby access points for information.11i supply built-in advanced encryption and authentication technologies.5.

we can ensure that the computer resources and related used of applications are being done in a proper way thus avoiding the number of threats that could be generated.6. A security policy identifies the rules and procedures that all persons accessing computer resources must adhere to in order to ensure that the availability of the network is not compromised. . The old adage is good fences make good neighbors. With a good security. though the fences in this case are security policies.0 Security Policy The IT system security is generally limited to guaranteeing the right to access a system s data and resources by setting up authentication and control mechanisms that ensure that the users of these resources only have the rights that were granted to them. That holds true today for businesses. Strong security policies coupled with the use of antivirus and good security tools should minimize the danger for business networks.

Network segregation.0 Conclusion Most people do not know they are at risk until an attack occurs. For continuous security. Understanding of the threats.7. Also a network security policy. data encryption. and configuring firewalls that prevent access to dangerous services are the easiest solutions. implementation of a DMZ in the site. and intrusion detection will provide further security for network systems. the threats methods and the tools we can use to protect ourselves now and in the future is the best way to minimize the danger. . an auditing procedure and a violation response plan must all be in place to deal with any breach or breakdown of network security before it occurs.

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