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Ignorance is Bliss?-An Introduction to Internet Security II

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March 28, 2006 1:59:36 PM

What you don't know won't hurt you, but on the Internet, nothing could be further from the truth. In Part 2 of his Internet Security series, Pat McKenna shows how a secure SSL "padlock" on your browser and a strong password might not always deliver what they seem to promise.
April 3, 2006 8:23:17 PM

Good article, i enjoyed it.

In the end though getting your average user sitting at your coffee shop to follow basic rules of the game is always the hard part.

People need more dummie proof means of not letting everybody who wants into there data.

People are starting to scan for mal/spyware (study comes from watching girlfriend) .. and thanx to Sony, now might know about rootkits and all ;) 

But grasping what actually happens when your infected from a popup window u missed the "X" on will never happen. People just do not get, nor do they WANT to understand distributed botnets. (study comes from girlfriend again)

the man behind the magic curtain has to make things dummie proof for every user. -thats the tuff part as we know
April 11, 2006 4:25:26 PM

I'm uneasy about these articles.

The writer shows the potential to explain complex issues with clarity, and seems to know a lot about breaking into online bank sites and stealing credit card information. This is not information that should be available to ordinary users.

My son is 12, and he loves the internet and all things gaming. He gets me to buy stuff for him online which I am happy to do. Last night I found him searching for a credit card generator just to 'see' how it works. I know that he downloaded one of the sample programs from an article and he can explain what a proxy program does. He is looking forward to the next article, and I must admit that I am too.

Neither myself or my son knew really anything about ARP a couple of days ago. I get the story about the postman and now have a reasonable understanding about how data gets around a network.

My point is this: the articles are very good - they are too good for some types of audience - they are explaining complex networking concepts in the context of fraud, and in that I have a problem.

I don't know how THG would restrict acces to these articles but you should consider how this might be done. Maybe they are not the type of material to be covered in a forum like THG.

Sure you can call the makers of some product a couple of funny names, and tell us how their products don't work, or tell us how our wireless network is going to get broken into if we dont secure it - but generating credit card numbers and breaking into banks????

Another feeling that I have about the articles is a lot of anger for the people who - according to the article - allow this type of thing to happen when solutions exist that can stop it. There is no excuse for such fraud if systems administrators can solve it.

I have a lot of emotions about this as I have recently been hit by credit card fraud. Sorry about the feedback as the articles are really good, just a bit too good!

Tom
April 11, 2006 10:06:27 PM

Hey Tom,

yes I take your point completely regarding the potential to stir up interest in unwanted subjects. The internet is an open forum and it is always difficult to regulate the content that our children are exposed to.

On the flip side of the coin is the need to explore the difficulties regarding online authentication in a manner that is inclusive and informative to all levels of computer users as it can potentially impact on each of us who use online banking etc.

The fact that you understand the use of proxies and ARP is a good thing. With online banking and credit card usage I could easily gloss over it and say that there are security threats in those areas. That is what you will find with most sites who cover this material. And herein lies the problem.

To be informative and give you a correct appreciation of the threats, it is necessary to demonstrate in lay man's terms how this is happening, but stop short of showing you how to do it. But you must know that there are a myriad of sites and texts out there that actually assist anyone who is interested in hacking. In fact one free site teaches you how to do it through a series of challanges.

I get where you are coming from and will take on board any comments or suggestions that contributers have regarding the depth to which we will explore online fraud.

Pat Mckenna
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