Computer security, also known as cyber security or IT security, is the protection of information systems from theft or damage to the hardware, the software, and to the information on them, as well as from disruption or misdirection of the services they provide. It includes controlling physical access to the hardware, as well as protecting against harm that may come via network access, data and code injection,and due to malpractice by operators, whether intentional, accidental, or due to them being tricked into deviating from secure procedures.
The field is of growing importance due to the increasing reliance on computer systems in most societies. Computer systems now include a very wide variety of "smart" devices, including smart phones, televisions and tiny devices as part of the Internet of Things – and networks include not only the Internet and private data networks, but also Blue-tooth, Wi-Fi and other wireless networks.aa306bfd630755805886a4a26a4aab5919e0c9c9cd1c383b0b
A backdoor in a computer system, a cryptosystem or an algorithm, is any secret method of bypassing normal authentication or security controls. They may exist for a number of reasons, including by original design or from poor configuration. They may also have been added later by an authorized party to allow some legitimate access, or by an attacker for malicious reasons; but regardless of the motives for their existence, they create a vulnerability.
Denial of service attacks are designed to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users. Attackers can deny service to individual victims, such as by deliberately entering a wrong password enough consecutive times to cause the victim account to be locked, or they may overload the capabilities of a machine or network and block all users at once. While a network attack from a single IP address can be blocked by adding a new firewall rule, many forms of Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are possible, where the attack comes from a large number of points – and defending is much more difficult. Such attacks can originate from the zombie computers of a botnet, but a range of other techniques are possible including reflection and amplification attacks, where innocent systems are fooled into sending traffic to the victim.
Common consumer devices that can be used to transfer data surreptitiously.
An unauthorized user gaining physical access to a computer is most likely able to directly download data from it. They may also compromise security by making operating system modifications, installing software worms, keyloggers, covert listening devices or using wireless mice. Even when the system is protected by standard security measures, these may be able to be by passed by booting another operating system or tool from a CD-ROM or other bootable media. Disk encryption and Trusted Platform Module are designed to prevent these attacks.
Eavesdropping is the act of surreptitiously listening to a private conversation, typically between hosts on a network. For instance, programs such as Carnivore and NarusInsight have been used by the FBI and NSA to eavesdrop on the systems of internet service providers. Even machines that operate as a closed system (i.e., with no contact to the outside world) can be eavesdropped upon via monitoring the faint electro-magnetic transmissions generated by the hardware; TEMPEST is a specification by the NSA referring to these attacks.
Source : Quora Herman Waltz