Determined computer hackers broke through federal firewalls several times last year, gaining access to Defence Department networks.
A newly obtained report on security breaches at the department in 2003 also reveals dozens of internal lapses. Computer security has become a high-profile concern in federal circles in light of cyber-terrorism, operations mounted by foreign intelligence services and, more often, the sloppy practices of employees.
Remember computing in the 1980s?
This was an era when stand-alone IBM mainframes and VAX minicomputers dominated the computing landscape. Each system ran an application or two for a specific constituency. Application and data integration was so cumbersome that few companies had the skills, budgets or stomachs to attempt it. Mainframes and minicomputers were truly data-processing islands.
Viruses and malicious code attacks have become a fact of life for the modern business. According to the Global Information Security Survey, the vast majority of businesses across the world consider security breaches and attacks as more of a threat to their businesses in 2004 than they were in 2003.
Some 81 per cent of businesses in Europe, and 83 per cent of those in North America, see viruses and other malicious code attacks as an increasing problem.
At present the exploit development community (hackers and security professionals alike) is more sentient than ever before. The timeline between the release of an advisory and the development of an exploit has shrunk to a great extent. Exploit development, which was considered more of Wiccan art, has reached large masses. The network security administrator needs to be more vigilant then ever before as the enemy is always one step ahead with the latest exploit in his hand.