ARTICLE: Operating System and Its Security

What is security? We all know it is the protection from any sort of threat. In case of the file system of an operating system, it is the protection of the resources of the computer system. The list of the computer system includes memory, disk, CPU, software programs. One of the most significant resource of any computer system is the data stored in it. In case your computer system is accessed by any of the unauthorized users, then we all know that we don’t have 100% security of our computer resources. The intruder can cause extreme damage to the stored data and computer. Yes, this is why we need to protect the computer system and the data stored in it to shield it from any malicious and unauthentic access. The most common threats to the computer are virus attack, system memory, program and system threats, and worms. There are several methods to save the data and the computer system. These are the authentication, one time passwords. We will discuss these on the blog.

Program Threats

The kernel and the processes of the operating system get the instructions and do the designated task as per them. The tasks which the user program assign them can be of any type. If those tasks are the malicious ones, then they are termed as Program Threats. The program which is installed on the computer has the most common example of the program threat as the transfer of stored data to some hacker. The user credentials such as passwords, ids and the other necessary information can also be sent via the network. The instances of the program threats are as follows-

  1. Trap Door- Every program which the computer system designs to work as per the requirements can have the leakage of the security in its code. Due to this, the user program can perform unauthorized and illegal activities without any user’s knowledge. This process is termed as the trap door.
  2. Trojan Horse- These are the program codes which trap the login credentials of the user and further keep in its storage to send it to the malicious user. Then after the security breach, the unauthorized user can access it for the login purpose for the accessing of the resources of the computer system.
  3. Logic Bomb- It is the hardest program threat to be detected by the operating system. It is because of its nature. The logic bomb is one situation which arises when the program does not behave as per the particular conditions. If all the cases are met, then there is no change in the working of the program.
  4. Virus- The program files which can replicate themselves on the computer system are called viruses. These are the most dangerous form of threat to the computer system. It is because they can delete, modify, and crash the files of the system. It can attack any program and can be generated in any of them. It is a small code in the files of the program. Every time you access the infected data, the virus gets triggered and starts embedding in the other applications. Its result is that these codes make the system unusable by the user. You lose the access to your file due to the virus attack.

System Threats

The system threats put the user in trouble by misusing the network connections and the system services. These are the generator of the program attack as they launch the risks to the program and that too on the complete network. Creation of such an environment in which the system misuses the user files and the computer resources is also one of the functions of the system threat. There are several examples of the system threats. These are as follows-

  • Port Scanning-

The means and the mechanism with which there is the detection of the vulnerabilities of the system for making it attack the system by the hacker are called as port scanning.

  • Worm-

The system threat which is responsible for choking down the performance of the system by means of the resources of the system at the extreme levels is called worms. Every copy out of the multiple copies of the worms generated by its trigger uses resources of the system. Also, it prevents the other resources to access the program. The system threat which is responsible for the shutting down of the entire network is the worms only.

  • Denial of Service-

Prevention of the legitimate use of the computer system comes under the term of denial of service. For instance, if the refusal of service system threat has attacked your content settings of the browser of your system, then you won’t be able to use the internet on your system.

Authentication

The identification of every user and the association with executing the programs is authentication. Creating the protection system for the computer system is the work of the operating system. Also, it ensures the authentic use of the computer system by every user. There are various factors on which the operating system authenticates and identifies the user. These are as follows-

  • Username and the password-

You have to put the details with the operating system like the user id as well as the password to access and login into the system.

  • User attribute-

The list of the user attribute which makes the authentication of the process easy has eye retina, fingerprint and signature as its elements. The operating system uses the designated device to input the attribute and the user have to login into the system using it.

  • User card and key-

Under this way, you have to use the card slot to punch the card in it. You can also use it to enter the key which you would generate the provided option. Through this way, you would be able to login into the system.

One Time Passwords

If you want additional security in your computer system, then you must go for one-time passwords. These provide high-order security with the normal condition of authentication. Under this, you would need a unique set of number which forms a password when combined. You need this new every time you have to log in the system. The best thing about the usage of the one-time passwords is that the user cannot use it more than once. Once used and you are done with it. It is wasted to be used the next time. There are numerous ways in which you can implement the technique of utilizing the one-time password. These are by using the secret key, random numbers, and network password. Let us discuss them in brief.

  • Secret Key-

Under the use of the secret key, the user gets a hardware device through which he creates a secret id which would be mapped to the user id. The identifier would be generated every time you ask for the access to the computer system, and the system needs it for the access.

  • Random Numbers-

Every user who uses the random numbers gets cards which have numbers printed on them in addition to the corresponding alphabets. The main thing in the random numbers is the availability of the relevant numbers and the randomly chosen alphabets. The system uses this arbitrary code and gives them access to the user after its correct entry into the system.

  • Network Password-

The user needs to enter the one-time passwords which are being sent to the registered email and mobile number in the network password before logging in.