Computer Security Ethics and Privacy

Today, many people rely on computers to do homework, work, and create or store useful information. Therefore, it is important for the information on the computer to be stored and kept properly. It is also extremely important for people on computers to protect their computer from data loss, misuse, and abuse.

For example, it is crucial for businesses to keep information they have secure so that hackers can’t access the information. Home users also need to take means to make sure that their credit card numbers are secure when they are participating in online transactions.

A computer security risk is any action that could cause lost of information, software, data, processing incompatibilities, or cause damage to computer hardware,   a lot of these are planned to do damage. An intentional breach in computer security is known as a computer crime which is slightly different from a cybercrime.

A cybercrime is known as illegal acts based on the internet and is one of the FBI’s top priorities.  There are several distinct categories for people that cause cybercrimes, and they are refereed as hacker, cracker, cyberterrorist, cyberextortionist, unethical employee, script kiddie and corporate spy.  The term hacker was actually known as a good word but now it has a very negative view. A hacker is defined as someone who accesses a computer or computer network unlawfully.  They often claim that they do this to find leaks in the security of a network. The term cracker has never been associated with something positive this refers to someone how intentionally access a computer or computer network for evil reasons. It’s basically an evil hacker.  They access it with the intent of destroying, or stealing information. Both crackers and hackers are very advanced with network skills.

A cyberterrorist is someone who uses a computer network or the internet to destroy computers for political reasons.  It’s just like a regular terrorist attack because it requires highly skilled individuals, millions of dollars to implement, and years of planning. The term cyperextortionist is someone who uses emails as an offensive force. They would usually send a company a very threatening email stating that they will release some confidential information, exploit a security leak, or launch an attack that will harm a company’s network. They will request a paid amount to not proceed sort of like black mailing in a since.

An unethical employee is an employee that illegally accesses their company’s network for numerous reasons. One could be the money they can get from selling top secret information, or some may be bitter and want revenge.

A script kiddie is someone who is like a cracker because they may have the intentions of doing harm, but they usually lack the technical skills. They are usually silly teenagers that use prewritten hacking and cracking programs.

A corporate spy has extremely high computer and network skills and is hired to break into a specific computer or computer network to steal or delete data and information. Shady companies hire these type people in a practice known as corporate espionage. They do this to gain an advantage over their competition an illegal practice. Business and home users must do their best to protect or safeguard their computers from security risks.

The next part of this article will give some pointers to help protect your computer. However, one must remember that there is no one hundred percent guarantee way to protect your computer so becoming more knowledgeable about them is a must during these days. When you transfer information over a network it has a high security risk compared to information transmitted in a business network because the administrators usually take some extreme measures to help protect against security risks. Over the internet there is no powerful administrator which makes the risk a lot higher. If your not sure if your computer is vulnerable to a computer risk than you can always use some-type of online security service which is a website that checks your computer for email and Internet vulnerabilities. The company will then give some pointers on how to correct these vulnerabilities.  The Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center is a place that can do this.

The typical network attacks that puts computers at risk includes viruses, worms, spoofing, Trojan horses, and denial of service attacks.  Every unprotected computer is vulnerable to a computer virus which is a potentially harming computer program that infects a computer negatively and altering the way the computer operates without the user’s consent. Once the virus is in the computer it can spread throughout infecting other files and potentially damaging the operating system itself. It’s similar to a bacteria virus that infects humans because it gets into the body through small openings and can spread to other parts of the body and can cause some damage. The similarity is, the best way to avoid is preparation.

A computer worm is a program that repeatedly copies itself and is very similar to a computer virus. However the difference is that a virus needs o attach itself to an executable file and become a part of it. A computer worm doesn’t need to do that I seems copies to itself and to other networks and eats up a lot of bandwidth.

