Potential Network Security Threats


Many institutions face major challenges brought about by network security. Poorly configured files, firewalls, web or mail servers, inadequately configured and designed LANS that are wireless, and harmless looking attachments on e-mail are a few of the cases of how network securities become compromised. The moment any computer is connected to a network or to the internet, there is a very high risk of attacks. An analysis of viruses and worms that pose potential security attacks on computers revealing techniques like Trojan horses, eavesdropping, network spoofing, social engineering, and packet replays employed by attackers to obtain information on the system.

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Potential Security attacks

A virus is a program created to invade computer data, system files and applications. Viruses are very common threats and pose the biggest threats to organizations. Viruses usually get into the computer via shared disks like flash disks, e-mails or CDs which are usually macro programs. There are different forms of viruses like the monomorphic viruses which are easy to detect as they maintain their basic characteristics, and the polymorphic viruses which are not easy to identify as they change their form with every single infection. Another type of virus is the boot sector virus, which makes the system incapable of booting as it destroys the computer’s boot system. Hoaxes are viruses which recreate themselves in e-mail forms and then transfer their descendants to new addresses in the e-mail. Trojans are viruses that can be received via an e-mail or when downloading a folder or attachment.

Worms are other forms of security threats to computers. They are programs, which have been, designed to imitate. These programs may carry out other extra duties, as well. They make the most of bugs in the system to replicate. When a worm is released to a computer, it often causes short outbreaks and shuts down the computer and its entire network.

Techniques used by hackers

In order to access information on the system, attackers use various techniques. They can hack into the system and lodge it with viruses which pose a great risk as discussed. Trojan horses can also be used as they run with the regular programs, deleting folders and causing harm to the computer. Attackers can also employ a password cracking technique to covertly acquire system access via a different user’s account (Lockhart, 2007). Attackers can be successful with this method due to weak passwords by users, especially dictionary passwords. Another attack that can be employed is the denial-of-service which takes advantage of the urge to have an accessible service. This attack is on the verge of increasing as websites are vulnerable to abuse. They are not easily tracked and also permit other attacks to be reflexive. E-mail hacking is another technique used where the attacker communicates with thousands of people globally.

These techniques include impersonation by developing addresses with misleading returns; eavesdropping where contents of e-mails or e-mail headers are changed in transit or redirected or cracking of activities in the nearby networks by attackers, thereby gaining crucial information like data and passwords. Eavesdropping can also be done by wiretapping, employing auxiliary cables on terminals, or using radio (Conclin et al, 2012). Packet replays and modifications are also used by attackers to corrupt computer systems. Social engineering is a way of cracking used by attackers which deceives people to disclose security information or passwords. Attackers can also gain access to computer systems by intrusion attacks, rootkits and network spoofing.


Overlooking issues related to security may cause individuals to lose time, yield and money, and also lead to frustrations. Before buying or using a computer, major security issues related to computers should be studied and resolutions defined. Understanding the above discussed security threats leads to an efficient and secure computer or network with no budget restraints.

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Conclin, A., White, G., Williams, D., Davis, C, Cothren, C. & Schou, C. (2012). Principles of Computer Security CompTIA Security+ and Betond (Exam SYO-301). New York: McGraw Hill Prof Med/Tech.

Lockhart, A. (2007). Network security hacks. Beijing: O’Reilly.

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