What hackers can teach you about security

    Date20 Jun 2001
    CategoryHacks/Cracks
    4131
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Malicious users worldwide have graduated beyond interrupting the bidding at eBay with distributed denial-of-service attacks--that's just low-hanging fruit. These days, hackers are more sophisticated and much more ambitious. They're gunning for the very infrastructure of our society by targeting government agencies, . . . Malicious users worldwide have graduated beyond interrupting the bidding at eBay with distributed denial-of-service attacks--that's just low-hanging fruit. These days, hackers are more sophisticated and much more ambitious. They're gunning for the very infrastructure of our society by targeting government agencies, here and abroad.

    The White House and other high-profile government sites have already been hacked, but what concerns me are the less obvious choices for attack. Are we able to defend our local water utilities? Is the Department of Motor Vehicles safe? Any low-level government agency could be a back door into the larger state or federal system.

    The Cal-ISO breach occurred on a development server that was not behind a firewall. Ports were left open on the server, files were exposed, and more importantly, log files were nonexistent because the server had not be been hardened. Worse, workers at Cal-ISO rebooted the development server once they discovered something was wrong, eliminating some vital evidence that could help trace the break-in.

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