A Trojan Horse named after the famous Greek myth and is used to describe a program that secretly hides and actually looks like a legitimate program but is a fake.  A certain action usually triggers the Trojan horse, and unlike viruses and worms they don’t replicate itself. Computer viruses, worms, and Trojan horses are all classifies as malicious-logic programs which are just programs that deliberately harms a computer.  Although these are the common three there are many more variations and it would be almost impossible to list them. You know when a computer is infected by a virus, worm, or Trojan horse if one or more of these acts happen:

  • Screen shots of weird messages or pictures appear.
  • You have less available memory then you expected
  • Music or sounds plays randomly.
  • Files get corrupted
  • Programs are files don’t work properly
  • Unknown files or programs randomly appear
  • System properties fluctuate

Computer viruses, worms, and Trojan horses deliver their payload or instructions through four common ways. One, when an individual runs an infected program so if you download a lot of things you should always scan the files before executing, especially executable files. Second, is when an individual runs an infected program. Third, is when an individual bots a computer with an infected drive, so that’s why it’s important to not leave media files in your computer when you shut it down.  Fourth is when it connects an unprotected computer to a network. Today, a very common way that people get a computer virus, worm, or Trojan horse is when they open up an infected file through an email attachment. There are literally thousands of computer malicious logic programs and new one comes out by the numbers so that’s why it’s important to keep up to date with new ones that come out each day. Many websites keep track of this. There is no known method for completely protecting a computer or computer network from computer viruses, worms, and Trojan horses, but people can take several precautions to significantly reduce their chances of being infected by one of those malicious programs.

Whenever you start a computer you should have no removable media in he drives. This goes for CD, DVD, and floppy disks. When the computer starts up it tries to execute a bot sector on the drives and even if it’s unsuccessful any given various on the bot sector can infect the computer’s hard disk. If you must start the computer for a particular reason, such as the hard disk fails and you are trying to reformat the drive make sure that the disk is not infected.


