Wednesday, July 29, 2009

2.4 The Human Factor

The human factor should always be a consideration when security is at issue.
We previously saw that the upswing P2P applications have experienced is also
due to ease of installation and use, the low cost (most of the time free) and its
great rewards. Even novice users have little difficulty using such applications
to download files that other users shared intentionally or accidentally shared on
the P2P network.
This is yet another security problem P2P applications are posing. Empowering
a user, especially a novice, to make choices regarding the accessibility of their
files is a significant risk. Because of it’s convenient and familiar look, applications
such as Kazaa can cause a user to unwittingly share the contents of his
documents or even worst, his whole hard disk.
Unfortunately, novice users do not understand the implications of their inaction
with regard to security. Simply closing the application for instance isn’t enough
as most of them continue running in the background. Remarkably, millions
of P2P peers are left running unattended and vulnerable for large periods of

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