Premier IT Outsourcing and Support Services within the UK

User Tools

Site Tools


Network Working Group E. Guttman Request for Comments: 2504 Sun Microsystems FYI: 34 L. Leong Category: Informational COLT Internet

                                                            G. Malkin
                                                         Bay Networks
                                                        February 1999
                      Users' Security Handbook

Status of this Memo

 This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
 not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
 memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

 Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.


 The Users' Security Handbook is the companion to the Site Security
 Handbook (SSH).  It is intended to provide users with the information
 they need to help keep their networks and systems secure.

Table of Contents

 Part One: Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
 1.   READ.ME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
 2.   The Wires have Ears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
 Part Two: End-users in a centrally-administered network  . . .  4
 3.   Watch Out! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . .  4
 3.1.   The Dangers of Downloading  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
 3.2.   Don't Get Caught in the Web . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
 3.3.   Email Pitfalls  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
 3.4.   Passwords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
 3.5.   Viruses and Other Illnesses . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
 3.6.   Modems  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
 3.7.   Don't Leave Me... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
 3.8.   File Protections  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
 3.9.   Encrypt Everything  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
 3.10.  Shred Everything Else . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
 3.11.  What Program is This, Anyway? . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
 4.   Paranoia is Good  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
 Part Three: End-users self administering a networked computer  14
 5.   Make Your Own Security Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 1] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 6.   Bad Things Happen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
 6.1.   How to Prepare for the Worst in Advance . . . . . . . . 15
 6.2.   What To Do if You Suspect Trouble . . . . . . . . . . . 16
 6.3.   Email . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
 7.   Home Alone  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
 7.1.   Beware of Daemons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
 7.2.   Going Places  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
 7.3.   Secure It!  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
 8.   A Final Note  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
 Appendix: Glossary of Security Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
 Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
 Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
 Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
 Full Copyright Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Part One: Introduction

 This document provides guidance to the end-users of computer systems
 and networks about what they can do to keep their data and
 communication private, and their systems and networks secure. Part
 Two of this document concerns "corporate users" in small, medium and
 large corporate and campus sites.  Part Three of the document
 addresses users who administer their own computers, such as home
 System and network administrators may wish to use this document as
 the foundation of a site-specific users' security guide; however,
 they should consult the Site Security Handbook first [RFC2196].
 A glossary of terms is included in an appendix at the end of this
 document, introducing computer network security notions to those not
 familiar with them.


 Before getting connected to the Internet or any other public network,
 you should obtain the security policy of the site that you intend to
 use as your access provider, and read it.  A security policy is a
 formal statement of the rules by which users who are given access to
 a site's technology and information assets must abide.  As a user,
 you are obliged to follow the policy created by the decision makers
 and administrators at your site.
 A security policy exists to protect a site's hardware, software and
 data.  It explains what the security goals of the site are, what
 users can and cannot do, what to do and who to contact when problems
 arise, and generally informs users what the "rules of the game" are.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 2] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

2. The Wires have Ears

 It is a lot easier to eavesdrop on communications over data networks
 than to tap a telephone conversation.  Any link between computers may
 potentially be insecure, as can any of the computers through which
 data flows.  All information passing over networks may be
 eavesdropped on, even if you think "No one will care about this..."
 Information passing over a network may be read not only by the
 intended audience but can be read by others as well.  This can happen
 to personal Email and sensitive information that is accessed via file
 transfer or the Web.  Please refer to the "Don't Get Caught in the
 Web" and "Email Pitfalls" sections for specific information on
 protecting your privacy.
 As a user, your utmost concerns should, firstly, be to protect
 yourself against misuse of your computer account(s) and secondly, to
 protect your privacy.
 Unless precautions are taken, every time you log in over a network,
 to any network service, your password or confidential information may
 be stolen.  It may then be used to gain illicit access to systems you
 have access to.  In some cases, the consequences are obvious:  If
 someone gains access to your bank account, you might find yourself
 losing some cash, quickly.  What is not so obvious is that services
 which are not financial in nature may also be abused in rather costly
 ways.  You may be held responsible if your account is misused by
 someone else!
 Many network services involve remote log in.  A user is prompted for
 his or her account ID (ie. user name) and password.  If this
 information is sent through the network without encryption, the
 message can be intercepted and read by others.  This is not really an
 issue when you are logging in to a "dial-in" service where you make a
 connection via telephone and log in, say to an online service
 provider, as telephone lines are more difficult to eavesdrop on than
 Internet communications.
 The risk is there when you are using programs to log in over a
 network.  Many popular programs used to log in to services or to
 transfer files (such as telnet and ftp, respectively) send your user
 name and password and then your data over the network without
 encrypting them.
 The precaution commonly taken against password eavesdropping by
 larger institutions, such as corporations, is to use one-time
 password systems.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 3] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 Until recently, it has been far too complicated and expensive for
 home systems and small businesses to employ secure log in systems.
 However, an increasing number of products enable this to be done
 without fancy hardware, using cryptographic techniques.  An example
 of such a technique is Secure Shell [SSH], which is both freely and
 commercially available for a variety of platforms.  Many products
 (including SSH-based ones) also allow data to be encrypted before it
 is passed over the network.

Part Two: End-users in a centrally-administered network

 The following rules of thumb provide a summary of the most important
 pieces of advice discussed in Part Two of this document:
  1. Know who your security point-of-contact is.
  2. Keep passwords secret at all times.
  3. Use a password-locked screensaver or log out when you leave your


  1. Don't let simply anyone have physical access to your computer or

your network.

  1. Be aware what software you run and very wary of software of

unknown origin. Think hard before you execute downloaded

  - Do not panic.  Consult your security point-of-contact, if
    possible, before spreading alarm.
  - Report security problems as soon as possible to your security

3. Watch Out!

3.1. The Dangers of Downloading

 An ever expanding wealth of free software has become available on the
 Internet.  While this exciting development is one of the most
 attractive aspects of using public networks, you should also exercise
 caution.  Some files may be dangerous.  Downloading poses the single
 greatest risk.
 Be careful to store all downloaded files so that you will remember
 their (possibly dubious) origin.  Do not, for example, mistake a
 downloaded program for another program just because they have the
 same name.  This is a common tactic to fool users into activating
 programs they believe to be familiar but could, in fact, be

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 4] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 Programs can use the network without making you aware of it.  One
 thing to keep in mind is that if a computer is connected, any program
 has the capability of using the network, with or without informing
 you.  Say, for example:
   You download a game program from an anonymous FTP server. This
   appears to be a shoot-em-up game, but unbeknownst to you, it
   transfers all your files, one by one, over the Internet to a
   cracker's machine!
 Many corporate environments explicitly prohibit the downloading and
 running of software from the Internet.