Glossary Of Computer Security Terms

A specific type of interaction between a subject and an object that results in the flow of information from one to the other. (Source:
Access Control
The process of limiting access to the resources of a system only to authorized programs, processes, or other systems (in a network). Synonymous with controlled access and limited access. (Source: GCST)
A formal declaration by the designated approving authority (DAA) that the automated information system (AIS) is approved to operate in a particular security mode using a prescribed sete of safeguards. Accreditation is the official management authorization for operation of an AIS and is based on the certification process as well as other management considerations. The accreditation
statement affixes security responsibility with the DAA and shows that due care has been taken for security. (Source: GCST)
A measure of confidence that the security features and architecture of an AIS accurately mediate and enforce the security policy. Compare with trusted computer system. (Source: GCST)
Audit Trail
A chronological record of system activities that is sufficient to enable the reconstruction, reviewing, and examination of the sequence of environments and activities surrounding or leading to an operation, a procedure, or an event in a transaction from its inception to final results. (Source: GCST)
1.To verify the identity of a user, device, or other entity in a computer system, often as a prerequisite to allowing access to resources in a system.
2.To verify the integrity of data that have been stored, transmitted, or otherwise exposed to possible unauthorized modification.
(Source: GCST)
The granting of acccess rights to a user, program, or process. (Source: GCST)
Automated Information System
An assembly of computer hardware, software, and/or firmware configured to collect, create, communicate, compute, disseminate, process, store, and/or control data or information. (Source: GCST)
The state when data is in the place needed by [or accessible to] the user, at the time the user needs them, and in the form needed by the user. (Source: GCST)
The comprehensive evaluation of the technical and nontechnical security features of an AIS and other safeguards, made in support of the accreditation process, that establishes the extent to which a  particular design and implementation meet a specified set of security requirements. (Source: GCST)
Compartmented Mode of Operation
An AIS is operating in the compartmented mode when each user with direct or indirect individual access to the AIS, its peripherals, remote terminals, or remote hosts, has all of the following:
A valid personnel clearance for the most restricted information on the system.
Formal access approval for, and has signed nondisclosure agreements for, that information to which the user is to have access.
A valid need-to-know for that information to which the user is to have access.
(Source: GCST)
Covert Channel
A communications channel that allows two cooperating processes
to transfer information in a manner that violates the system’s security policy. Synonymous with confinement channel. (Source: GCST)
Covert Storage Channel
A covert channel that involves the direct or indirect writing of a storage location by one process and the direct or indirect reading of the storage location by another process. Covert storage channnels typically involve a finite resource (e.g., sectors on a disk) that is shared by two subjects at different security levels. (Source: GCST)
Covert Timing Channel
A covert channel in which one process signals information to another by modulating its own use of system resources (e.g., CPU time) in such a way that this manipulation affects the real response time observed by the second process. (Source: GCST)
Dedicated Mode of Operation
An AIS is operating in the dedicated mode when each user with
direct or indirect individual access to the AIS, its peripherals, remote terminals, or remote hosts, has all of the following:
A valid personnel clearance for all information on the system.
Formal access approval for, and has signed nondisclosure agreements for, all the information stored and/or processed (including all compartments, subcompartments, and/or special access programs).
A valid need-to-know for all information contained within the system.
(Source: GCST)
Denial of Service
Any action or series of actions that prevent any part of a system from functioning in accordance with its intended purpose. This includes any action that causes unauthorized destruction, modification, or delay of service. Synonymous with interdiction. (Source: GCST)
Designated Approving Authority (DAA)
The official who has the authority to decide on accepting the security safeguards prescribed for an AIS, or that official who may be responsible for issuing an accreditation statement that records the decision to accept those safeguards. (Source: GCST)
Discretionary Access Control (DAC)
A means of restricting access to objects based on the identity and need-to-know of the user, process, and/or groups to which they belong. The controls are discretionary in the sense that a subject with a certain access permission is capable of passing that permission (perhaps indirectly) on to any other subject. Compare mandatory access control. (Source: GCST)
An assessment of a product agains the Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria (The Orange Book).
Information Warfare
Information warfare is the activity by a hacker, terrorist, or other adversary to disrupt an information system. Traditional security addresses the protection of information. Information warfare is aimed at protecting the systems that collect, store, manipulate, and transport information so that they are not accessed by unauthorized persons and are available as needed. (Source: Defense Information Infrastructure Master Plan)
Mandatory Access Control (MAC)
A means of restricting access to objects based on the sensitivity (as represented by a label) of the information contained in the objects and the formal authorization (i.e., clearance) of subjects to access information of such sensitivity. Compare discretionary access control. (Source: GCST)
Multilevel Mode of Operation
An AIS is operating in the multilevel mode when all of the following statements are satisfied concerning the users with direct or indirect access to the AIS, its peripherals, remote terminals, or remote hosts:
Some do not have a valid personnel clearance for all of the information processed in the system.
All have the proper clearance and have the appropriate formal access approval for that information to which they are to have access.
All have a valid need-to-know for that information to which they are to have access.
(Source: GCST)
Multilevel Security (MLS)
An MLS system is a system containing information with different security classifications that simultaneously permits access by users with different security clearances and needs to know. This system prevents users from obtaining access to information for which they lack authorization. (Source: DOD Directive 5200.28)
The probability that a particular threat will exploit a particular vulnerability of the system. (Source: GCST)
Risk Analysis
The process of identifying security risks, determining their magnitude, and identifying areas needing safeguards. Risk analysis is a part of risk management. Synonymous with risk assessment. (Source: GCST)
Risk Management
The total process of identifying, controlling, and eliminating or minimizing uncertain events that may affect system resources. It includes risk analysis, cost/benefit analysis, selection, implementation and test, security evaluation of safeguards, and overall security review. (Source: GCST)
Sensitive Compartmented Information
Information restricted to people who have been given formal access to the security program, called a compartment.
Security Policy
The set of laws, rules, and practices that regulate how an organization manages, protects, and distributes sensitive information. (Source: GCST)
System-High Mode of Operation
An AIS is operating in the system-high mode when each user with direct or indirect access to the AIS, its peripherals, remote terminals, or remote hosts, has all of the following:
A valid personnel clearance for all information on the system.
Formal access approval for, and has signed nondisclosure agreements for, all the information stored and/or processed (including all compartments, subcompartments, and/or special access programs).
A valid need-to-know for some of the information contained within the system.
(Source: GCST)
Trusted Computer System
A system that employs sufficient hardware and software assurance measures to allow its use for simultaneous processing of a range of sensitive or classified information. (Source: GCST)

Note: “GCST” means the Glossary of Computer Security Terms, NCSC-TG-004, 21 Oct 88 (the “Olive” Book).

