Choosing the Right Person to Hold Network Security Access

Written by Saran on October 22, 2010

If there is one thing to be learned from Mr. Terry Childs, a talented network engineer who was jailed due to computer tampering, you better be careful at who you choose to have administrative rights as far as network access and security is concerned. Apparently for some reason, Mr. Childs has refused to turn over the administrative passwords for the larger part of the San Francisco Department of Technology FiberWAN.

A petty issue with a run-in that he had with his agency had was said to be the cause of it all. But while that may sound off-topic, he has been tagged as becoming unstable and apparently this has lead to his being charged with four felony counts of computer tampering. The bail was set at $5 million dollars which most people including his lawyer said was crazy.

Let this be a lesson that the power of technology, once it goes to the wrong hands, may be entirely catastrophic. While technology breakthroughs are something to look up to, it remains that the people behind them have to be likewise trusted. Better yet, it would be best to have the technology guy and an authorized executive have access to make sure that nothing of this nature would occur as well.

Childs was said to be maniacal at the start so you have to wonder, why did you entrust the guy with the passwords and rights to the network security? Surely this was already a problem at the start and now that it has escalated towards paralyzing most of the operations only one man who is obviously psychologically disturbed holds the key to it. No wonder the bail was set at such a crazy amount of $5 Million!

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Categories: IT Security Basics, Network Security, News, Operating Systems, Real-World Issues, Security Policies

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Your computer and iptables

Written by Saran on August 27, 2010

If you are using Linux and you have been wondering what you can use to make your system secure via a firewall, you could try out tools with graphical user interface and all those other stuff. In any case, there’s also another method: using iptables.

What are iptables?

iptables are used by system administrators in creating rules for packet filtering, as well as NAT modules. It might seem a little too weird for those who have not much experience on the command line but this is essential so that people would be able to make sure that they are secure, especially if they are connected. Sometimes you never know what’s going on in the background, right? But with tools like this, you’d manage.

There are different states of connection and the nice thing about iptables is that it monitors the state of the connection. It could do redirects and modify or stop data packets. Because of its ability to detect the state of the connection, it is considered as better compared to ipchains.

Making rules

The system administrator makes the rules for the iptables. These rules determine how to deal with network packets. They are grouped into chains.

a. filter table – For filtering packets, obviously.
b. nat table – This sets up how rewriting ports and packets.
c. mangle table – Does it sound terrible? Mangle? But as the name implies, there is some mangling involved because it adjusts packet options.

The thing about these chains, these rules is that the packets that go through these chains would be evaluated according to the rules.

As one of the people I know have told me, you must make sure that you check out the settings of your computer first. Before you even think about downloading anything, make sure you are not vulnerable to some attacks that could happen. Make sure that the important ports are closed and that you’re in stealth. Stay tuned for more IT security tips and news to help you in your everyday life.

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Categories: IT Security Basics, Network Security

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Network Assessment tools – for a better/secure network

Written by Saran on December 25, 2007

netsecurity.jpg
In the time when people are going more and more mobile making the telecommuting concept a true reality, the existence of the wall-less office has slowly been realized. The shift to WiFi and other wireless networking solutions has allowed people to work like never before without the wires that tied them physically to desks. More and more areas like metropolitan areas are putting up hot spots that allow constituents to work within specific areas which already have existing wireless networks. Even offices have shifted to the technology due to cheaper implementation without the expensive wires needed for each and every workstation. Maintenance of said wired networks also proved to be a very challenging task due to the restricted spaces and conduits which housed them behind walls, ceilings and under the floors. WiFi allowed then network to function without physical connections allowing mobile devices to be connected and linked to the network which could be taken anywhere in the office.

The wireless office has indeed given us more in the area of freedom but it has also created a more vulnerable network for control on who gets which access and other security issues quickly emerged. Software and hardware systems like Retina from eEye Corporation allowed network engineers and managers to analyze and address security loopholes such as unauthorized devices connected to the network like the occasional iPhone and most other unauthorized wireless devices. It also serves as an analysis tools on the proper placement and function of wireless antenna which can be analyzed based on signal strength. Weak signals can mean re-positioning the antenna system or worse it could be a signal of a pending failure for a specific network device. It can also show the effectivity of the network in terms of utilization and bandwidth that is being effectively shared/used by the users.

[tags]Network Invetory, Network Usage, Maximizing Internet Use[/tags]

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Categories: Cryptography, General, IT Security Basics, Network Security, Privacy & Anonymity, Real-World Issues, Security Policies, Wireless Security

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Better Security by Thinking as a Hacker

Written by Saran on October 23, 2007

The best way to find out the security breaches is to think like a hacker on how to penetrate a secure network through various means. Accessibility to servers may have to go through different stages since various encrypted usernames and passwords would stand in the way of a successful hack.

Network Hacker

The approach is quite simple. It is a reverse psychology of sorts since to become a full-proof secure system, ways on how to be able to get over the fences for such walls that have been put off must be severely tested.

Unorthodox as it may seem, the various approaches to be done will certainly be simple at this point because at the rate that hackers are able to go around security fences today, a lot of progress has been made in being able to make the lives of administrators a living hell as far as IT security is concerned.

[tags]hacker, network security, breach, coding, cracks, cryptography[/tags]

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Categories: Cryptography, IT Security Basics, Network Security, Operating Systems, Privacy & Anonymity, Programming, Real-World Issues, Security Policies, Spyware

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Disable that Shared Folder

Written by Saran on August 1, 2007

Shared Folders

It would only be normal to find shared folders in the default setup of Windows operating systems. This can be easily seen once a person would go to the explorer option of his computer where shared folders are waiting to be accessed. This is automatically made for access if people connect to a network and would not set the security policies and accessibility on a restricted basis which only allows administrators to access them.

