ISSC340: Local Area Network Technologies
American Military University
Introduction to Network Security Since the development of computer networks there have been weaknesses and those seeking to exploit them. Initially the reasons make have been non malicious and academic in nature, but later became ways to steal valuable data in cyberspace. Those who break into networks aka hackers have many different reasons for their network breaches and could range from stealing corporate secrets and national security information to those just getting a thrill and earning bragging rights to other hackers. Whatever the reason hackers have those seeking to protect themselves from these breaches will need to rely on Information Security professionals to keep network breaches to a minimum and ensure data remains protected. As more and more entities build networks of their own and put more and more data in cyberspace incidents of breaches will continue to increase as will the need to defend from them.
Beginning of a Need for Network Security The history of network security can trace its roots to much earlier times and has roots in cryptography. People have used certain types of encryption to secure messages, information, communications and data for as long as opposing militaries and countries have wanted to get that information. During WW2 the famous enigma machine was developed and used to encrypt German communications. Today’s computers and networks utilize encryption and authentication techniques in order to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the network and stealing information, secrets and other important data. (Marion, 2011) In the late 60s the origins of today’s internet the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was commissioned by the Department of Defense (DOD) for the purpose of researching networking. As we know by the large use of the internet ARPANET was a huge success, although it was originally intended for the sharing of data between scientists and research. An Inter-Networking Working Group was developed to set standards in order to govern the network. Vinton Cerf was elected chairman of that working group. Cerf along with Bob Kahn and a team of others develop TCP/IP so computers using the internet can have a common language. One problem with TCP/IP is there are no security protocols within the communication stack. (Dava) While originally a limited number of computers were on the internet, the mid 80s saw a huge increase in personal computers and network ready servers which allow many companies and users to utilize the internet for the first time. In the 90s the World Wide Web was made available to the public. Before long massive numbers of people across the world are conducting e-business, communication, commerce, shopping, education, research and numerous other uses for the information super highway.
Historical Threats to Computer Networks and Demand for Security
A few of the more memorable network breaches in history exposed numerous flaws in networks and motivations for why some hackers expound large effort to breach these networks. Below are some of the more notable and show an example of different strategies for the same outcome, which is breaching a network.
*In 1978 Gary Thuerk made the first mass email now known as SPAM on ARPANET advertising for a new model of computers. (Messmer, 2008)
*On 2 NOV 1988 Cornell graduate student Robert Morris made an experimental self-replicating and self-propagating program and put it on the internet. The damage was much more than intended and computers at universities, military sites, medical facilities and others were infected. (Messmer, 2008)
*In 2006 Jeanson James Ancheta who turned numerous computers on the Naval Warfare Center and the Defense Information Systems Agency into botnets to send spam was arrested. (Messmer, 2008)