Welcome to my blog. This is a brief transcript of a speech I did at a Toastmasters meeting not long ago. I am a IT student studying information security. This is a general over view of information security and I will get into more detail later on. I welcome all comments, because I will be learning as I pass along more information. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy learning.

Internet Security

Have you ever seen the blue screen of death on a monitor? Or click on a link and then nothing happens, the computer seem to ‘freeze?’ or a popup that you can’t get rid of?

Well, then your computer has probably been compromised. YOU BEEN HACKED!!!

It’s a process to protect ur computer:

Things to do:

For home users I suggest

Backup! Backup! Backup! Backup!

Computer Hardening – whether you are running Windows or Linux your computer need to be protected

Adding anti-spyware - anti-adware programs

Firewalls – IDS – Norton, Microsoft, Cisco, (the best) if in business, make it a part of your buniness expense….

Did I mention backup?


Sniffers –

Validating your resources….

For small business users I suggest using a Server or a separate computer for your business. And doing the same process

Wait – did I mention backup your computer.

Hackers are out to find vulnerabilities wherever they can find them … most don’t care. They scan the ‘net with sniffers, vulnerability scanners, to use ur computer to attack someone else…. DOD, man in the middle.

Just like most people watch where their money goes.. I said MOST!.. Businesses and home users need to watch where their Data goes. Why?

Becareful of social engineering….

85% or more of computer or network attacks come from within the company

Update your software and programs

The second Tuesday of the month is known in the IT world as Patch Tuesday from Microsoft. Microsoft release patches for its software for home and corporate user to update computers of known vulneribilites.
Educated yourself - Hardening your computer is an important step in the fight to protect your personal data and information. This process works to eliminate means of attack by patching vulnerabilities and turning off inessential services. Hardening a computer involves several steps to form layers of protection. This approach to safer computing is often called “defense in depth”.

Applying vendor security patches regularly is the first step to help harden your computing system. Also, many security experts recommend installing a firewall on your computer. Additional hardening actions include closing server ports, disabling Windows and other programs file-sharing, and additionally hardening email programs. Tips for hardening computers are listed below, along with several other helpful links on hardening,

Ethical Hacking vs. Unethical Hacking

The debate on ethical hacking and unethical hacking has been around for nearly half a century. The definitions differ from all different sources. A blackhat hacker is considered malicious attacker and a whitehat hacker is consider a 'good guy'. This debate is inevitably a moral issue of right and wrong.

Kevin Mitnick is one of the more famous hackers to be jailed. He was arrested by the FBI on February 15, 1995. Mitnick was convicted of wire fraud and of breaking into dozens of computer systems including COSMOS Systems and DEC, Pacific Bell, and IBM. His unique skills hampered companies and the FBI and other police agencies for almost 4 years. After being released from prison, he is now banned from using a computer or cell phone. He travels the country giving speeches on issues of ethical hacking and computer security.

At the age of 17, Mitnick was introduced into the world of phone freaking by a high school friend. He then became a member of a phone freak gang in Hollywood. The prank calls led to more challenging quests, such as destroying files of a San Francisco computer time-sharing company and the intrusion of Pacific Bell on Memorial Day weekend in 1981. (Shimomura, 1995)

During his younger days cell phone and computer hacking was not regarded as a crime but as a intellectual accomplishment and was encouraged by families and teachers. But as cyberspace and cybercrimes grew, it was criminalized and Mitnick never caught up with newer techniques of hacking and computer security. It can be argued that the computer security world caught with him. The fine line of ethical and unethical hacking is parallel with the moral issues of society at any given time, in any given country.

David Taylor

Works Cited:

Mills, E. (2009, June 22). Q&A: Kevin Mitnick, from ham operator to fugitive to consultant. Retrieved from CNET New Security: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10269348-83.html

Shimomura, T. (1995). Kevin Mitnick. Retrieved from Take Down: http://www.takedown.com/bio/mitnick.html
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