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What are IP Ports


I wanted to know what an IP Port is and what it's strenghts and weaknesses are as far as computer security is concerned? please it is for a school project?


This question was answered on December 2, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

As you may have many different applications connecting in the same time on the Internet, on the network (LAN and WAN), ports have been designed to make an unique address when associated with the IP address of the computer It allows the computer to make the distinction between the applications as port numbers are assigned to specific applications and the protocol used by these applications.

Example : if the port 21 is 'opened' on your computer, that means you are using a FTP server application with the protocol UDP; if the FBI detects activities on port 1214 of your computer, that means you are using Kazaa; and so on Also, ports may be used by trojans to spread through the network

A "denial-of-service" attack is characterized by an explicit attempt by attackers to prevent legitimate users of a service from using that service Examples include

* attempts to "flood" a network, thereby preventing legitimate network traffic

* attempts to disrupt connections between two machines, thereby preventing access to a service

* attempts to prevent a particular individual from accessing a service

* attempts to disrupt service to a specific system or person

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Posted by Christopher of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on December 2, 2004