Electronic Attacks

Thomas M. Chen and Jimi Thompson, Southern Methodist University

Matthew C. Elder, Symantec Corporation

Introduction

Types of Attackers

Attacker Goals and Motivations

Attack Targets

Attack Phases

Reconnaissance Phase

Footprinting

Scanning

Vulnerability Scanning

Attack Phase

Sniffing

Session Hijacking

Password Attacks

Exploits

Social Engineering

Trojan Horses

Adware and Spyware

Viruses and Worms

Spam

Denial of Service

Detection Avoidance Phase

Evading Intrusion Detection Systems

Covering Up

Rootkits

Covert Channels

Conclusion

Glossary

Cross References

References

Further Reading

INTRODUCTION

In today's society, computer systems are valuable, and often invaluable, for innumerable business and personal uses. Computer systems and networks are also very tempting as targets, shown by statistics that track the frequency and prevalence of cybercrimes. For example, Symantec Corporation estimates that organizations were hit by an average of 11 attacks daily during the first half of 2004 (Turner, 2004).

Part of the temptation is the ease of electronic attacks. Although not every attack takes advantage of vulnerabilities, it is widely known that computer systems have numerous vulnerabilities. In early 2004, about 48 new vulnerabilities were discovered weekly on average (Turner, 2004). Moreover, 96 percent of them were serious enough to be rated as moderately or highly severe. Attackers are keenly aware of new vulnerabilities because it takes time for organizations to set up ...

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