Broadband: Are You Exposed?


  1. Bandwidth Bandwagon, from The (Industry) Standard,1151,15018,00.html

  2. An IP number, also called IP address, is a 32-bit number that identifies the sender and receiver of information on the Internet. Your IP number corresponds to your domain name, if you have one. IP, or Internet Protocol, is part of TCP/IP, the communication language of the Internet. More information on IP addresses is found at and also in Appendix I.

  3. The early concept for the Internet was laid open for discussion and improvement. The first idea of a computer network was combined with other independent works in designing packet switching, network structure, topology and economics. The architecture used in the continuing development was left open, as described in "A Brief History of the Internet" (see below): "the choice of any individual network technology was not dictated by a particular network architecture but rather could be selected freely by a provider and made to interwork with the other networks...".

    By the end of 1969, four geographically distant computers were successfully connected, forming the early Internet. A key underlying technical understanding of this and future development of the Internet was that of open architecture networking. To learn more about the origins of the Internet, see "A Brief History of the Internet," by Barry M. Leiner, Vinton G. Cerf, David D. Clark, Robert E. Kahn, Leonard Kleinrock, Daniel C. Lynch, Jon Postel, Larry G. Roberts, and Stephen Wolff

  4. A few operating systems such as Linux and FreeBSD have an "open architecture." They are often referred to as "open source." With these systems, you can tell what's going on inside your machine. But these operating systems are complicated--beyond the understanding of most computer users. For more on Open Source software, see NetAction's archives:

  5. See the Department of Justice's Court's Findings of Fact from the U.S. vs. Microsoft anti-trust case, section on market share:

  6. from "For Starters: #8. How to Feel Secure"

  7. Many of our cable companies are using outdated equipment. Before cable companies can expand their services to include Internet access, they need to upgrade their infrastructure. This includes upgrading their broadcast systems and building networking infrastructures within each community. Your cable company may or may not be ready to offer these services in your neighborhood. Check with them to find out.

  8. CableLabs says, "...segmenting an existing system into individual serving areas comprised of 500-2,000 customers."

  9. Definition of DSL at

  10. Note that not all kinds of DSL use a single telephone line. Depending on the age of your home's phone wires and other factors, you may require an additional phone line to your house. More information about DSL technologies is found at and the DSL Glossary:

  11. Quote taken from

    Of note, several professional and governmental organizations have expressed serious concerns about this bill. Read their letters and commentary at:

  12. Quote taken from

  13. Inherent vulnerabilities are widely known in the Microsoft user world:

    Commentary from Microsoft users on a public bulletin board, May 18, 1996

    "How Safe Is Microsoft's ActiveX?" from European Telework Online, 11th February 1997

    NT Security Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (last updated 1997)

    "Microsoft Needs a Different Approach to Security Risks" from Windows 2000 Magazine, InstantDoc ID 266, page 144, 10/97,

    Following up the news at that time about how easy it is to use ActiveX as a security vulnerability, "Microsoft announces debuts security program to address ActiveX issues" in ZDnet's news

    It's worth noting that ActiveX, which is at the heart of scripting in MSIE, remains one of Microsoft's, and therefore our, major vulnerabilities. Section 174 in the Department of Justice's Court's Findings of Fact concludes that "Microsoft has unjustifiably jeopardized the stability and security of the operating system."

    More amusing and informative exploits are found at DigiCrime's exploits page This one also includes a few vulnerabilities in other applications. You may also wish to read their disclaimer for proper perspective on their work and this site:

  14. CERT advisory on Trojan horses

  15. From Bruce Schneier's Crypto-Gram newsletter, May 15, 2000.


Appendix I:
Frequently Asked Questions, and Resources

Appendix II:
A Note from Eugene Spafford on Microsoft Security

Appendix III:
Some Questions to Ask Your (Potential) Broadband Provider