The Basic Threats

There are three basic threats to the information stored on your network:

Threats to the secrecy of data These are the unauthorized disclosures of sensitive data that can be caused by setting the wrong file permissions, by having someone improperly gain root privileges, or by having the data stolen directly off the wire.

Threats to the integrity of data These are the unauthorized modifications of data that can be caused by using the wrong file permissions or by someone improperly gaining root privileges. This is a common threat to web servers where intruders change data in obvious and embarrassing ways. But a more insidious threat is the possibility of subtle modifications to data that are designed to undermine the reputation of an organization. After a system has suffered an unauthorized access, all files on the system are suspect.

Threats to the availability of data These attacks deny legitimate access to the data. If files are improperly protected or an intruder gains root access, files can be deleted. Vandals can also launch a Denial of Service (DOS) attack to overwhelm your server, blocking access to your data when you need it.

The network threats that lead to these data problems are as follows:

Unauthorized access This is any time that someone who should not have access to your system is able to access it without permission.

Denial of Service Any attack that is designed not to gain access to your system but to prevent you from using your system.

All networked systems are vulnerable to these attacks. Luckily, Linux provides a range of tools to help you reduce the threat.

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