The Attack Process

Any network attack can be categorized into an informal process that sets the foundation for the organization of the rest of this chapter. Each element of the process is highlighted at varying levels of detail in the next several sections. The focus, as mentioned earlier, is on the attacks.


Dr. John Howard wrote a doctoral dissertation titled "An Analysis of Security Incidents on the Internet, 19891995," which is available at In this paper, Howard employs a very formal method of describing the attacker process and a network attack taxonomy. Although far too abstract to be of use in this book, Dr. Howard's work, in part, is the basis of the process presented in this chapter.

Figure 3-1 shows this process at a high level.

Figure 3-1. Attack Process

The process starts with an attacker. The fact that any attack is launched against a particular target is assumed and not represented in the diagram. The attack is launched by using a specific vulnerability to bring about a specific attack result. This attack result helps the attacker achieve the final objective, whether it be political, financial, or personal. Other potential final objectives of an attacker are not elaborated on in this chapter. Figure 3-2 shows a potential traversal of this process by a script kiddie seeking notoriety. The specific components of the figure are highlighted in more detail later.

Figure 3-2. Attack Example

Also realize that an attacker might need to repeat this process several times to achieve a desired objective, or an attacker might need to launch several different attacks to achieve the desired attack result.

Part I. Network Security Foundations

Network Security Axioms

Security Policy and Operations Life Cycle

Secure Networking Threats

Network Security Technologies

Part II. Designing Secure Networks

Device Hardening

General Design Considerations

Network Security Platform Options and Best Deployment Practices

Common Application Design Considerations

Identity Design Considerations

IPsec VPN Design Considerations

Supporting-Technology Design Considerations

Designing Your Security System

Part III. Secure Network Designs

Edge Security Design

Campus Security Design

Teleworker Security Design

Part IV. Network Management, Case Studies, and Conclusions

Secure Network Management and Network Security Management

Case Studies



Appendix A. Glossary of Terms

Appendix B. Answers to Applied Knowledge Questions

Appendix C. Sample Security Policies

INFOSEC Acceptable Use Policy

Password Policy

Guidelines on Antivirus Process


Network Security Architectures
Network Security Architectures
ISBN: 158705115X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 249
Authors: Sean Convery

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