3.2. Don't Get Caught in the Web

 The greatest risk when web browsing is downloading files.  Web
 browsers allow any file to be retrieved from the Internet.  See "The
 Dangers of Downloading".
 Web browsers are downloading files even when it is not entirely
 obvious.  Thus, the risk posed by downloading files may be present
 even if you do not actively go out and retrieve files overtly.  Any
 file which you have loaded over the network should be considered
 possibly dangerous (even files in the web browser's cache).  Do not
 execute them by accident, as they may be malicious programs.
 (Remember, programs are files, too.  You may believe you have
 downloaded a text file, when in fact it is a Trojan Horse program,
 script, etc.)
 Web browsers may download and execute programs on your behalf, either
 automatically or after manual intervention.  You may disable these
 features.  If you leave them enabled, be sure that you understand the
 consequences.  You should read the security guide which accompanies
 your web browser as well as the security policy of your company.  You
 should be aware that downloaded programs may be risky to execute on
 your machine.  See "What program is this, anyway?".
 Web pages often include forms.  Be aware that, as with Email, data
 sent from a web browser to a web server is not secure.  Several
 mechanisms have been created to prevent this, most notably Secure
 Sockets Layer [SSL].  This facility has been built into many web
 browsers.  It encrypts data sent between the user's web browser and
 the web server so no one along the way can read it.
 It is possible that a web page will appear to be genuine, but is, in
 fact, a forgery.  It is easy to copy the appearance of a genuine web
 page and possible to subvert the network protocols which contact the
 desired web server, to misdirect a web browser to an imposter.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 5] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 That threat may be guarded against using SSL to verify if a web page
 is genuine.  When a 'secure' page has been downloaded, the web
 browser's 'lock' or 'key' will indicate so.  It is good to
 double-check this: View the 'certificate' associated with the web
 page you have accessed.  Each web browser has a different way to do
 this.  The certificate will list the certificate's owner and who
 issued it.  If these look trustworthy, you are probably OK.

3.3 Email Pitfalls

 All the normal concerns apply to messages received via Email that you
 could receive any other way.  For example, the sender may not be who
 he or she claims to be.  If Email security software is not used, it
 is very difficult to determine for sure who sent a message.  This
 means that Email itself is a not a suitable way to conduct many types
 of business.  It is very easy to forge an Email message to make it
 appear to have come from anyone.
 Another security issue you should consider when using Email is
 privacy.  Email passes through the Internet from computer to
 computer.  As the message moves between computers, and indeed as it
 sits in a user's mailbox waiting to be read, it is potentially
 visible to others. For this reason, it is wise to think twice before
 sending confidential or extremely personal information via Email.
 You should never send credit card numbers and other sensitive data
 via unprotected Email.  Please refer to "The Wires Have Ears".
 To cope with this problem, there are privacy programs available, some
 of which are integrated into Email packages.
 One service many Email users like to use is Email forwarding.  This
 should be used very cautiously.  Imagine the following scenario:
    A user has an account with a private Internet Service Provider and
    wishes to receive all her Email there.  She sets it up so that her
    Email at work is forwarded to her private address.  All the Email
    she would receive at work then moves across the Internet until it
    reaches her private account.  All along the way, the Email is
    vulnerable to being read.  A sensitive Email message sent to her
    at work could be read by a network snoop at any of the many stops
    along the way the Email takes.
 Note that Email sent or received at work may not be private.  Check
 with your employer, as employers may (in some instances) legally both
 read your Email and make use of it.  The legal status of Email
 depends on the privacy of information laws in force in each country.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 6] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 Many mail programs allow files to be included in Email messages.  The
 files which come by Email are files like any other.  Any way in which
 a file can find its way onto a computer is possibly dangerous.  If
 the attached file is merely a text message, fine.  But it may be more
 than a text message.  If the attached file is itself a program or an
 executable script, extreme caution should be applied before running
 it.  See the section entitled "The Dangers of Downloading".

3.4 Passwords

 Passwords may be easily guessed by an intruder unless precautions are
 taken.  Your password should contain a mixture of numbers, upper and
 lower case letters, and punctuation.  Avoid all real words in any
 language, or combinations of words, license plate numbers, names and
 so on.  The best password is a made-up sequence (e.g., an acronym
 from a phrase you won't forget), such as "2B*Rnot2B" (but don't use
 this password!).
 Resist the temptation to write your password down.  If you do, keep
 it with you until you remember it, then shred it!  NEVER leave a
 password taped onto a terminal or written on a whiteboard.  You
 wouldn't write your PIN code on your automated teller machine (ATM)
 card, would you?  You should have different passwords for different
 accounts, but not so many passwords that you can't remember them.
 You should change your passwords periodically.
 You should also NEVER save passwords in scripts or login procedures
 as these could be used by anyone who has access to your machine.
 Be certain that you are really logging into your system.  Just
 because a login prompt appears and asks you for your password does
 not mean you should enter it.  Avoid unusual login prompts and
 immediately report them to your security point-of-contact.  If you
 notice anything strange upon logging in, change your password.
 Unless precautions have been taken to encrypt your password when it
 is sent over the network, you should, if possible, use "one-time
 passwords" whenever you log in to a system over a network.  (Some
 applications take care of that for you.)  See "The Wires Have Ears"
 for more information on the risks associated with logging in over a

3.5 Viruses and Other Illnesses

 Viruses are essentially unwanted pieces of software that find their
 way onto a computer.  What the virus may do once it has entered its
 host, depends on several factors:  What has the virus been programmed
 to do?  What part of the computer system has the virus attacked?

