A crash course in how the internet works

Way back in 1995, I was a freshman at university. I had this new thing called “The Internet” at my fingertips.

It was cool, but I wanted to know how it worked. I asked someone, and they wouldn’t answer the question – mostly because they couldn’t answer!

Today, everyone knows and uses the internet, but people keep asking me questions about the basic concepts that make it go.

So, I figured it was about time to give a basic intro to how the internet actually works, including a simplified discussion of networks, IP addresses, ports, protocols, DNS, bandwidth, latency, and more!

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Dude, Your Web Site’s Been Hacked!

©1995 United Artists Pictures

This article originally appeared in Issue #13 of The Dot Connector Magazine.

Whether it’s the “Iranian Cyber Army”, those darn “Chinese Hackers”, or just your average script kiddie, everyone is aware that there bad people out there who want to mess with your glorious internet surfing experience.

You probably have heard of things like DoS (Denial of Service) attacks, and you’ve most certainly heard about viruses, trojans, and worms. But there is one thing I’m betting you haven’t heard much about: DNS cache poisoning.

You’ll see why this is a very important type of attack to be aware of a bit later. First, I should probably cover a few basics in case you aren’t a techie nerd. Just for the record, nerds don’t wear coke bottle glasses anymore; they wear contacts. Junk food is out, and healthy eating is in. Flannel shirts? Yes. Pocket protectors? No. And contrary to popular belief, we are generally good-looking. It’s all part of Nerd 2.0.

But, I digress.

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