The importance of setting security levels to avoid such access to folders is important. Not al people are aware of the harmful things an unauthorized user may do once he gets the chance to intrude in another person’s workstation. Aside from probable back-ups, a person may lose the files contained in such folders if he is not careful. Hence it is best to do the precautionary measures before hand to avoid unwanted avoidable circumstances would ensue.

[tags]shared folders, security policy, network security[/tags]

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Categories: Backups, Cryptography, IM, Instant Messaging, IT Security Basics, Network Security, Physical Security, Privacy & Anonymity, Security Policies, Storage, Tips

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What are Intrusion Detection Systems?

Written by Saran on March 17, 2007

It has been a given that there are a lot of things that networks and workstations would be vulnerable to. At the top of the list are harmful files and sudden intrusions that are obviously up to no good. While resorting to firewalls may be seen as something that would prevent such attacks, intrusion detection systems cater more towards the inner system igniters, usually providing warnings prior to required action on the part of network administrators on the issue at hand.

Intrusion Detection Systems

Also, IDS monitors the behavior of the internal system since attacks of any sort may occur from files that can be initiated at any time or have already passed through the firewall for some reason beyond the set security policies.

It is a good practice to always check the network communications and identify possible security breaches. While intrusion detection systems can be able to apprehend abnormal processes, the presence of such intrusions within the internal system only proves that system and network security should be re-evaluated for stricter measures.

[tags]intrusion detection systems, network security, operating systems[/tags]

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Categories: IT Security Basics, Network Security, Operating Systems, Security Policies, Tips, Wireless Security

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Playing with Algorithms and Numbers

Written by Saran on February 17, 2007

The main gist of security conscious and malicious programmers is to play with the known algorithms where most of the problems can be created and avoided. The never ending search for understanding algorithms has been a given today. Malware development has been obviously aggressive and the issues and plagues that it has continued to spread is really something that keeps technology people up on their feet.

Algorithm Hacker

The best way is to be aware of possibilities. The Internet is known to be always up to date with such risks, but overall, a person aware of the capabilities of such should know beforehand that spyware, malware and Trojans can easily penetrate systems without notice if they are not secured properly.

Such security breaches and issues are placed under the tutelage of network administrators and officers. Being aware of such potential risks beforehand is something that they should be aware of. Besides, it is also a given that most of these professionals are aware of such risks since they are always logged on the web.

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Categories: Cryptography, IT Security Basics, Malware, Network Security, Privacy & Anonymity, Programming, Security Policies, Spyware

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Firewalls and Wide Area Network (WAN ) Intrusions

Written by Saran on January 18, 2007

Experiencing connection problems and slow transfer of data may occur at any given time for most networks. While most would immediately identify the network cards, computers, cabling or network configuration at first, the presence of unknown processes of the operating system or possible intrusions such as DOS or Ping attacks can also be considered as possible factors for the deteriorating speed issues for network administrators.

Firewalls

Such instances are only normal, especially for wide area networks, or networks exposed to the Internet. The mischief caused by such people can be expected, especially for people who love to try their talent in hacking and network intrusions. The prize of which is that of creating discomfort and headaches for companies that thrive on networks for business and profit.

While there are network monitors available, it would be best to get the best firewall software there is today. Some do not value the firewalls and their use until such issues arise, but just like the war on terrorism, it would be best to take on security measures before they occur to avoid bigger problems once their mischief succeeds.

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Categories: IT Security Basics, Network Security, Operating Systems, Physical Security, Programming, Real-World Issues, Security Policies, Wireless Security

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MajorGeek.com: A Download Site for Computer Care

Written by Saran on January 8, 2007

Major Geek

Day-in and Day-out, people surf the web for possible downloads in the form of drivers, security stand alone cleaners, and free programs that will help them in their specific needs. One drawback is the potent threats and reliability of such sites since everyone is aware that such malicious Spyware or Trojans may be present in these programs which are usually compressed in zip files prior to free downloading.

Majorgeeks.com is one site that contains a lot of the helpful tools to aid computer users in their everyday issues and improvements for their overall operating system and performance. One notable thing that most users are aware about is that of intrusions in their system from the usual cookies and attachments that people get from the Internet. With the mischief going around, no one really knows how safe their computer is and what files are needed and not on their hard drives.

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Categories: IT Security Basics, Malware, Network Security, Programming, Review, Spyware, Storage, Tips

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The Bearing of an Internet Gateway’s Malfunction or Breakdown

Written by Saran on January 4, 2007

Broken Chain in the Web

A lot of people have probably heard about now about the earthquake that hit Taiwan during the holiday break. While the natural disaster caused a lot of discomfort to the Taiwanese community, the world has suffered as well in terms of Internet connection speed.

Taiwan is among the chains or gateways to which the Internet also passes through. Similar to that of a hose that allows water to pass through from one point to another; one hole in it will lower the pressure of the amount of water that should be traveling. In the same way, the underground cables to which help transmit Internet connections from one point to another were damaged and thus today, many are experiencing lousy connection speeds. This has thoroughly disrupted the flow of operations, becoming a discomfort that has left surfers and professionals totally helpless.

Natural disasters are hard to predict. The best that technology personnel can do is come up with better cable durability, but this is no promise for disruptions as we are experiencing today. Among the millions that have been damaged by this untimely event, technology based companies and organizations are surely suffering the most for the gapping whole in the entire connection the web provides.

[tags]internet, gateway, connection, fiber optic, cabling[/tags]

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Categories: Network Security, News, Operating Systems, Physical Security, Real-World Issues, Wireless Security

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