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Security Portal: Securing Your Home Network

Jul 18, 2000, 07:42 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carl Hallberg, Michael Pavlu)

"In the last few months we have seen an increase in the number of reported computer and network attacks. Most of these have been high-profile attacks, such as the 'I Love You' email virus and February's series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against major Web sites. Many companies and universities unwittingly took part in the DDoS attacks: attackers were able to plant 'zombie' programs on computers at these institutions, which served essentially as robotic artillery units during the attack. Partly as a result of this recent hacker activity, network security has become a major focus for the corporate IT world."

"What has so far gone largely unnoticed is that security is no longer something that must be considered on the corporate level. There has been a huge rise in the number of digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable Internet connections to private homes. These 'always on,' high-speed connections to the information superhighway now give home users the same abilities-but also the same responsibilities and liabilities-as any major corporation on the Internet. Home users must now effectively become their own Information Security department...."

"If you don't take an active part in securing your home network, then you're at risk. Don't dismiss the likelihood of a stranger accessing your computers. If you have a high-speed connection to the Internet, then you're probably scanned for common vulnerabilities much more frequently than you would expect. If you're still on an old clunky analog connection, don?t think you?re not at risk either. You may not be targeted as frequently, but if an attacker has reason to believe you have something of value, she will take the time to target you."

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