Anyone with a computer has heard of viruses, had to deal with several, and has been struggling with spam, spyware, and disk crashes. This book is intended as a starting point for those familiar with basic concepts of computers and computations and who would like to extend their knowledge into the realm of computer and network security. Its comprehensive treatment of all the major areas of computer security aims to give readers a complete foundation in the field of Computer Security. Exercises are given throughout the book and are intended to strengthening the reader’s knowledge - answers are also provided. Written in a clear, easy to understand style, aimed towards advanced undergraduates and non-experts who want to know about the security problems confronting them everyday. The technical level of the book is low and requires no mathematics, and only a basic concept of computers and computations. Foundations of Computer Security will be an invaluable tool for students and professionals alike.
Gentle Reader. Your interest in this book is understandable. Computer security has become one of the most important areas in the entire discipline of computing. Computers today are used not only in the home and office, but in a multitude of crucial and sensitive applications. Computers control long distance telephone conversations, the flow of information on the Internet, the distribution of electrical power to cities, and they monitor the operations of nuclear power plants and the performance of space satellites, to name just a few important applications.
We have become used to these small, quiet machines that permeate our lives and we take them for granted, but from time to time, when they don’t perform their tasks, we immediately become aware that something has gone terribly wrong. Considering the complexity of today’s computers and their functions, and considering especially the physical hazards that abound in the world, it is a wonder that our computers function at all, yet we expect them to be reliable and we entrust them with more and more delicate, sensitive, and complex assignments.
It is easy to disrupt a computer. Just brush your elbow accidentally against your desk and you may spill your cup of coffee on your computer. A power loss lasting a fraction of a second may lead to a head crash of the hard disk, resulting in a complete loss of the disk and all its data. Carelessness on the part of operators or administrators in a large computations center can cause a costly loss of data or even physical damage to expensive equipment. Yet all these dangers (and there are many more like them) pale in comparison with the many types of intentional criminal damage that we have come to expect and that we collectively associate with the field of computer security.