Swaroop C H

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Network security is cool

19 May 2004

Here's an excerpt from 'The Prometheus Deception' by Robert Ludlum:

"Inside the cargo bay of the green forest-service truck, Elena quickly assembled her tools. Her laptop was now connected to the optical repeater by means of a twenty-foot cable that ran undetectably under the truck, concealed by dirt and leaves, and right to the junction box. She had a tap in place, at first just listening and watching, not transmitting anything. She had come prepared with loads of software, both commercial and specially written for the occasion. She did what was called a 'stealth scan' to fingerprint the system, see what sort of intrusion-detection software was present; and she inserted a prewritten script designed to overload the system with an unexpectedly large quantity of data - create a buffer overflow. Then she ran a network packet sniffer to map out the systems on the security network, to find out what kind of network traffic was being sent and received, what the basic organization looked like.

"Within the space of a few seconds, she 'owned the box,' as the hackers liked to say. Though she was no hacker, she had long ago made it a point to learn the hacker's trade, just a good field operative would learn the burglar's methods, the safecracker's techniques.

"The training had paid off. She was in."

Hmmm... Gotta study for the CNS - Cryptography and Network Security exam coming up soon!

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