The Net's Real Security Problem
Even casually savvy computer users these days know to beware of security threats on the Internet. They know that the online universe is acrawl with computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses and other malicious bits of code, and if they are prudent, they have equipped their computers with up to date anti virus and firewall software for repelling these invaders.
They are leery of unsolicited e-mail attachments, and careful about the web sites they visit. They have probably heard about (or experienced) "denial of service" attacks in which malicious hackers direct thousands of computers to bombard a company's servers with requests to shut them down. They probably even know not to fall for "phishing" scams in which hyperlinks take users to phony sites posing as legitimate banks and credit card companies for the purpose of stealing passwords and account information.
What few in the public realize, however, is that the Internet is vulnerable to much deeper levels of fraud-ones that exploit fundamental security gaps in the network protocols themselves. Science & Technology at Scientific American.com: The Net's Real Security Problem
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