Think Information. Think Security.
 
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Until your email is hacked, you may not know that you have a lot to protect. Various gadgets and devices are readily available to help you stop hackers, writes JAYNE AUGOYE.

The world over, hacking persists despite technological advancements and precautionary measures. With millions dollars lost on a daily basis to cyber crime, it remains a major challenge to individuals, organisations and government


Recently, technology giants such as Gmail, Sony, Yahoo and Apple have had their systems hacked into. The fact, therefore, is that if these ‘giants’ can fall victim, no one is immune to assaults from the hackers. 

As the problem persists, however, more anti-hacking measures are being developed. It should thus be the duty of everyone to explore any of these to protect one’s computer, email account, password and other related mechanisms

In choosing a device to check hacking, experts advise that one should also bear in mind the adage that prevention is better than cure. The management of Gfi Software, a tech-oriented organisation, for instance, advises that a good security strategy includes real-time monitoring for critical security events and periodic analysis of one’s systems’ security logs so that one can detect and respond quickly to attack

“In fact, when reviewing the general controls of a corporation, public auditors and regulatory agencies define security log monitoring as a necessary best practice and a part of performing due diligence. To monitor your event logs effectively, you need an automated way to back up and clear the event logs network-wide and to archive them in a central database,” GFI software indicates in a counselling note.

Among the recommended gadgets is GFI EventsManager, a network wide event log monitor that retrieves logs from all NT/2000/XP/2003 servers and workstations and immediately alerts the administrator of possible intrusions. But there is also Nmap, a free, open source utility for network exploration or security auditing. According to an expert, Danial Omair, it was designed to rapidly scan large networks, although it works fine against single hosts. 

“Nmap uses raw IP packets in novel ways to determine what hosts are available on the network, what services (application name and version) those hosts are offering, what operating systems they are running, what type of packet filters/firewalls are in use, and dozens of other characteristics. Nmap runs on most types of computers and both console and graphical versions are available. Nmap is free and open source.

Another type is the Nessus Remote Security Scanner, which works with a client-server framework and is said to be the world’s most popular vulnerability scanner used in over 75,000 organisations world-wide. Omair notes in an online article that many of the world’s largest organisations are realising significant cost savings by using Nessus to audit business-critical enterprise devices and applications. 

Likewise, recently-released John the Ripper is a fast password cracker. Its primary purpose is to detect weak Unix passwords, while Nikto, another anti-hacking device, is an Open Source web server scanner which performs comprehensive tests against web servers for multiple items.

Then enter SuperScan , an update of the highly popular Windows port scanning tool, SuperScan.

But anti-hacking devices can be as complex as they are novel in some places. So is the case of the Iris technology, a common feature in Science Fiction films, used to verify a person’s identity and also to gain access to top secret files.

Although it often ends in some gruesome consequences, it has been explored in quite a number of Hollywood movies.

In Demolition Man, for instance, Wesley Snipes’s character, Simon Phoenix, gets through a door locked with a retina scanner by removing the authorised man’s eye. It does not end there. Hollywood director, Stephen Spielberg, takes it a notch higher in his 2002 movie, Minority Report, when the main character undergoes an eye transplant in order to change his identity but continues to use his original eyes to gain access to restricted locations.

But besides existing only in the world of fiction, the gadget is also applicable to everyday use and is currently in use in several international airports for immigration purposes and also for “passwords” to log into a computer. Indeed, the Iris Technology comes in handy and eliminates the use of passwords or codes.

The iris is the coloured ring around the pupil of every human being and since no two persons’ are alike, every individual has a unique Iris. It is also the muscle that regulates the size of the pupil controlling the amount of light that enters the eye. Some medical and surgical procedures can affect the overall shape and colour of an iris but the fine texture remains stable over many years. Visually — impaired persons can use this scan technology since iris recognition technology is iris pattern-dependent and not sight dependent.

The general uses of iris recognition so far include substituting for passports (automated international border crossing); aviation security and controlling access to restricted areas at airports; database access and computer login; premises access control; hospital settings - including mother-infant pairing in maternity wards; “watch list” screening at border crossings; and it is under consideration for biometrically enabled National Identity Cards.

Iris scanning is said to be an ideal way of biometric identification since the iris is an internal organ that is largely protected from damage by the cornea. In comparism to fingerprints, the latter can be difficult to recognise after several years due to certain types of manual labour.

Interestingly, the technology is being adopted by a New-York based company to help guard against internet fraud with EyeLock, which will make it possible for people to log into their online banking accounts, social networks and emails - all in the blink of an eye.

Using the iris recognition technology, a type of physical identification based on the personal and unique characteristics of the iris - the coloured ring around the pupil of an eye, the EyeLock will eliminate the use of passwords and usernames which will, in turn, ensure safer internet use.

The device, which is the size of a standard business card and weighs about 4oz, will work after it is connected to the user’s computer by a USB cable. Once the accompanying software package is installed and configured, all the user then has to do is wave the scanner in front of his or her eye to automatically log in to any password-protected application or website that include Facebook, Twitter, PayPal or a bank account.


Source: PunchOnTheWeb
6/11/2012 05:06:53 pm

I is an serious issue know hacking is getting big on internet and use of many online tools and fake software.

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