Computer Networking Industry Faces New Challenges

In one fell swoop, a "bot" can take hold of an unsuspecting computer and do an incredible amount of damage. From click fraud to identity theft, computer networking professionals are beginning to understand the impending danger of cyber criminals.

Our dependence on technology can certainly be considered a double edged sword. While advances in computer networking have increased our capability to share information, this technology can be turned against us when in the wrong hands. According to Bruce Schneier, security news reporter for Wired online e-zine, the networking threat has moved from the hands of the hackers into the hands of the criminals. And their weapon of choice is the dreaded "bot." Bot networks take control of idle computers and use free computer cycles to commit a variety of computer related offenses.

What's a Bot?

  • The Essence of Bot. A bot is a special software program that loaded onto a system, whether knowingly or unknowingly, takes control of that machine.
  • Bots in the Real. An example of a bot networking program is a keystroke logger that can record sensitive personal and logon information.
  • Bots Live Forever. Bots can be remotely upgraded, with new functionalities being added to the program at any time from any location.

Fortunately for the computer using public, networking professionals undergo intense training on how to battle such online threats. Computer security classes emphasize the capabilities of bots, viruses, worms, and other cyber criminal tactics. Here's a rundown of how various computer professionals are trained to tackle this issue.

Computer Networking Combat

  • Computer Scientists. Computer scientists create and test a multitude of complex algorithms design to locate and terminate bot programs.
  • Database Managers. Database managers are constantly testing the parameters of their storage databases for possible weak links.
  • Communications Analysts. Communications analysts also run routine security checks on WANS and LANS.

No matter how you view the advances in computer networking, helpful or hindrance, the battle for security and safety rages on.

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