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 7] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 Some viruses are 'time bombs' which activate only when given a
 particular condition, such as reaching a certain date.  Others remain
 latent in the system until a particular afflicted program is
 activated.  There are still others which are continually active,
 exploiting every opportunity to do mischief.  A subtle virus may
 simply modify a system's configuration, then hide.
 Be cautious about what software you install on your system.  Use
 software from "trusted sources", if possible.  Check your site policy
 before installing any software:  Some sites only allow administrators
 to install software to avoid security and system maintenance
 Centrally-administered sites have their own policy and tools for
 dealing with the threat of viruses.  Consult your site policy or find
 out from your systems administrator what the correct procedures are
 to stay virus free.
 You should report it if a virus detection tool indicates that your
 system has a problem.  You should notify your site's systems
 administrators as well as the person you believe passed the virus to
 you.  It is important to remain calm.  Virus scares may cause more
 delay and confusion than an actual virus outbreak.  Before announcing
 the virus widely, make sure you verify its presence using a virus
 detection tool, if possible, with the assistance of
 technically-competent personnel.
 Trojan Horse programs and worms are often categorized with viruses.
 Trojan Horse programs are dealt with in the "What Program is This,
 Anyway?" section.  For the purposes of this section, worms should be
 considered a type of virus.

3.6 Modems

 You should be careful when attaching anything to your computer, and
 especially any equipment which allows data to flow.  You should get
 permission before you connect anything to your computer in a
 centrally-administered computing environment.
 Modems present a special security risk.  Many networks are protected
 by a set of precautions designed to prevent a frontal assault from
 public networks.  If your computer is attached to such a network, you
 must exercise care when also using a modem.  It is quite possible to
 use the modem to connect to a remote network while *still* being
 connected to the 'secure' net.  Your computer can now act as a hole
 in your network's defenses.  Unauthorized users may be able to get
 onto your organization's network through your computer!

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 8] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 Be sure you know what you are doing if you leave a modem on and set
 up your computer to allow remote computers to dial in.  Be sure you
 use all available security features correctly.  Many modems answer
 calls by default.  You should turn auto-answer off unless you are
 prepared to have your computer respond to callers.  Some 'remote
 access' software requires this.  Be sure to turn on all the security
 features of your 'remote access' software before allowing your
 computer to be accessed by phone.
 Note that having an unlisted number will not protect you from someone
 breaking into your computer via a phone line.  It is very easy to
 probe many phone lines to detect modems and then launch attacks.

3.7 Don't Leave Me…

 Do not leave a terminal or computer logged in and walk away.  Use
 password-locked screensavers whenever possible.  These can be set up
 so that they activate after the computer has been idle for a while.
 Sinister as it may seem, someone coming around to erase your work is
 not uncommon.  If you remained logged in, anyone can come by and
 perform mischief for which you may be held accountable.  For example,
 imagine the trouble you could be in for if nasty Email were sent to
 the president of your company in your name, or your account were used
 to transfer illegal pornography.
 Anyone who can gain physical access to your computer can almost
 certainly break into it.  Therefore, be cautious regarding who you
 allow access to your machine.  If physically securing your machine is
 not possible, it is wise to encrypt your data files kept on your
 local hard disk.  If possible, it is also wise to lock the door to
 one's office where the computer is stored.

3.8 File Protections

 Data files and directories on shared systems or networked file
 systems require care and maintenance.  There are two categories of
 such systems:
  1. Files to share
    Shared files may be visible to everyone or to a restricted group
    of other users.  Each system has a different way of specifying
    this.  Learn how to control sharing permissions of files and
    implement such control without fail.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 9] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

  1. Protected files
    These include files that only you should have access to, but
    which are also available to anyone with system administrator
    privileges.  An example of this are files associated with the
    delivery of Email.  You don't want other users to read your Email,
    so make sure such files have all the necessary file permissions
    set accordingly.

3.9 Encrypt Everything

    Additionally, there are files that are private.  You may have files
    which you do not wish anyone else to have access to.  In this case,
    it is prudent to encrypt the file.  This way, even if your network is
    broken into or the systems administrator turns into Mr. Hyde, your
    confidential information will not be available.  Encryption is also
    very important if you share a computer.  For example, a home computer
    may be shared by room mates who are friends but prefer to keep their
    Email and financial information private.  Encryption allows for
    shared yet private usage.
    Before you encrypt files, you should check your site's security
    policy.  Some employers and countries expressly forbid or restrict
    the storing and/or transferring of encrypted files.
    Be careful with the passwords or keys you use to encrypt files.
    Locking them away safely not only helps to keep them from prying eyes
    but it will help you keep them secure too; for if you lose them, you
    will lose your ability to decrypt your data as well!  It may be wise
    to save more than one copy.  This may even be required, if your
    company has a key escrow policy, for example.  This protects against
    the possibility that the only person knowing a pass phrase may leave
    the company or be struck by lightning.
    Whilst encryption programs are readily available, it should be noted
    that the quality can vary widely.  PGP (which stands for "Pretty Good
    Privacy") for example, offers a strong encryption capability.  Many
    common software applications include the capability to encrypt data.
    The encryption facilities in these are typically very weak.
    You should not be intimidated by encryption software.  Easy-to-use
    software is being made available.

3.10 Shred Everything Else

    You would be surprised what gets thrown away into the waste-paper
    basket:  notes from meetings, old schedules, internal phone lists,
    computer program listings, correspondence with customers and even

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 10] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

    market analyses.  All of these would be very valuable to competitors,
    recruiters and even an overzealous (hungry?) journalist looking for a
    scoop.  The threat of dumpster diving is real - take it seriously!
    Shred all potentially useful documents before discarding them.
    You should also be aware that deleting a file does not erase it in
    many cases.  The only way to be sure that an old hard disk does not
    contain valuable data may be to reformat it.

