Sneaker Someone who attempts to compromise a system to assess its vulnerability.
Social engineering Using interpersonal skills to extract information about a computer system and its security.
Spyware Software that monitors computer use.
Trojan horse Software that appears to have a valid and benign purpose but actually has another nefarious
Virus Software that is self-replicating and spreads like a biological virus.
I. How Seriously Should You Take Threats to Network Security?
Teaching Tips: Have students assess the risk on their home computers using the formula in the In
Practice callout box (p. 5). Lead students in a discussion on how valuable they believe their data is to someone
II. Identifying Types of Threats
Teaching Tips: Lead students in a discussion about why someone would write malware, break into a
system, or deny access to another system.
III. Basic Security Terminology
Teaching Tips: As with any occupation, security personnel need to understand the language used by
people in the field. In this case, there are two basic cultures. There are those that exploit systems and those that
protect systems; each may use words a little differently. Also mention to students that because this is an extremely
fast-changing field, new words are continuously invented. Words such as phishing and blue snarfing are recent
Teaching Tips: Ask students: “Who should grant permission for a sneaker to test the security of a
system? Would it be the system administrator, the head of the IT department, or a CEO? How would a sneaker
prove she has the authorization to break in?”
Teaching Tips: Not all IT security issues have technological solutions. IT Security is about one-third
technology, one-third business, and one-third sociology. Social engineering is by far the tool of choice for most
crackers. You can obtain an ID and password faster, easier, and with less risk over the phone than by using a
computer. See whether any student has ever overheard a conversation in which someone has revealed a password.
IV. Concepts and Approaches