Unix tools trace hackers

Tuesday, 1 October 2002, 11:43 AM EST

You have determined that your network has been breached. There are two standard approaches on what to do next:

- Close the holes as fast as possible and put in safeguards to protect against future attacks.
- Identify the perpetrator and prepare for prosecution.

Most organisations decide to close the holes as quickly as possible because the probability of actually catching an intruder is low. But if you can identify the hacker and opt to prosecute, you must gather as much information about the attack as possible. Data such as the hacker's location, the domain and IP address from which the hacking took place, the name of the hacker, and what specific damage the hacker inflicted are all necessary for prosecution. One method of gaining this information is by using tried-and-tested Unix networking tools usually employed in incident-response forensics.

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