Accessing the network printer from ASP.NET VB.NET

I managed to put together several pieces of code from the web to allow network printing. Most of the examples I found were written in C#.

This script can be useful for placing orders with warehouses etc that allow access to their network printers.. etc.

<%@ outputcache location="None" %>
<%@ Page Language="VB" Debug="True"%>
<%@ Import Namespace="System" %>
<%@ Import Namespace="System.Collections" %>
<%@ Import Namespace="System.Collections.Specialized" %>
<%@ Import Namespace="System.ComponentModel" %>
<%@ Import Namespace="System.IO" %>
<%@ Import Namespace="System.Drawing" %>
<%@ Import Namespace="System.Drawing.Printing " %>
<%@ Import Namespace="System.Text" %>
<%@ Import Namespace="System.Web" %>

Sub Submit_Click(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As EventArgs)
Dim pd as New PrintDocument()

' Set the printer name.
pd.PrinterSettings.PrinterName = "NS5hpoffice"
AddHandler pd.PrintPage, AddressOf Me.pd_PrintPage

Catch ex as Exception
Response.Write("Error: " & ex.ToString)

End Try
End Sub

Private Sub pd_PrintPage(ByVal sender as Object, ByVal ev as PrintPageeventArgs)
Dim yPos as Single = 250
Dim leftMargin as Single = ev.MarginBounds.Left
Dim topMargin as Single = ev.MarginBounds.Top
Dim printFont = New Font("Arial", 10)
Dim sb As StringBuilder =  New StringBuilder()

' Page title and date/time.
sb.Append("Warehouse Shipment Request")
sb.Append("DateTime: " + DateTime.Now.ToString()+ Environment.NewLine)

' Iterate submitted form fields and get field names.
Dim fieldValue As String
Dim fieldName As String

' Exclude viewstate and submit button.
For Each fieldName In HttpContext.Current.Request.Form
If fieldName = "__VIEWSTATE" Or fieldName = "Submit" Then
    ' Get the field values.
    fieldValue = HttpContext.Current.Request.Form(fieldName)
    ' Add the field names and values to the page.
    ' Break the field values into 50 character segments so it will fit on the paper.
    ' Currently, this only accounts for fields of l50 characters or less.
     ' ISSUE: breaks in the middle of words instead of spaces
    If fieldValue.Length > 100 Then
              sb.Append(fieldName + ": " + fieldValue.Substring(0,50) + Environment.NewLine)
              sb.Append("            " + fieldValue.Substring(50,50) + Environment.NewLine)
              sb.Append("            " + fieldValue.Substring(100,fieldValue.Length - 100) + Environment.NewLine)
    Else If fieldValue.Length > 50 Then
              sb.Append(fieldName + ": " + fieldValue.Substring(0,50) + Environment.NewLine)
              sb.Append("            " + fieldValue.Substring(50,fieldValue.Length - 50) + Environment.NewLine)
              sb.Append(fieldName + ": " + fieldValue + Environment.NewLine)
    End If
 End If
ev.Graphics.DrawString(sb.ToString(), printFont, Brushes.Black, leftMargin, yPos, New StringFormat())
End Sub


    <title>Network Printing</title>
    <form runat="server">
        <table width="456" border="1" align="center" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="0">
                    <td colspan="2">
                        <p>Network Printing</p>
                    <td width="148">
                    <td width="290">
                        <asp:TextBox id="Quantity" width="25" text="0" runat="server" />

                        <asp:TextBox id="InvNumber" text="12345" runat="server" />
                        <asp:TextBox id="Price" text="12.50" runat="server" />
                        <asp:TextBox id="Description" Text="Were having fun now!" runat="server" />
                    <td colspan="2">
                        <asp:Button id="Submit" onclick="Submit_Click" runat="server" Text="Submit" />

Seems to work great on Intranet. Haven’t had the opportunity to try it external. Let me know how it does if you do.