3.11 What Program is This, Anyway?

    Programs have become much more complex in recent years.  They are
    often extensible in ways which may be dangerous.  These extensions
    make applications more flexible, powerful and customizable.  They
    also open the end-user up to all sorts of risks.
  1. A program may have "plug-in" modules. You should not trust the

plug-ins simply because you are used to trusting the programs

    they plug into.  For example: Some web pages suggest that the
    user download a plug-in to view or use some portion of the web
    page's content.  Consider: What is this plug-in?  Who wrote it?
    Is it safe to include it in your web browser?
  1. Some files are "compound documents". This means that instead of

using one single program, it will be necessary to run several

    programs in order to view or edit a document.  Again, be careful
    of downloading application components.  Just because they
    integrate with products which are well-known does not mean that
    they can be trusted.  Say, you receive an Email message which can
    only be read if you download a special component.  This component
    could be a nasty program which wipes out your hard drive!
  1. Some programs are downloaded automatically when accessing web

pages. While there are some safeguards to make sure that these

    programs may be used safely, there have been security flaws
    discovered in the past.  For this reason, some centrally-
    administered sites require that certain web browser capabilities
    be turned off.

4. Paranoia is Good

 Many people do not realize it, but social engineering is a tool which
 many intruders use to gain access to computer systems.  The general
 impression that people have of computer break-ins is that they are
 the result of technical flaws in computer systems which the intruders
 have exploited.  People also tend to think that break-ins are purely
 technical.  However, the truth is that social engineering plays a big

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 11] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 part in helping an attacker slip through security barriers.  This
 often proves to be an easy stepping-stone onto the protected system
 if the attacker has no authorized access to the system at all.
 Social engineering may be defined, in this context, as the act of
 gaining the trust of legitimate computer users to the point where
 they reveal system secrets or help someone, unintentionally, to gain
 unauthorized access to their system(s).  Using social engineering, an
 attacker may gain valuable information and/or assistance that could
 help break through security barriers with ease.  Skillful social
 engineers can appear to be genuine but are really full of deceit.
 Most of the time, attackers using social enginering work via
 telephone.  This not only provides a shield for the attacker by
 protecting his or her identity, it also makes the job easier because
 the attacker can claim to be a particular someone with more chances
 of getting away with it.
 There are several types of social engineering.  Here are a few
 examples of the more commonly-used ones:
  1. An attacker may pretend to be a legitimate end-user who is new to

the system or is simply not very good with computers. This

    attacker may approach systems administrators and other end-users
    for help.  This "user" may have lost his password, or simply can't
    get logged into the system and needs to access the system
    urgently.  Attackers have also been known to identify themselves
    as some VIP in the company, screaming at administrators to get
    what they want.  In such cases, the administrator (or it could be
    an end-user) may feel threatened by the caller's authority and
    give in to the demands.
  1. Attackers who operate via telephone calls may never even have seen

the screen display on your system before. In such cases, the

    trick attackers use is to make details vague, and get the user to
    reveal more information on the system.  The attacker may sound
    really lost so as to make the user feel that he is helping a
    damsel in distress.  Often, this makes people go out their way to
    help.  The user may then reveal secrets when he is off-guard.
  1. An attacker may also take advantage of system problems that have

come to his attention. Offering help to a user is an effective

    way to gain the user's trust.  A user who is frustrated with
    problems he is facing will be more than happy when someone comes
    to offer some help.  The attacker may come disguised as the
    systems administrator or maintenance technician.  This attacker
    will often gain valuable information because the user thinks that
    it is alright to reveal secrets to technicians.  Site visits may

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 12] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

    pose a greater risk to the attacker as he may not be able to make
    an easy and quick get-away, but the risk may bring fruitful
    returns if the attacker is allowed direct access to the system by
    the naive user.
  1. Sometimes, attackers can gain access into a system without prior

knowledge of any system secret nor terminal access. In the same way

    that one should not carry someone else's bags through Customs, no user
    should key in commands on someone's behalf.  Beware of attackers who
    use users as their own remotely-controlled fingers to type commands on
    the user's keyboard that the user does not understand, commands which
    may harm the system.  These attackers will exploit system software
    bugs and loopholes even without direct access to the system.  The
    commands keyed in by the end-user may bring harm to the system, open
    his own account up for access to the attacker or create a hole to
    allow the attacker entry (at some later time) into the system.  If you
    are not sure of the commands you have been asked to key in, do not
    simply follow instructions.  You never know what and where these could
    lead to...
 To guard against becoming a victim of social engineering, one
 important thing to remember is that passwords are secret.  A password
 for your personal account should be known ONLY to you.  The systems
 administrators who need to do something to your account will not
 require your password.  As administrators, the privileges they have
 will allow them to carry out work on your account without the need
 for you to reveal your password.  An administrator should not have to
 ask you for your password.
 Users should guard the use of their accounts, and keep them for their
 own use.  Accounts should not be shared, not even temporarily with
 systems administrators or systems maintenance techinicians.  Most
 maintenance work will require special privileges which end-users are
 not given.  Systems administrators will have their own accounts to
 work with and will not need to access computer systems via an
 end-user's account.
 Systems maintenance technicians who come on site should be
 accompanied by the local site administrator (who should be known to
 you).  If the site administrator is not familiar to you, or if the
 technician comes alone, it is wise to give a call to your known site
 administrator to check if the technician should be there.  Yet, many
 people will not do this because it makes them look paranoid and it is
 embarrassing to show that they have no, or little trust in these

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 13] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 Unless you are very sure that the person you are speaking to is who he
 or she claims to be, no secret information should ever be revealed to
 such people.  Sometimes, attackers may even be good enough to make
 themselves sound like someone whose voice you know over the phone.  It
 is always good to double check the identity of the person.  If you are
 unable to do so, the wisest thing to do is not to reveal any secrets.
 If you are a systems administrator, there should be security
 procedures for assignment and reassignment of passwords to users, and
 you should follow such procedures.  If you are an end-user, there
 should not be any need for you to have to reveal system secrets to
 anyone else.  Some companies assign a common account to multiple
 users.  If you happen to be in such a group, make sure you know
 everyone in that group so you can tell if someone who claims to be in
 the group is genuine.

Part Three: End-users self administering a networked computer

 The home user or the user who administers his own network has many of
 the same concerns as a centrally-administered user.  The following is
 a summary of additional advice given in Part Three:
  1. Read manuals to learn how to turn on security features, then turn

them on.

  1. Consider how private your data and Email need to be. Have you

invested in privacy software and learned how to use it yet?

