Who can read your email?

Written by Mark Brooks

Internet Security Threats: Who can read your email? =================================================== Nov 23, 2003 Before being able to choose a secure Internet communication system, you need to understandrepparttar threats to your security.

Sincerepparttar 109566 beginning ofrepparttar 109567 Internet there has been a naive assumption onrepparttar 109568 part of most email users thatrepparttar 109569 only people who are reading their email arerepparttar 109570 people they are sending it to. After all, with billions of emails and gigabytes of data moving overrepparttar 109571 Internet every day, who would be able to find their single email in such a flood of data?

Wake-up and smellrepparttar 109572 coffee! Our entire economy is now information based, andrepparttar 109573 majority of that mission critical information is now flowing throughrepparttar 109574 Internet in some form, from emails and email attachments, to corporate FTP transmissions and instant messages.

Human beings, especially those strange creatures with a criminal mind, look for every possible advantage in a dog eat dog world, even if that advantage includes prying into other peoples' mail or even assuming your identity. The privacy of your Internet communications has now becomerepparttar 109575 front line in a struggle forrepparttar 109576 soul ofrepparttar 109577 Internet.

The New Generation Packet Sniffers: ===================================

Atrepparttar 109578 beginning of 2001, most computer security professionals began to become aware of an alarming new threat to Internet security,repparttar 109579 proliferation of cheap, easy to use packet sniffer software. Anyone with this new software, a high school education, and network access can easily eavesdrop on email messages and FTP transmissions. Software packages such as Caspa 3.0 or PassDetect - Ace Password Sniffer automaterepparttar 109580 task of eavesdropping torepparttar 109581 point were if you send an email messages overrepparttar 109582 Internet withrepparttar 109583 phrase "Credit Card", it's almost a certainty that someone, somewhere will capture it, attachments and all.

(Caspa 3.0 - from ColaSoft Corporation, located in Chengdu, China http://www.colasoft.com,PassDetect - a product whose advertised purpose is to sniff passwords sent in email, over HTTP, or over FTP from EffeTech Corporation, http://www.effetech.com )

A good example of this new class of software is called MSN Sniffer, also from Effetech, and it highlightsrepparttar 109584 "party line" openness of today's LAN and Internet environments. Just like old telephone party lines, MSN sniffer lets you listen-in on other people's conversations, just like picking up another phone on a party line.

On their web site, Effetech advertises MSN Sniffer as:

"a handy network utility to capture MSN chat on a network. It records MSN conversations automatically. All intercepted messages can be saved as HTML files for later processing and analyzing. It is very easy to make it to work. Just runrepparttar 109585 MSN Sniffer on any computer on your network, and start to capture. It will record any conversation from any PC onrepparttar 109586 network."

Just asrepparttar 109587 Internet has been flooded by a deluge of spam messages afterrepparttar 109588 introduction of cheap, easy-to-use spam generation software,repparttar 109589 same effect is now taking place with sniffer software. The major difference is that, unlike spam, Internet eavesdropping is totally invisible, and ten times as deadly. How much ofrepparttar 109590 identity theft being reported today is a direct result of Internet eavesdropping? Its hard to tell, but withrepparttar 109591 every growing dependency by individuals and corporations on Internet communications, opportunities to "capture" your sensitive data abound.

