Identifying Your Attacker

Knowing your enemy is as complicated as knowing yourself—maybe even more so. Too often, network administrators know their enemies only through stereotypes of attackers, and like most stereotypes, these are generally not accurate and rely on fear. For example, when you see movies that portray computer crime, more often than not, the penetration of the computer systems involves breaking an encryption key. The movie attacker fiercely pounds at his keyboard to break the encryption key by guessing it, which usually happens within a matter of seconds. Or he quickly writes a program with a well-designed user interface featuring big numbers that crack each character in the encryption key one by one. Although both attacks add ...

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