  1. Prepare for the worst in advance.
  2. Keep yourself informed about what the newest threats are.

5. Make Your Own Security Policy

 You should decide ahead of time what risks are acceptable and then
 stick to this decision.  It is also wise to review your decision at
 regular intervals and whenever the need to do so arises.  It may be
 wise to simply avoid downloading any software from the network which
 comes from an unknown source to a computer storing business records,
 other valuable data and data which is potentially damaging if the
 information was lost or stolen.
 If the system has a mixed purpose, say recreation, correspondence
 and some home accounting, perhaps you will hazard some downloading of
 software.  You unavoidably take some risk of acquiring stuff
 which is not exactly what it seems to be.
 It may be worthwhile installing privacy software on a computer if it
 is shared by multiple users.  That way, a friend of a room mate won't
 have access to your private data, and so on.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 14] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

6. Bad Things Happen

 If you notice that your files have been modified or ascertain somehow
 that your account has been used without your consent, you should
 inform your security point-of-contact immediately.  When you do
 not know who your security point-of-contact is, try calling
 your Internet service provider's help desk as a first step.

6.1 How to Prepare for the Worst in Advance

  1. Read all user documentation carefully. Make sure that it is clear

when services are being run on your computer. If network services

    are activated, make sure they are properly configured (set all
    permissions so as to prevent anonymous or guest logins, and so
    on).  Increasingly, many programs have networking capabilities
    built in to them.  Learn how to properly configure and safely use
    these features.
  1. Back up user data. This is always important. Backups are

normally thought of as a way of ensuring you will not lose your

    work if a hard disk fails or if you make a mistake and delete a
    file.  Backing up is also critical to insure that data cannot be
    lost due to a computer security incident.  One of the most vicious
    and unfortunately common threats posed by computer viruses and
    Trojan Horse programs is erasing a computer's hard disk.
  1. Obtain virus checking software or security auditing tools. Learn

how to use them and install them before connecting to a public

    network.  Many security tools require that they be run on a
    "clean" system, so that comparisons can be made between the
    present and pristine states.  Thus, it is necessary for some work
    to be done ahead of time.
  1. Upgrade networking software regularly. As new versions of

programs come out, it is prudent to upgrade. Security

    vulnerabilities will likely have been fixed.  The longer you wait
    to do this, the greater the risk that security vulnerabilities of
    the products will be become known and be exploited by some network
    assailant.  Keep up to date!
  1. Find out who to contact if you suspect trouble. Does your

Internet Service Provider have a security contact or Help Desk?

    Investigate this before trouble happens so you won't lose time
    trying to figure it out should trouble occur.  Keep the contact
    information both online and offline for easy retrieval.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 15] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 There are 3 ways to avoid problems with viruses:
    1. Don't be promiscuous
    If at all possible, be cautious about what software you install on
    your system. If you are unaware of or unsure of the origin of a
    program, it is wise not to run it.  Obtain software from trusted
    sources.  Do not execute programs or reboot using old diskettes
    unless you have reformatted them, especially if the old diskettes
    have been used to bring software home from a trade show and other
    potentially security-vulnerable places.
    Nearly all risk of getting infected by viruses can be eliminated
    if you are extremely cautious about what files are stored on your
    computer.  See "The Dangers of Downloading" for more details.
 2. Scan regularly.
    Give your system a regular check-up.  There are excellent
    virus checking and security audit tools for most computer
    platforms available today.  Use them, and if possible, set them to
    run automatically and regularly.  Also, install updates of these
    tools regularly and keep yourself informed of new virus threats.
 3. Notice the unusual.
    It's not true that a difference you cannot detect is no difference
    at all, but it is a good rule of thumb.  You should get used to
    the way your system works.  If there is an unexplainable change
    (for instance, files you believe should exist are gone, or strange
    new files are appearing and disk space is 'vanishing'), you should
    check for the presense of viruses.
 You should take some time to be familiar with computer virus
 detection tools available for your type of computer.  You should use
 an up-to-date tool (i.e. not older than three months).  It is very
 important to test your computer if you have been using shared
 software of dubious origin, someone else's used floppy disks to
 transfer files, and so on.

6.2 What To Do if You Suspect Trouble

 If you suspect that your home computer has a virus, that a malicious
 program has been run, or that a system has been broken into, the
 wisest course of action is to first disconnect the system from all
 networks.  If available, virus detection or system auditing software
 should be used.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 16] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 Checking vital system files for corruption, tampering or malicious
 replacement is very tedious work to do by hand.  Fortunately there are
 many virus detection programs available for PCs and Macintosh
 computers.  There are security auditing programs available for
 UNIX-based computers.  If software is downloaded from the network, it
 is wise to run virus detection or auditing tools regularly.
 If it becomes clear that a home system has been attacked, it is time
 to clean up.  Ideally, a system should be rebuilt from scratch.  This
 means erasing everything on the hard disk.  Next, install the
 operating system and then all additional software the system needs.
 It is best to install the operating system and additional software
 from the original distribution diskettes or CD-roms, rather than from
 backup storage.  The reason for this is that a system may have been
 broken into some time ago, so the backed up system or program files
 may already include some altered files or viruses.  Restoring a system
 from scratch is tedious but worthwhile.  Do not forget to re-install
 all security related fixes you had installed before the security
 incident.  Obtain these from a verified, unsuspicious source.

6.3 Email

 Remember to be careful with saved Email.  Copies of sent or received
 Email (or indeed any file at all) placed in storage provided by an
 Internet service provider may be vulnerable.  The risk is that
 someone might break into the account and read the old Email.  Keep
 your Email files, indeed any sensitive files, on your home machine.

7. Home Alone

 A home system can be broken into over the Internet if a home user is
 unwary.  The files on the home system can be stolen, altered or
 destroyed.  The system itself, if compromised, could be accessed
 again some time in the future.  This section describes issues and
 makes recommendations relevant to a home user of the Internet.

