You are aware of your local network. It consists of servers, printers, other systems and even devices like PDA’s. Then there are peer to peer file sharing networks or P2P networks. These are networks that consist of subscribers to services like Napster, Kazaa and Gnutella where users can share files like music, images and video. The threat with being associated with these networks is you are giving other anonomyous users access to your system and with little efforts they can access other files that consist of your financial information or office documents. This is a growing concern with business leaders that have users that use their corporate systems for these purposes.
Then there is the botnet. A Robot Network is where an agent (software program) is installed on your system and makes you part of a network. One of the most poplular and recent bots is the Conficker worm, said to have made its way onto over 7 million government, business and home systems. Most of these networks are run by cyber crime syndicates like the Russian Business Network, Shadow Crew and the Gray Pigeons.
Albert Gonzalez, one of the captains of Shadow Crew, was responsible for the largest security breachs including companies like 7-Eleven Inc., New England grocery store chain Hannaford, and payment card processor Heartland Payment Systems.
Have your systems checked and checked often to make sure you aren’t sharing information you would have rather not have. The other threat is these other networks use your system resources to spread spam and host images just to name a few.
Here is an interesting story about a company that was breached as a result of a user having a P2P application installed on one of its systems. Below is a video that YOU MUST WATCH that illustrates how your children can expose all kinds of information that is stored on your system.
- The Most Dangerous Site Online? (spectrum.ieee.org)
- New York City’s new “offline P2P file-sharing” network [TNW Shareables] (thenextweb.com)
- LimeWire Ordered To Shut Down (crunchgear.com)
- Three Limewire alternatives for easy peer-to-peer downloading (downloadsquad.com)