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  1. Using the Internet, research attacks on VPNs. What type of attacks are most common? How can they be guarded against?

As we know that the nature of VPN or Virtual Private Network is to enable the users to pass data through shared networks like internet (Whitman & Michael, 2012). Therefore, there is a high exposure to external attacks which are guarded through different techniques. Following are the main types of attacks that can occur in the case of a VPN and I have provided discussion on how to prevent from these attacks.

Session Hijacks:

Hackers responsible for these kinds of attacks are keeping under observation the client authentication process with the server. These hijackers steal the IP addresses and the sequence numbers etc. and then when the connection between the client and server is established, these hackers start their attack. It then depends on the security of the server. If the server considers the connection request from the attackers as legitimate, the session will then be hacked (“VPN Security Flaws and its Prevention”).

The best solution to resolve the session hijacks issues is to use HTTPS secure servers In‑text: (“What is the best way to prevent session hijacking? – Stack Overflow”). These serves are well equipped to tackle the session hijackers and stop them from interrupting networking sessions.

Man in the Middle

In this kind of attack, the hackers establishes a connection with the client’s computer instead of the server. The hackers intercept communication between the client and the server. Clients can avoid these kinds of attacks by avoiding to connect to open Wifi and in case they do, they should use the available browser plugins like HTTPS Everywhere etc. In‑text: (“How to defend yourself against MITM or Man-in-the-middle attack,”).

Spoofing              

This is one of the hardest attack to prevent. In these kinds of attacks, the attackers use techniques with which they can get their identity information authorized with the help of spoofing through emails or IPs. Identification authentication that is based on keys that are shared between the client and server are the best way to stop these kinds of attacks (“Top five ways to prevent IP spoofing | Computerworld,”).

Viruses

These attacks may happen at any computer. These viruses are designed to steal the identity information of the client’s computer and provide it to the attackers who then simply use this identification information to steal VPN sessions. The best way to prevent these attacks is to use the best available security and antivirus software and keep them up to date.

  1. Research VPN appliances. What is the cost range for such devices? What features do the most expensive ones provide over the less expensive ones?

What is a VPN appliance?

A VPN appliance is a router that is used to provide authentication, authorization, firewall protection and encryption (“What is a VPN appliance? – Definition from Techopedia,”). VPN appliances are used to provide secure communication to the clients while being on a public communication network like an internet. SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is an example of such an appliance.

Cost range of VPN appliances

I have used the information on the Top10BestVPN.com website to compare prices for different VPN appliances. Following is a price and service comparison of the top three VPN appliances.

ExpressVPN for $8.32/month.

SaferVPN for 4.5/month.

vyprVPN for 8.33/month.

The main differences that I can notice between these three VPN appliances is the fact that the range of IP addresses and servers offered by them vary. ExpressVPN offers 15000+ IPs while vyprnVPN has 200,000+  IPs. vyprnVPN has 700 servers while ExpressVPN has 700. TotalVPN has the least number of IPs and servers i.e. 165 and 33 and therefore is the cheapest.

References

How to defend yourself against MITM or Man-in-the-middle attack. (n.d.). Retrieved from            
The top five ways to prevent IP spoofing | Computerworld. (n.d.). Retrieved from               prevent-ip-spoofing.html

VPN Security Flaws and its Prevention – ClickSSL. (n.d.). Retrieved from             https://www.clickssl.net/blog/vpn-security-flaws-and-its-prevention

What is a VPN appliance? – Definition from Techopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from             https://www.techopedia.com/definition/16168/virtual-private-network-appliance-vpn-       appliance

What is the best way to prevent session hijacking? – Stack Overflow. (n.d.). Retrieved from            http://stackoverflow.com/questions/22880/what-is-the-best-way-to-prevent-session-         hijacking

Whitman, Michael. (2012) Guide to Firewalls and Network Security. 3rd edition, Course   Technology, Cengage Learning. ISBN: 9781111135393.

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