Understanding Internet Security - The History and Importance

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The History of Internet Security

The history of internet security began in 1988 when Peter Yee of NASA discovered the Morris Worm. Little did Yee know many more worms and viruses would be discovered. Among these were Solar Sunrise, Melissa, and mass distribution of denial of service (DoS) attacks.

Solar Sunrise, for instance, spanned from February 1 to February 26, 1998. The center of these DoS attacks was a vulnerability within the dll files within the computer system’s operating system. The hacker in question rooted through the computer system until he/she found the vulnerability. Once discovered, the vulnerability was exploited by an installed sniffer that gathered information from each computer within the existing network. The amazing part of this discovery was that these were not sophisticated hackers who generated this attack. They were teenagers, both from California and Israel. In general this is today how identity thieves find your information and use it to their benefit.

Melissa, a macro virus, spawned the age of virus infection due to opening attachments sent through email servers. The victim would open their email and then download the document onto their hard drive. The macro would then infect the computer system, gather information, and send it back to its originator. The infection would spread to other computer systems basically by taking over the email address services for those infected. The virus would also gather the email addresses within contact files in order to send the virus macro to another computer to further the infection. Macro viruses of this time are the reason why anti-virus programs scan incoming email messages on your computer system for known viruses such as Melissa.

The Importance of Internet Security

The important lesson to take away from these attacks is throughout the years new vulnerabilities were discovered. Through research and analysis of these vulnerabilities, software engineers have created new techniques to protect the networks. The trick here is to learn these techniques, and apply them to your network’s security.

The assumption that anti-virus software is the only method of protection is the bain of internet security. While, yes, anti-virus protection aids in security, it is only one piece to the overall puzzle.

In analyzing these known viruses and worms, engineers have learned different methods for the worms and viruses to gain access. These methods include the use of well-known ports, the use of common IP addressing schemes, and, of course, not establishing a proper security system.

When setting up your network, you can literally search the internet for what are referred to as well known ports. When establishing your network you should use a variation of these well-known ports. These well-known ports are the first points of entry a hacker will use to attempt to gain entrance.

Your network design will include several different IP addresses. For one computer system, you have the following: IP address for the computer’s network connection, IP address for each web browser, and IP addresses to connect to each peripheral connected to that computer. A proper IP addressing scheme will aid you in the process of keeping your computer safe.

Internet Security Protection

When deciding how to protect your computer system, you may take your time in choosing the right anti-virus protection. It is also important to choose also the right internet security software program.

Setting up your anti-virus protection and your firewalls are not enough to keep you safe. So shop around for different internet security software programs. Most of these programs offer free trials in order to aid you in your decision.