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Buffer Overflow and Server Security Assignment Answers Needed

Your Question:

Write a summary to briefly explain to senior managers, who know very little on computer security but have a general understanding of IT, on what a buffer overflow problem is and what the consequences of a buffer overflow problem could cause. What programming techniques should the software development team adopt to avoid buffer overflow problems in the software it develops? Refer to the excerpt from a Nessus report on the following page and answer the questions below: a. Assuming that the application is developed by the software development team of this organization, what is your recommendation to fix the problem? b. Accepting the recommendations given by the report, what action you should take? Assuming this computer is one of the many desktop computers, and an automatic system for software updating is in operation. Write down the operational steps, by following the principle of “one, some, and many”. c. Assuming this computer is a server computer, please write a brief report to the senior managers, who know very little on computer security but have a general understanding of IT, explaining why the software Firefox (a web browser) should not be installed on the computer. In your report, you should use trusted information sources to explain to your senior managers on the best practices of operating system security administration.

Step By Step Answers with Explanation

Buffer Overflow Problem Explained for Senior Managers:

1. Crashes: When a buffer overflows, it can cause the program to crash. This disrupts normal operations and can be frustrating for users.

2. Data Corruption: Overflowing buffers can overwrite important data in memory, leading to data corruption. This could result in incorrect or unpredictable program behavior.

1. Bounds Checking: Ensure that the program checks the size of data being written to buffers and that it doesn't exceed the allocated space.

2. Use of Safe Libraries: Utilize libraries and functions that are designed to handle input data safely, preventing buffer overflows.

Recommendations for Fixing the Problem:

a. If the application is developed by the organization's software development team, the recommendation to fix the problem is to conduct a thorough code review and testing. Identify the specific buffer overflow vulnerabilities in the code and apply the necessary patches or code modifications to address these issues. Additionally, consider implementing the programming techniques mentioned above to prevent future buffer overflows.

- Monitoring the system for signs of intrusion or unusual activity.

Operational Steps for Desktop Computers with Automatic Updates:

Report on Firefox Installation for Server Computers:

c. If the computer is a server, it's important to explain to senior managers why installing Firefox (a web browser) on the server is not a best practice for operating system security administration. Here's a brief report:

1. Reduced Attack Surface: Server computers should have a minimal and well-defined set of software and services running to reduce the attack surface. Installing a web browser introduces additional components that may not be necessary for server functionality.

2. Browser Vulnerabilities: Web browsers are complex pieces of software with a history of security vulnerabilities. Installing a browser on a server exposes it to potential browser-related security flaws that could be exploited by attackers.

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding server security, please don't hesitate to reach out.


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