7.1 Beware of Daemons

 A home system which uses PPP to connect directly to the Internet is
 increasingly common.  These systems are at the greatest risk if they
 run certain kinds of programs called "services".  If you run a
 service, you are in effect making your computer available to others
 across the network.  Some services include:
  1. File servers (an NFS server, a PC with 'file sharing' turned on)
  2. An FTP server
  3. A Web server

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 17] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 There are, in general, two types of programs which operate on the
 Internet:  Clients (like web browsers and Email programs) and Servers
 (like web servers and mail servers).
 Most software which runs on home systems is of the client variety;
 but, increasingly, server software is available on traditionally
 client platforms (e.g., PCs).  Server software which runs in the
 background is referred to as a "daemon" (pronounced dee-mon).  Many
 Internet server software programs that run as daemons have names that
 end in `d', like "inetd" (Internet Daemon) and "talkd" (Talk Daemon).
 When set to run, these programs wait for clients to request some
 particular service from across the network.
 There are four very important things to keep in mind as far as the
 security implications of running services on a home computer are
  1. First and most important, if a server is not properly configured,

it is very vulnerable to being attacked over a network. It is

    vital, if you run services, to be familiar with the proper
    configuration.  This is often not easy, and may require training
    or technical expertise.
  1. All software has flaws, and flaws exploited deviously can be used

to breach computer security. If you run a server on your home

    machine, you have to stay aware.  This requires work:  You have to
    stay in touch with the supplier of the software to get security
    updates.  It is highly recommended that you keep up with security
    issues through on-line security forums. See [RFC2196] for a list
    of references.
    If security flaws in your server software are discovered, you will
    need to either stop using the software or apply "patches" or
    "fixes" which eliminate the vulnerability.  The supplier of the
    software, if it is a decent company or freeware author, will
    supply information and updates to correct security flaws.  These
    "patches" or "fixes" must be installed as soon as possible.
  1. As a rule of thumb, the older the software, the greater the chance

that it has known vulnerabilities. This is not to say you should

    simply trust brand new software either!  Often, it takes time to
    discover even obvious security flaws in servers.
  1. Some servers start up without any warning. There are some web

browsers and telnet clients which automatically start FTP servers

    if not explicitly configured to not do so.  If these servers are
    not themselves properly configured, the entire file system of the
    home computer can become available to anyone on the Internet.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 18] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 In general, any software MAY start up a network daemon.  The way to
 be safe here is to know the products you are using.  Read the manual,
 and if any questions arise, call the company or mail the author of
 free software to find out if you are actually running a service by
 using the product.
 A home user running a remote login service on his home machine faces
 very serious risks.  This service allows the home user to log in to
 his home machine from other computers on the Internet and can be
 quite convenient.  But the danger is that someone will secretly
 observe the logging in and then be able to masquerade as the user
 whenever they choose to do so in the future.  See "The Wires Have
 Ears" which suggests precautions to take for remote log in.
 If possible, activate all "logging" options in your server software
 which relate to security.  You need to review these logs regularly in
 order to gain any benefit from this logging.  You should also be
 aware that logs often grow very quickly in size, so you need to be
 careful they don't fill up your hard disk!

7.2 Going Places

 Remote logins allow a user privileged access onto physically remote
 systems from the comfort of his own home.
 More and more companies are offering their employees the ability to
 work from home with access to their computer accounts through dial-up
 connections.  As the convenience of Internet connectivity has led to
 lowered costs and wide-spread availability, companies may allow
 remote login to their systems via the Internet.  Customers of
 companies with Internet access may also be provided with remote login
 accounts.  These companies include Internet service providers, and
 even banks.  Users should be very careful when making remote logins.
 As discussed in "The Wires have Ears" section, Internet connections
 can be eavesdropped on.  If you intend to use a remote login service,
 check that the connection can be done securely, and make sure that
 you use the secure technologies/features.
 Connections may be secured using technologies like one-time
 passwords, secure shell (SSH) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).  One-
 time passwords make a stolen password useless to steal, while secure
 shell encrypts data sent over the connection.  Please refer to "Don't
 Get Caught in the Web" for a discussion on SSL.  Secure services such
 as these have to be made available on the systems to which you log in

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 19] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

7.3 Secure It!

 Administering your own home computer means you get to choose what
 software is run on it.  Encryption software provides protection for
 data.  If you keep business records and other sensitive data on your
 computer, encryption will help to keep it safe.  For example, if you
 ran a network service from your home computer and missed setting
 restrictions on a private directory, a remote user (authorized or
 not) may gain access to files in this private directory.  If the
 files are encrypted, the user will not be able to read them.  But as
 with all forms of encryption running on any system, the keys and
 passwords should first be kept safe!

8. A Final Note

 This document has provided the reader with an introduction and as
 much concise detail as possible.  Present security issues go out of
 date quickly, and although effort has been made to keep discussions
 general, examples given may not be relevant in the future as the
 Internet and computer industry continue to grow.
 Just as home-owners are now taking increased cautions at the expense
 of convenience, to secure their homes in the changing world we live
 in, computer network users should not ignore security.  It may be
 inconvenient, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 20] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

Appendix: Glossary of Security Terms

 Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
    A set of rules and guidelines that specify in more or less detail
    the expectations in regard to appropriate use of systems or
    See (Computer) Account
 Anonymous and Guest Log In
    Services may be made available without any kind of authentication.
    This is commonly done, for instance, with the FTP protocol to
    allow anonymous access.  Other systems provide a special account
    named "guest" to provide access, typically restricting the
    privileges of this account.
 Auditing Tool
    Tools to analyze computer systems or networks in regard to their
    security status or in relation to the set of services provided by
    them.  COPS (Computer Oracle Password and Security analyzer) and
    SATAN (Security Administrator's Tool for Analyzing Networks) are
    famous examples of such tools.
    Authentication refers to mechanisms which are used to verify the
    identity of a user.  The process of authentication typically
    requires a name and a password to be supplied by the user as proof
    of his identity.
 Centrally-Administered Network
    A network of systems which is the responsibility of a single group
    of administrators who are not distributed but work centrally to
    take care of the network.
    Certificates are data which is used to verify digital signatures.
    A certificate is only as trustworthy as the agency which issued
    it.  A certificate is used to verify a particular signed item,
    such as an Email message or a web page.  The digital signature,
    the item and the certificate are all processed by a mathematical

