110 Chapter 5 The Internet and Web Network Environment
and wikipedia.org. Readers should be aware that contributions to these Web sites are received
from numerous sources and need to be collaborated for accuracy and completeness.
There are unlimited opportunities for intruders to cause havoc with both personal and
business computer assets and resources. Of particular interest are the numerous opportu-
nities for network intruders waiting to access network and data resources. Efforts are made
to provide the reader with an insight into the various malicious activities employed on the
Web. Readers should be concerned for the integrity and security of their network assets after
reading this chapter.
The Internet, sometimes called simply “the Net” or “the Web,” is a worldwide system of com-
puter networks a network of networks in which users at any one computer can, if they have
permission, get information from any other computer. Today, the Internet is a public, coop-
erative, and self- sustaining facility accessible to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
Physically, the Internet uses a portion of the total resources of the currently existing public
telecommunications networks. Technically, what distinguishes the Internet is its use of a set
of protocols called transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP). Two recent adap-
tations of Internet technology— the intranet and the extranet— also make use of the TCP/IP
suite. Many private and public computer systems have a requirement to communicate with
each other, and this function is accomplished via a wide area global network system.
To understand the issues, it is essential that the reader have a general understanding of
the operating environment of the Internet. This section provides an overview of the various
hardware, software, and network components that play a part in the security of the Internet
environment. Efforts have been made to make this understandable to all levels of expertise.
The use of the Internet for both business and personal activities in our daily life has
brought with it an element of risk for its many users. With the Internet’s ease of access and its
ubiquitous nature, the opportunity for its exploitation is not surprising. Everyday news items
advise of theft of database information, theft of personal identity information, and the Inter-
net being used to defraud someone. Computer fraud and cybercrimes are on the rise. What
can the individual user do to protect against the possibility of being a victim to cybercrime?
The first step is education! This book addresses the major issues and situations and provides
the reader with a general working knowledge of the environment along with numerous sug-
gestions of how to become a more knowledgeable Internet user. Threats and solutions that are
specific to four major groups are identified: home/personal, business/commercial, student,
and traveler. Some of the threats cut across these groups; however, some are specific to one
group. Basically, the user needs to practice “safe Internet.
Information is presented so that students and the general public are able to use it in their
everyday interactions with the Internet. Sections are specifically oriented toward commercial
or business applications; these sections, however, are not highly technical. Security efforts
must be directed toward network, hardware, and software issues. Protection of hardware is
possibly the easiest to accomplish. Equipment located at a secure central location is fairly
easy to protect and maintain. Software is another issue. Software used to be fairly simple;
in today’s environment, though, it is exceedingly complex. If software is complex, then the
network is several orders of magnitude more difficult to manage. Because network users can
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