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Introduction In this chapter: Threats, vulnerabilities, and controls Confidentiality, integrity, and availability Attackers and attack types;...
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Write a report on the hardware technologies and software techniques Used to secure Distributed Computer Systems.

1. Introduction In this chapter: • Threats, vulnerabilities, and controls • Confidentiality, integrity, and availability • Attackers and attack types; method, opportunity, and motive • Valuing assets On 11 February 2013, residents of Great Falls, Montana received the following warning on their televisions [ INF13 ]. The transmission displayed a message banner on the bottom of the screen (as depicted in Figure 1-1 ). FIGURE 1-1 Emergency Broadcast Warning And the following alert was broadcast: [Beep Beep Beep: the sound pattern of the U.S. government Emergency Alert System. The following text then scrolled across the screen: ] Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Follow the messages on screen that will be updated as information becomes available. Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous. This warning applies to all areas receiving this broadcast. [Beep Beep Beep] The warning signal sounded authentic; it had the distinctive tone people recognize for warnings of serious emergencies such as hazardous weather or a natural disaster. And the text was displayed across a live broadcast television program. On the other hand, bodies rising from their graves sounds suspicious.
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What would you have done? Only four people contacted police for assurance that the warning was indeed a hoax. As you can well imagine, however, a different message could have caused thousands of people to jam the highways trying to escape. (On 30 October 1938 Orson Welles performed a radio broadcast of the H. G. Wells play War of the Worlds that did cause a minor panic of people believing that Martians had landed and were wreaking havoc in New Jersey.) The perpetrator of this hoax was never caught, nor has it become clear exactly how it was done. Likely someone was able to access the system that feeds emergency broadcasts to local radio and television stations. In other words, a hacker probably broke into a computer system. You encounter computers daily in countless situations, often in cases in which you are scarcely aware a computer is involved, like the emergency alert system for broadcast media. These computers move money, control airplanes, monitor health, lock doors, play music, heat buildings, regulate hearts, deploy airbags, tally votes, direct communications, regulate traffic, and do hundreds of other things that affect lives, health, finances, and well-being. Most of the time these computers work just as they should. But occasionally they do something horribly wrong, because of either a benign failure or a malicious attack. This book is about the security of computers, their data, and the devices and objects to which they relate. In this book you will learn some of the ways computers can fail—or be made to fail—and how to protect against those failures. We begin that study in the way any good report does: by answering the basic questions of what, who, why, and how. 1.1 What Is Computer Security? Computer security is the protection of the items you value, called the assets of a computer or computer system. There are many types of assets, involving hardware, software, data, people, processes, or combinations of these. To determine what to protect, we must first identify what has value and to whom. A computer device (including hardware, added components, and accessories) is certainly an asset. Because most computer hardware is pretty useless without programs, the software is also an asset. Software includes the operating system, utilities and device handlers; applications such as word processing, media players or email handlers; and even programs that you may have written yourself. Much hardware and software is off-the- shelf, meaning that it is commercially available (not custom-made for your purpose) and that you can easily get a replacement. The thing that makes your computer unique and important to you is its content: photos, tunes, papers, email messages, projects, calendar information, ebooks (with your annotations), contact information, code you created, and the like. Thus, data items on a computer are assets, too. Unlike most hardware and software, data can be hard—if not impossible—to recreate or replace. These assets are all shown in Figure 1-2 .
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