Cyber Security Tip #5 – Bucknell “Border Patrol”

Yesterday’s tip eluded to the fact that Bucknell has a “border patrol” between the campus network and the rest of the world.  We commonly refer to this front-line protection as a “firewall” that shields our campus from the perils of the Internet.

Why do we need such protection?  We decided to check in with our “border patrol” and here’s what we found occurred over a 24-hour period last Sunday, October 21:

  • 118 attempted infections of personal computers.   Sources from China, Sweden, Russia, and the US.
  • 50 network and host scans, used by attackers to identify their targets.  From China, Germany, and Taiwan.
  • 30 brute-force attempts to log into our network.    Sources from the UK, Ireland, Korea, and the Philippines.
  • 13 attempts to break into our Linux cluster systems.   Attackers from China.
  • 12 attempts to break into our main campus web server.   Attackers from the USA and Brazil.
  • 1 attempt to break into our streaming media server.  Canada.

All of these systems were protected by our firewall.  However, out of curiosity we installed a fake server “outside” the firewall to see what would happen to it.  Essentially we were putting out a “honeypot” to see how many random “bees” we would attract.

In this same 24-hour period, we logged 4,114 attempts to break into this “server”, typically by guessing usernames and passwords.  All of these attempts originated in Costa Rica.

This is just one random day on the Internet that illustrates the importance of taking proper steps to secure your computer from these threats.  Please take cyber security seriously, and…

…be safe out there.  😉


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