Types Of Computer Security Threats

Probably, computer crime is the most common of all types of computer security threats. However, more dangerous forms exist. For example, the integrity of a program or data in a computer which is controlling robots along an assembly line can be violated, resulting in dire consequences such as death of personnel. Violation of data confidentiality is manifested in espionage which of course could create serious problems for industries or countries. It is clear therefore, that there are different types of computer security threats that exist with potentially serious consequences.

Computer software may be attacked at the computer installation, by assessing the computer from a remote point via a network or by intercepting communication between two computers over a network. Below are the various types of computer security threats any user might face:

Salami Threat

This is used in computer fraud and can be difficult to detect as the crime is spread over a large number of small transactions, like slices of salami. In this method, a program is written which, instead of rounding up fractions of the smallest denomination of currency on accounts, transfers them to another account. Over a long period of time, the sum obtained can be quite large.

Computer Hacking

This term is applied to the process of unauthorized access of a computer over a network most often by a process of trial and error. The typical hacker will be a computer buff who breaks into a computer fro the fun of it and often violates data privacy. More dangerous, however, is the professional hacker who may break into a computer to steal, corrupt data or spy.

Trojan Horse

This is a widely trusted, legitimate, program that has been illegally modified to discretely perform services beyond those in its original specifications. Such services could include theft or destruction of information.

Computer Virus

Computer virus is one of the deadliest types of computer security threats. Essentially, a computer virus is a modification to a program which is activated whenever the program is run, and which places similar modifications in all accessible program files in that system. A computer virus, which may be benign or malicious, can be planted in one computer and via networks can reproduce itself in other computers over the network, causing whole systems to close down. The most spectacular attacks have been recorded in the U.S. One of the first large scale attacks being the IBM Network Christmas attack in 1987 which resulted to IBM closing down its network while it was being repaired.

Virus attacks are not, however, limited to networked systems; floppy disks can also be used to transit viruses, a typical case being the Lehigh virus.

The range of computer security threats is quite wide and some are peculiar to specific systems. An adjusted program line in a CNC system could result in substandard products being manufactured and human life being endangered. It becomes imperative to devise means to counter these types of computer security threats. There should be preventive measures like the encryption of files that will help protect your files against unauthorized spy or theft. Also once a threat is detected, measures should be taken to eradicate them at the earliest in order to protect your data from destruction.