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 21] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

    program. It is possible to say, if the signature is valid, that
    "According to the agency which issued the certificate, the signer
    was (some name)".
 Clean System
    A computer which has been freshly installed with its operating
    system and software obtainied from trusted software distribution
    media.  As more software and configuration are added to a
    computer, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine if the
    computer is 'clean' or has been compromised by viruses, trojan
    horse or misconfiguration which reduces the security of the
    Depending on the point of view, a client might be a computer
    system which an end-user uses to access services hosted on another
    computer system called a server.  'Client' may also refer to a
    program or a part of a system that is used by an end-user to
    access services provided by another program (for example, a web
    browser is a client that accesses pages provided by a Web Server).
 Compound Documents
    A 'document' is a file containing (a set of) data.  Files may
    consist of multiple parts: a plain document, an encrypted
    document, a digitally-signed documents or a compressed document.
    Multi-part files are known as compound documents and may require a
    variety of programs to be used in order to interpret and
    manipulate it.  These programs may be used without the user's
 (Computer) Account
    This term describes the authorization to access a specific
    computer system or network.  Each end-user has to use an account,
    which consists most probably of a combination of user name and
    password or another means of proving that the end-user is the
    person the account is assigned to.
 Configuring Network Services
    The part of an administrator's task that is related to specifying
    the conditions and details of network services that govern the
    service provision.  In regard to a Web server, this includes which
    Web pages are available to whom and what kind of information is
    logged for later review purposes.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 22] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

    Cookies register information about a visit to a web site for
    future use by the server.  A server may receive information of
    cookies of other sites as well which create concern in terms of
    breach of privacy.
    This term is used to describe attackers, intruders or other bad
    guys that do not play by the rules and try to circumvent security
    mechanisms and/or attack individuals and organisations.
 Daemons (inetd, talkd, etc.)
    These are processes that run on computer systems to provide
    services to other computer systems or processes.  Typically,
    daemons are considered "servers".
    The process of reversing the encryption of a file or message to
    recover the original data in order to use or read it.
 Default Account
    Some systems and server software come with preconfigured accounts.
    These accounts may be set up with a predefined (user name and)
    password to allow anyone access and are often put there to make it
    convenient for users to login initially.  Default accounts should
    be turned off or have their predefined passwords changed, to
    reduce the risk of abuse to the system.
 Dial-in Service
    A way of providing access to computer systems or networks via a
    telecommunications network.  A computer uses a modem to make a
    telephone call to a another modem, which in turn provides 'network
    access service'.  See also: PPP.
 Digital Signature
    A digital signature is created by a mathematical computer program.
    It is not a hand-written signature nor a computer-produced picture
    of one.  The signature is like a wax seal that requires a special
    stamp to produce it, and is attached to an Email message or file.
    The origin of the message or file may then be verified by the
    digital signature (using special tools).

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 23] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 Downloaded Software
    Software packages retrieved from the Internet (using, for example,
    the FTP protocol).
    The act of retrieving files from a server on the network.
 Email Packages
    To communicate via electronic mail, an end-user usually makes use
    of an Email client that provides the user-interface to create,
    send, retrieve and read Email. Various different Email packages
    provide the same set of basic functions but have different user-
    interfaces and perhaps, special/extra functions.  Some Email
    packages provide encryption and digital signature capabilities.
 Email Security Software
    Software which provides security through digital signatures and
    encryption (and decryption) to enable the end-user to protect
    messages and documents prior to sending them over a possibly
    insecure network.  PGP is an example of such software.
 Encrypting / Encryption
    This is a mathematical process of scambling data for privacy
 Encryption Software
    The software that actually provides the needed functionality for
    end users to encrypt messages and files. PGP is one example.
    An (human) individual that makes use of computer systems and
 Files (programs, data, text and so on)
    Files include user data, but also programs, the computer operating
    system and the system's configuration data.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 24] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 File Server
    A computer system that provides a way of sharing and working on
    files stored on the system among users with access to these files
    over a network.
 File Transfer
    The process of transferring files between two computer systems
    over a network, using a protocol such as FTP or HTTP.
 Fixes, Patches and installing them
    Vendors, in response to the discovery of security vulnerabilities,
    provide sets of files that have to be installed on computer
    systems.  These files 'fix' or 'patch' the computer system or
    programs and remove the security vulnerability.
 FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
    A protocol that allows for the transfer of files between an FTP
    client and FTP server.
 Group of Users
    Security software often allow permissions to be set for groups (of
    users) as opposed to individuals.
 Help Desk
    A support entity that can be called upon to get help with a
    computer or communication problem.
    A collection of interconnected networks that use a common set of
    protocols called the TCP/IP stack to enable communication between
    the connected computer systems.
 Key Escrow
    Keys are used to encrypt and decrypt files.  key escrow is used to
    store keys for use by third parties to access the data in
    encrypted files.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 25] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 Keys Used to Encrypt and Decrypt Files
    To make use of encryption, an end-user has to provide some secret,
    in the form of some data, usually called a key.
 Log In, Logging into a System
    This is an action performed by an end-user, when he authenticates
    himself to a computer system.
 Log In Prompt
    The characters that are displayed when logging into a system to
    ask for user name and password.
 Logged In
    If an end-user has successfully proven to have legitimate access
    to a system, he is considered to be logged in.
    Systems and server software often provide the ability to keep
    track of events.  Events may be configured to be written out to a
    file known as a log.  The log file can be read later and allows
    for system failures and security breaches to be identified.
 Masquerade (see Remote Log In)
    Anyone who pretends to be someone they are not in order to obtain
    access to a computer account is said to be in 'masquerade'.  This
    may be accomplished by providing a false user name, or stealing
    someone else's password and logging in as him.
 Network File System (NFS, file sharing with PCs, etc.)
    NFS is an application and protocol suite that provides a way of
    sharing files between clients and servers. There are other
    protocols which provide file access over networks.  These provide
    similar functionality, but do not interoperate with each other.
 Networking Features of Software
    Some software has features which make use of the network to
    retrieve or share data.  It may not be obvious that software has
    networking features.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 26] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 Network Services
    Services which are not provided on the local computer system the
    end-user is working on but on a server located in the network.
 One-Time Passwords (OTP)
    Instead of using the same password over and over again, a
    different password is used on each subsequent log in.
    A passphrase is a long password.  It is often composed of several
    words and symbols to make it harder to guess.
 Password-Locked Screensaver
    A screen saver obscures the normal display of a monitor.  A
    password-locked screensaver can only be deactivated if the end-
    user's password is supplied.  This prevents a logged-in system
    from being abused and hides the work currently being done from
    See "Fixes, Patches and installing them"
    Another word for the access controls that are used to control the
    access to files and other resources.
 PGP (Pretty Good Privacy)
    PGP is an application package that provides tools to encrypt and
    digitally sign files on computer systems.  It is especially useful
    to encrypt and/or sign files and messages before sending them via
 Plug-in Modules
    Software components that integrate into other software (such as
    web browsers) to provide additional features.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 27] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 Point-of-Contact, Security
    In case of security breaches or problems, many organisations
    provide a designated point-of-contact which can alert others and
    take the appropriate actions.
 PPP (Point to Point Protocol)
    PPP is the mechanism which most end-users establish a network
    connection between their PC and their Internet service provider
    with.  Once connected, the PC is able to transmit and receive data
    to any other system on the network.
 Privacy Programs
    Another term for encryption software that highlights the use of
    this software to protect the confidentiality and therefore privacy
    of the end-users that make use of it.
 Remote Access Software
    This software allows a computer to use a modem to connect to
    another system.  It also allows a computer to 'listen' for calls
    on a modem (this computer provides 'remote access service'.)
    Remote access software may provide access to a single computer or
    to a network.
 Remote Log In
    If an end-user uses a network to log in to a system, this act is
    known as remote log in.
 Security Features
    These are features which provide protection or enable end-users
    and administrators to assess the security of a system, for
    example, by auditing it.
 Security Policy
    A security policy is written by organisations to address security
    issues, in the form of "do's" and "don'ts".  These guidelines and
    rules are for users with respect to physical security, data
    security, information security and content (eg. rules stating that
    sites with sexual content should not be visited, and that
    copyrights should be honoured when downloading software, etc).

