Over the years, the world has experienced significant technological advancements that have changed the manner in which people execute their daily activities. To be more definite, people have become over-reliant on technology with all events ranging from healthcare to business and law enforcement being dependent on the internet. Thus, the internet has been observed to facilitate communication via various networking building blocks to a variety of individuals and organizations. However, it has also become a medium for launching series of attacks against unsuspecting persons and government entities through the convergence of terrorism and the cyberspace. Terrorists have embraced technology to execute attacks on computer networks and information stored on the internet with the overall aim of manipulating the government. In this respect, stopping cyber crimes depends on understanding the way people communicate over the internet through various networking building blocks and identification of internet software applications vulnerabilities.
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Different Ways to Communicate via the Internet and Its Impact on Cyber Attacks
During the twentieth century, the internet was identified as the most spectacular invention in the industrial revolution since it provided access to a wide range of information. With a facilitation of distinct features supported by the internet, users can communicate with each other in a variety of ways. For instance, people can use email to communicate with one another . The process entails sending electronic mails to and from somebody using a distinct email address as the destination for the information. Likewise, people use instant messaging and chat rooms for communicating via the internet. The process involves the instantaneous conveyance of information over the network to an individual or a group of persons.
Other types of communication on the internet are observed in social networking that allows registered users to communicate with their peers and view each others profile . Dating sites are also a popular platform of communication in the internet where an individual shares personal information to find other singles and go out together. From the outlined examples, it is quite easy for cybercriminals to use the internet to their advantage and execute cybercrimes. Cyber attackers can efficiently integrate attacks through methods such as phishing where they trick internet users gaining access to their personal information. The cybercriminals can also employ the social engineering techniques that trick the user so that he/she discloses private information on crucial issues such as bank credit cards. Other methods include infecting their devices with malware and spyware viruses via their unguarded internet.
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The Major Networking Building Blocks and Their Impact on Cyber Attacks
Consequently, communication via the internet is facilitated by three major networking building blocks which include packet switching, client-server computing, and the Transmission Control Protocol . The packet switching is mostly used in the delivery of information to long-distance locations. It entails breaking down massive details into small packets that are disseminated to various destinations using switches and routers. Besides, dissemination of information via packet switching implies sharing a variety of physical links and internet protocols with the others. On the other hand, client-server computing involves the communication and sharing of information between servers and the client computer. A single server is connected to multiple client computers that solicit information directly from the servers. The client computers share shared resources from the servers and are interconnected via the Local Area Network (LAN).
The other major building block that influences communication over the internet is the Transmission Control Protocol which is a network communication protocol in the OSI layer . It facilitates transportation and delivery of information disseminated via the internet under IP address. To be more precise, the networking block uses the TCP/IP suite whereby the IP identifies the location of the final destination of the data sent. In this regard, cyber attackers manipulate the networking blocks to their advantage through spoofing. The IP address spoofing allows the cybercriminals to hijack IP address of the legitimate hosts to impersonate websites that are used to launch attacks. Additionally, the attackers can also integrate the Domain Name Server (DNS) server spoofing whereby they reroute information sent to a given domain name to another IP address of their preference.
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The Software Applications Vulnerabilities and their Influence on Cyber Crimes
Consequently, there are various software application vulnerabilities that affect communication over the internet. They include (1) buffer overflows whereby the software application attempts to store information past its specified capacity temporarily . As a result, the software application may crash which could make the stored data comprised and vulnerable to cyber attackers. To some extent, the buffer overflow may also damage the form in which the software application is running thus raising more security issues. (2) Invalidated inputs whereby the software application can obtain data from untrusted sources regardless of whether it could be a target for a cyber-attack. Cybercriminals tend to use invalidated inputs making the program crash so that they can execute their hidden agendas such as seizing control of the operating system and stealing valuable information from the internet user.
(3) Race conditions which are a situation whereby the software application has a predefined order of execution for it functions efficiently . It is indeed a security vulnerability since cyber attackers strive to interrupt the normal functioning of the organization with the introduction of viruses to the system. As a result, the program s fails to execute thereby providing hijackers time to perform attacks on the insecure file operation. (4) Secure storage and encryption whereby the encryption algorithms used to secure information by the program is readily available on the internet thereby raising a security concern for the stored data . Cyber attackers can use the published algorithms to decrypt information after gaining unauthorized access to the stored data. (5) Intercommunication of the system software application whereby it shares some data with other programs. As such, they share the same sockets with other programs in the operating system which could be easily manipulated by cyber criminals to serve their objectives.
In conclusion, it is clear that continuous development of technology has changed the manner in which people communicate via the internet. An evaluation of how people interact via the internet has outlined the various ways in which cybercriminals think and organize their attacks. For instance, a study of the different ways in which people communicate via the internet including sending of e-mails has delineated that cyber attackers employ phishing and social engineering techniques to carry out their attacks. Additionally, a focus of the prime networking building blocks that include packet switching, client-server computing, and the transmission control protocol have outlined that cyber attackers use spoofing techniques such as IP Address Spoofing and DNS server spoofing to manipulate the internet to their advantage. Last but not the least, the essay has discussed the various in which cyber attackers manage software application vulnerabilities to execute their attacks.