Threats to Internet Privacy and Security

Satisfactory Essays
The Internet presents various challenges in the realms of privacy and security. Such threats originate from obvious sources such as hackers and malware, but threats come from less obvious sources as well; employees, government agencies, and even one’s self through lack of knowledge or vigilance. Privacy, as explained by Lawrence Lessig (2006), “from the perspective of law, is the set of legal restrictions on the power of others to invade a protected space” (p.201). Cisco describes network security as the activities which protect a computer network to ensure “… the usability, reliability, integrity, and safety of your network and data” (n.d.). The two terms are closely related in Internet security, and as such, the threats outlined can be considered to have element of both privacy and security. The following is a brief analysis of a few common threats to Internet privacy and security.
Manned Threats
There are many threats that are manned attacks from a live hacker or hackers. IP spoofing is one such threat where IP packets are intercepted and altered by inserting a false source address into the packet header. The purpose of IP spoofing is to create false entries into network routers, creating valid entries for an invalid IP address, and is a precursor to further hacking techniques. A hacker can take control of an authenticated communication session by correctly guessing the session’s TCP sequence number, called a sequence number attack. The attacker intercepts a communication from the client to the server, guesses the next sequence number, and injects a spoofed IP address to go to the server. The server will then send an acknowledgement to the spoofed IP address (Joseph Migga Kizza, 2011p.72-73).
A hacker may attempt to direct...

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...cally. As for the insidious threat of government surveillance, users can use Internet services which are geographically based outside of the United States, and use strong encryption for Internet communications, but these are questionable measures against the US government. Perhaps an American’s best option against illegal surveillance is the power of his vote.

Cisco. (n.d.). What Is Network Security. Retrieved March 9, 2014 from
Electronic Frontier Foundation. (n.d.). NSA Spying on Americans. Retrieved March 9, 2014 from
Kizza, J. (2011). Computer network security and cyber ethics. (3rd ed.). Jefferson: McFarland & Company Inc.
Lessig, L. (2006). Code: Version 2.0. New York: Basic Books.
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