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What happens if a software program stops functioning and large amounts of data might be lost if the computer crashes? If there's a programming backdoor in the software, programmers can enter the program and save the data. A backdoor is an undocumented method a programmer uses to gain access to a program or a computer.

Programmers routinely create programming backdoors when they develop software. They close most of the backdoors before releasing the program to the public. However, programmers sometimes keep one or two backdoors open in case something goes wrong with the program and they need to fix it. Occasionally, programmers forget to close all of the backdoors.

Although programmers agree that backdoors are useful when developing software, some think that programmers should close all backdoors once software is released because of possible security risks. Hackers routinely find backdoors in software and exploit their discovery. They might simply explore the program and compromised computer or they might steal or destroy information.

We'll let you decide whether the benefits of possibly saving data and computers outweigh the security risks. We've provided some hyperlinks below to help you decide.

  • Detecting Backdoors: A technical article explaining how to detect and close backdoors.
  • HTTP-Tunnel: Software to manage systems through a firewall via the Web.
  • IRC Backdoors: This article explains how people use Internet Relay Chat backdoors.
  • Rootkits: Rootkits are one of a cracker's favorite weapons to break into computers.
  • System Backdoors Explained: A security article explaining how hackers use backdoors.
  • UNIX Security: How to check for and close backdoors.
  • Web Backdoors: A discussion about how programmers use Web backdoors.
  • Windows Backdoors: A short article discussing backdoors programmers left in Microsoft Windows and how to close them.

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