Attacks are of two types namely active attacks and passive attacks. The active attacks involve altering the information with an intention of destroying or corrupting the network and the data. If you do not have a security plan in place your network and data are vulnerable to these types of attacks. In this article we discuss about few of such attacks:
- Eavesdropping: Generally most of the network communications occur in a format that is very unsecure (i.e., clear text). This gives a chance to the attacker to gain access to all the available data paths in that network for interpreting or listening to the traffic. Eavesdropping on someone’s communication is referred to as snooping or sniffing. The eavesdropper gets a great chance for monitoring the whole network which has become a great cause of concern for the administrator of an enterprise. There are services that are based on cryptography and can prevent this type of attack. With a lack of strong encryption data can be read or traversed by the eavesdropper.
- Data modification: After the data has been read by the attacker or eavesdropper, altering this data is his/ her next step. Without coming to the knowledge of the receiver and the sender, the data in the packet can be modified by the attacker. Even if confidentiality is not required in all the communications, it is a must that any of the messages should not get modified in the transition.
- IP address spoofing (identity spoofing): The computer’s IP address is used by most of the operating systems and the network for identifying whether an entry is valid or not. In some cases, a false assumption of the IP address is possible. This is called identity spoofing. Some special programs might be used by the attacker for constructing the IP packets that might seem to come from the systems that are inside the intranet of the corporate. After the attacker gains the access to a network having a valid IP address, he/ she might reroute, delete or modify the data.
- Attacks based up on passwords: Password based access control is a common denominator of many network security plans and operating systems. By this we mean that your user ID and password determine your access rights. However, it is possible that protection to this identity information is not provided by older applications as they might be validated when passed through the network. This might give a chance to the eavesdropper who poses as an authorized user for gaining access to the data. Whenever a valid user account is found by the attacker, he/ she gets the exact rights which are possessed by the real user. Now suppose if the user is admin of the network, then attacker gets the same rights as the admin and can create accounts for subsequent use. After gaining access to an account, the attacker can get lists of the authorized users and network info. He can make changes in the configurations, routing tables and access controls of the networks and servers.
- Denial – of – service attack: This attack prevents a valid user from using the network or the computer. By means of this attack the attention of the staff can be diverted from the internal information systems so that they don’t get to know about the intrusion. In the meantime attacker can make more attacks. Invalid data can be sent to the network services or applications. He can even overload the whole network so that it shut down.