The Internet is technically a wide area network that contains millions of different permanent servers and billions of different users. With all of these individuals or organizations operating on the Internet, security has become the number one concern for most users of the Internet. Many who do not understand the nature of the Internet log onto it daily without ever realizing the various threats that abound in this artificial sphere.History
The Internet began as a United States military project known as ARPANET. This original incarnation of the Internet was incredibly secure, but only because there were very few (if any) other system that could connect to it. It was used as a research project to improve communications for the U.S. military across the world. A few years after its development, private companies and investors began to see the potential for this network outside of military use and in the early 1990s; the general public became acquainted with the Internet that we know today. Types of Security Threats
As mentioned previously, the scope and types of threats that exist on the Internet are wide-ranging and varied. Most threats are simply attempts to gain personal information about users but more complex threats exist for organizations with large IT infrastructures. Some of the most common threats are:
Revised January 24th, 2016
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- Phishing Scams: Though the spelling of this is strange, the threat is basically what it sounds like. Scammers use contact methods such as email or instant messaging services in an attempt to trick users into giving sensitive personal information (ex: passwords, bank account numbers, social security numbers...). Exact methods vary but usually involve falsely impersonating a government, corporate, or other organization's representative.
- Denial of Service Attacks: This type of threat is not typically used against individual users, but instead against organizations with large IT infrastructures. The attack attempts to overload a server with requests in the hopes of freezing it or forcing a shutdown. Many corporations and government agencies have been victims of this type of threat.