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 28] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

    A server is a computer system, or a set of processes on a computer
    system providing services to clients across a network.
 Shared Account
    A common account is one which is shared by a group of users as
    opposed to a normal account which is available to only one user.
    If the account is misused, it is very difficult or impossible to
    know which of users was responsible.
 Sharing Permissions
    Many computer systems allow users to share files over a network.
    These systems invariably provide a mechanism for users to use to
    control who has permission to read or overwrite these files.
    Depending on the context in which this term is used, it might
    apply to computer systems that are grouped together by
    geographical location, organizational jurisdiction, or network
    addresses.  A Site typically refers to a network under a common
 SSH (Secure Shell)
    SSH provides a protocol between a client and server, allowing for
    encrypted remote connectivity.
 SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
    This protocol provides security services to otherwise insecure
    protocols which operate over a network.  SSL is typically used by
    web browsers to encrypt data sent to and downloaded from a server.
 Systems Administrator
    The individual who maintains the system and has system
    administrator privileges. In order to avoid errors and mistakes
    done by this individual while not acting as an administrator,
    he/she should limit the time he/she acts as an administrator (as
    known to the system) to a minimum.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 29] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

 System Administrator Privileges
    System administrators have more rights (greater permissions) as
    their work involve the maintenance of system files.
 System Files
    The set of files on a system that do not belong to end-users,
    which govern the functionality of the system.   System files have
    a great impact on the security of the system.
    A protocol that enables remote log in to other computer systems
    over the network.
    A dumb device that is connected to a computer system in order to
    provide (text-based) access to it for users and administrators.
 Terms of Service (TOS)
    See "Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)".
    The potential that an existing vulnerability can be exploited to
    compromise the security of systems or networks. Even if a
    vulnerability is not known, it represents a threat by this
 Trojan Horse
    A program which carries within itself a means to allow the creator
    of the program access to the system using it.
    A program which replicates itself on computer systems by
    incorporating itself (secretly and maliciously) into other
    programs.  A virus can be transferred onto a computer system in a
    variety of ways.
 Virus-Detection Tool
    Software that detects and possibly removes computer viruses,
    alerting the user appropriately.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 30] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

    A vulnerability is the existence of a weakness, design, or
    implementation error that can lead to an unexpected, undesirable
    event compromising the security of the system, network,
    application, or protocol involved.
 Web Browser Cache
    This is the part of the file system that is used to store web
    pages and related files.  It can be utilized to reload recently
    accessed files from the cache instead of loading it every time
    from the network.
 Web Browser Capabilities
    The set of functionalities on a web browser for use by the end-
    user.  This includes the set of plug-ins available.
 Web Server
    A server program that provides access to web pages.  Some web
    servers provide access to other services, such as databases, and
    A computer program which replicates itself and is self-
    propogating.  Worms, as opposed to viruses, are meant to spawn in
    network environments.


 The User Security Handbook was a collaborative effort of the Site
 Security Handbook Working Group of the IETF.  There were also others
 who made significant contributions --- Simson Garfinkle and Eric
 Luiijf provided very helpful feedback on this document.  The Glossary
 contribution by Klaus-Peter Kossakowski is much appreciated.


 [GLOSSARY] Malkin, G., Ed., "Internet User's Glossary", FYI 18, RFC
            1983 August 1996.
 [RFC2196]  Fraser, B., Ed., "Site Security Handbook", FYI 8, RFC 2196
            September 1997.

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 31] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

Security Considerations

 This document discusses what computer users can do to improve
 security on their systems.

Authors' Addresses

 Erik Guttman
 Sun Microsystems
 Bahnstr. 2
 74915 Waibstadt
 Phone: +49 7263 911701
 Lorna Leong
 COLT Internet
 250 City Road
 City Forum, London
 Phone: +44 171 390 3900
 Gary Malkin
 Bay Networks
 8 Federal Street
 Billerca, MA 01821
 Phone: +1 508 916 4237

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 32] RFC 2504 Users' Security Handbook February 1999

Full Copyright Statement

 Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.
 This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
 others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
 or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
 and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
 kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
 included on all such copies and derivative works.  However, this
 document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
 the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
 Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
 developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
 copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
 followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than
 The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
 revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.
 This document and the information contained herein is provided on an

Guttman, et. al. Informational [Page 33]

/data/webs/external/dokuwiki/data/pages/rfc/fyi/fyi34.txt · Last modified: 1999/02/01 20:00 (external edit)