Attackers have developed many tools over the years to attack and compromise networks. These attacks take many forms, but in most cases, they seek to obtain sensitive information, destroy resources, or deny legitimate users access to resources. When network resources are inaccessible, worker productivity can suffer, and business income may be lost.
To understand how to defend a network against attacks, an administrator must identify network vulnerabilities. Specialized security audit software, developed by equipment and software manufacturers, can be used to help identify potential weaknesses. These same tools used by individuals to attack networks can also be used by network professionals to test the ability of a network to mitigate an attack. After the vulnerabilities are discovered, steps can be taken to help protect the network.
This assignment provides a structured research project that is divided into two parts: Researching Network Attacks and Researching Security Audit Tools. Inform your instructor about which network attack(s) and network security audit tool(s) you have chosen to research. This will ensure that a variety of network attacks and vulnerability tools are reported on by the members of the class.
In Part 1, research network attacks that have actually occurred. Select one of these attacks and describe how the attack was perpetrated and the extent of the network outage or damage. Next, investigate how the attack could have been mitigated, or what mitigation techniques might have been implemented to prevent future attacks. Finally, prepare a report based on the form included in this lab.
In Part 2, research network security audit tools and attack tools. Investigate one that can be used to identify host or network device vulnerabilities. Create a one-page summary of the tool based on the form included within this lab. Prepare a short (5–10 minute) presentation to give to the class.
You may work in teams of two, with one person reporting on the network attack and the other reporting on the tools. All team members deliver a short overview of their findings. You can use live demonstrations or PowerPoint, to summarize your findings.
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