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Computer Security Presentation
Powerpoint slides from a four-hour talk on computer security issues and techniques.
Computer Security References
Word document listing recommended computer security tools and corresponding websites.
Guide to Spyware
Brief tutorial on spyware and malware.’s HackerProof PC Security Guide
Just what you need to keep your computer secure.
Digital Security Presentation by Deborah Robinson, GPC CISO
From the 2011 Dunwoody Campus Symposium
Digital Privacy and the Social Media Agenda by Brandon King
From the 2011 Dunwoody Campus Symposium
Viruses on How Stuff Works
General, simple description
Triple DES Encryption
Description of one of the strongest encryption methods in use
Encryption discussion
General description of encryption and how it functions
Cryptography Basics
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RSA public key encryption algorithm

Stuxnet: Anatomy of a Computer Virus from Patrick Clair on Vimeo.

Key Terms

  • AES (Advanced Encryption Standard): Uses successive rounds of computations that mix up the data and the key.
  • Asymmetric encryption algorithm (public key encryption algorithm): The key for encryption and the key for decryption are quite different, although related.
  • Authentication: Verifies who has the right to gain access to the computer, whether it is your local machine or the Web server.
  • Authorization: Governs what an authenticated user is allowed to do.
  • Block cipher: A group or block of plaintext letters gets encoded into a block of ciphertext, but not by substituting one character at a time for each letter. Each plaintext character in the block contributes to more than one ciphertext character, and each ciphertext character is the result of more than one plaintext letter.
  • Biometric information: Fingerprint scanning.
  • Caesar cipher (shift cipher): Involves shifting each character in the message to another character some fixed distance farther along in the alphabet.
  • Cryptography: The science of “secret writing.”
  • Decryption: Must “undo” the encryption and reproduce the original text.
  • Denial of Service: The attack automatically directs browsers on many machines to a single URL at roughly the same time, causing so much network traffic to that site that it is effectively shut down to legitimate users.
  • DES (Data Encryption Standard): An encryption algorithm developed by IBM in the 1970s for the U.S. National Bureau of Standards (now called the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST) and certified as an international standard by the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO.
  • Encryp­tion: Encodes the data to be trans­mit­ted into a scram­bled form, using a scheme agreed on between the sender and the receiver.
  • Handshake: The exchange of setup information between the client and server, preparatory to exchanging real data.
  • Hash function: Takes the password the user originally chooses, chops it up, and stirs it around according to a given formula.
  • Information security: Means keeping information secure—that is, protected from those who should not have access to it.
  • Malware: Malicious software.
  • Password-cracking software: Will first try all words in its built-in dictionary, encrypting each with the well-known hash function and comparing the result with the password file.
  • Prime number: An integer greater than 1 that can only be written as the product of itself and 1.
  • Social engineering: The process of using people to get the information you want.
  • Spoof­ing: The prac­tice of imper­son­at­ing a legit­i­mate site for the pur­poses of steal­ing money or steal­ing iden­tity by col­lect­ing con­fi­den­tial infor­ma­tion such as credit card num­bers, names, and addresses.
  • Substitution cipher: A single letter of plaintext generates a single letter of ciphertext.
  • Symmetric encryption algorithm: Requires the use of a secret key known to both the sender and receiver.
  • TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol: Is nonproprietary and is a standard supported by the Internet Engineering Task Force.
  • Triple DES: Improves the security of DES; it requires two 56-bit keys (which can be thought of as a 112-bit key length) and runs the DES algorithm three times.
  • Trojan Horse: A computer program that does some harmless little job, but also, unbeknownst to the user, contains code to perform the same kinds of malicious attacks as viruses and worms—corrupt or delete files, slow down the computer, and the like.
  • Virus: Computer program that, like a biological virus, infects a host computer and then spreads.
  • Worm: Very similar to a virus, but it can send copies of itself to other nodes on a computer network without having to be carried by an infected host file.