Most FTP transmission are unencrypted! =====================================

As of November 2003,repparttar 109592 majority of corporate FTP transmissions are still unencrypted (unencrypted is geek speak for "inrepparttar 109593 clear" ) and almost all email communications take place "inrepparttar 109594 clear". Many email and FTP transmissions travel over 30 or more "hops" to make its way fromrepparttar 109595 sender and receiver. Each one of these hops is a separate network, often owned by a different Internet Service Provider (ISP). Any Idiot inrepparttar 109596 Middle Even a well run corporation must still primarily rely on trusting its employees, contractors and suppliers to respectrepparttar 109597 privacy ofrepparttar 109598 data flowing over its networks. Withrepparttar 109599 new sniffer technology, all it takes is one "idiot inrepparttar 109600 middle", and your security is compromised. It could berepparttar 109601 admin assistant sitting inrepparttar 109602 cubical next to you, or a network assistant working for one ofrepparttar 109603 many ISPs your data will travel over, but somewhere, someone is listening. Maybe all he is looking for is his next stock trading idea, or maybe he wants to take over your eBay account so he can sell a nonexistent laptop to some unsuspecting "sucker" using your good name. its all happening right now, at some ofrepparttar 109604 most respected companies inrepparttar 109605 world. Access to your network doesn't have to come from a malicious or curious employee-many Internet worms, Trojans and viruses are designed to open up security holes on a PC so that other software can be installed. Once a hacker has access to one computer in your network, or one computer on your ISP's network, he can then use a sniffer to analyze allrepparttar 109606 traffic onrepparttar 109607 network.

So I'll password-protect my files, right? : =========================================

Small Business Q & A: Beware Of Spam Withdrawals

Written by Tim Knox

Q: I am so sick of allrepparttar spam that is sent to my business email address. I spend an hour every morning just trying to sort outrepparttar 109565 good email fromrepparttar 109566 bad. I know I could just delete it all, but I'm afraid I'll accidentally delete email that might be important to my business. Short of unplugging my computer, what'srepparttar 109567 best solution for dealing with spam?

A: I feel your pain. I, too, missrepparttar 109568 good old days when repparttar 109569 only time you'd spend an hour dealing with spam was trying to pry it out ofrepparttar 109570 can.

Due torepparttar 109571 nature of my business, I get a lot of unwanted email. I've been working onrepparttar 109572 Internet since 1995 and my email address has been publicly exposed for most of that time, so I am a spammer's delight. It is no exaggeration to say that I used to receive more than 400 email messages a day. Out of those 400 messages about 10% were from people I knew, 10% were from people I needed to know, andrepparttar 109573 rest were from people that I would like to track down and field dress with a very dull knife.

Spammers, they are called…repparttar 109574 scourge ofrepparttar 109575 Internet…repparttar 109576 digital kin ofrepparttar 109577 lowly telemarketer and dreaded junk mailer.

After listening to me complain about spam for months, my lead engineer burst into my office a few weeks ago and announced, "I've solved our spam problem! I've installed a spam filter on our server that will prevent spam from getting through."

Great, I thought, now I can find something new to complain about.

I wondered what I would do withrepparttar 109578 extra two hours a day this wonderful spam filter would give me. My joy quickly waned when within a day my email went from 400 to 40. It wasrepparttar 109579 saddest day of my life. Sitting there staring at my empty email box I suddenly felt very alone. At that moment I realized that not only had I come to expectrepparttar 109580 morning deluge of email, but I had come to find comfort in it. The spammers had become my friends. They wanted me to get rich quick and brighten my smile. They wanted to enhance my love life with generic Viagra and give me great deals on miniature cameras, low interest loans, waterfront property, and more. Andrepparttar 109581 sheer number of folks concerned aboutrepparttar 109582 abundance (or lack thereof) of my anatomy was incredibly heart warming.

Andrepparttar 109583 ladies that sent me email were so nice. They were worried that I was lonely and offered to cure my loneliness if only I gave them a credit card number. How sweet is that?

After a few daysrepparttar 109584 withdrawal symptoms ceased and I was happy to be free ofrepparttar 109585 majority ofrepparttar 109586 spam, though to this day I'm afraid that I might be missing out on something grand.

You and I are not alone, Anna. According to a recent study by eMarketer,repparttar 109587 average Internet email user now receives 81 emails a day, and nearly one quarter of them are spam. Spam now makes up more than 40% of all email and costs U.S. companies more than $10 billion annually. Seventy-six billion unsolicited e-mail messages will be delivered in 2003.

So how do spammers get your email address inrepparttar 109588 first place? It's easier than you might think. While some spam comes as a result of online purchases (yes, there are companies that will sell your email address no matter what their privacy policy says), that's just one ofrepparttar 109589 ways spammers get you in their sites.

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