By now, we all know what a big concern security is for computer users, right? Hardly a day goes by without seeing headlines about the latest worms, viruses, Trojan horses, and hack attacks slowing the flow of email on the internet or bringing down websites.
The potential losses are greatest for corporations, which need their systems to be up and running in order to carry out business, and for whom the loss of data can be extremely costly. It would follow that said corporations would be particularly judicious about protecting their data.
Everyone both involved in information security and many that are not have heard of Snort NIDS (Network Intrusion Detection System). But not many have heard of a little jewel by the name of Prelude. Prelude is an open source framework for building distributed Hybrid Intrusion Detection Systems (HIDS). The reason it is called 'Hybrid' is that it utilizes sensors which are network based (NIDS). But also allows for hosts logs to be transmitted to a central 'Manager' for correlation and storage in a database (mySQL, Postgres, Oracle).
The tremendous increase in online transactions has been accompanied by an equal rise in the number and type of attacks against the security of online payment systems. Some of these attacks have utilized vulnerabilities that have been published in reusable third-party components utilized by websites, such as shopping cart software. Other attacks have used vulnerabilities that are common in any web application, such as SQL injection or cross-site scripting.
Computer security experts tend not to be easily shocked by people's foolhardy, frequently cavalier attitudes toward online security. But even within this generally hardened breed, some expressed surprise over the results of a recent survey in Britain that underscored the profound vulnerability of the world's computer networks.
A man posted outside a London subway station at rush hour offered a chocolate bar to random passers-by if they would reveal the password they used to log on to the Internet. Amazingly, more than 7 out of 10 agreed to the offer.
If the recent compromises of Unix and Linux machines at supercomputing centers and research universities around the country do nothing else, they should prove once and for all that there is nothing new under the sun. To security world veterans, the pattern of attacks likely sounds eerily familiar. It is nearly identical to the methods and tactics used by the "Hannover Hackers," who broke into Unix machines at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., and several other universities and military facilities in 1986.