Cyber Terrorism & Cyber Warfare 1

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Cyber Terrorism & Cyber Warfare
1

Running head: CYBER
-
TERRORISM & CYBER
-
WARFARE










Cyber
-
Terrorism & Cyber
-
Warfare

Prepared by:

Andrey Lavochin, Frederick Le & Phillip Tran

IT 486: Critical Issues in IT

Central Washington University

Prepared for:

Terry Linkletter

April 24, 2010




Cyber Terrorism & Cyber Warfare
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Table of Contents

Executive Summary

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3

Introduction

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4

Purpose

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4

Scope

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4

Methods and Procedures

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4

Cyber
Terrorism vs. Cyber Warfare

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5

Cyber Terrorism

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5

Cyber Warfare

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5

Implication

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6

Methods and Techni
ques

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6

Cyber Attacks Increasing

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6

The Common Attack Methods

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7

Popular Targets

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7

CyberSecurity

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8

Conclusion

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10

References

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11




Cyber Terrorism & Cyber Warfare
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Executive Summary

Cyber Terrorism and Cyber Warfare are considered a priority threat for nations including
the United States, China, and the United Kingdom. These attacks can have devastating
consequences on the welfare a nation and of its citizens. A research team consist
ing of Andrey
Lavochin, Frederick Le and Phillip Tran collaborated to analyze the threat of Cyber Terrorism
and Cyber Warfare. The team’s goal was to identify the threats and techniques used in such
tactics as well as identify potential solutions. The rese
arch team concluded that there is not a be
-
all
-
end
-
all remedy to Cyber Terrorism and Cyber Warfare but that there are proactive measures
that may be taken to reduce the frequency of attacks and mitigate the damage they cause.

Cyber Terrorism & Cyber Warfare
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Introduction

Andrey, Frederic
k, and Phillip (the Week Three team) aim to help promote awareness
about the dangers of Cyber Terrorism and Cyber Warfare. Many individuals may not even be
aware that Cyber Terrorism and Cyber Warfare exist and as such are unaware of the damage it
can caus
e. The Week Three team’s purpose in analyzing Cyber Terrorism and Cyber Warfare is
to educate citizens on how these attacks impact a nation, techniques used in the perpetration of
these attacks, and security measures that can be taken to guard against the
se attacks.

Purpose

To analyze Cyber Terrorism and Cyber Warfare and understand how it affects all of us as
a nation as well as recommend best practices to help protect ourselves. It is our purpose to raise
awareness of this issue that affects many lives
today.

Scope

Initial analysis of what Cyber Terrorism and Cyber Warfare is. This report gives a
comprehensive review on these two terms are, how it affects us in our daily lives, and practices
to protect ourselves.

Methods and Procedures

Research was
conducted using a variety of secondary sources. Each team member was
responsible for one major category. After aggregating the research, the team reviewed the
information to reach its final recommendation.

Cyber Terrorism & Cyber Warfare
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Cyber Terrorism vs. Cyber Warfare

Cyber Terrorism

There exist multiple expert definitions of what Cyber Terrorism is. The definition of
Cyber Terrorism we will employ refers to the act of politically motivated violence against
information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which may result in

damage
(Pollitt, n.d.). We live in the information age where computers have become an integral aspect of
our daily existence. We use it at school, work, and at home to communicate with friends and
family or to do work. As we know, computer programs are al
ways at risk of compromise which
results in companies frantically updating their systems in an attempt to secure their programs. An
example act of Cyber Terrorism would be if a group of foreign militants were to attack
government networks with the goal of
spreading propaganda. This serves as an example of
Cyber Terrorism because it is a politically motivated attack against computer systems with the
intent of causing harm.

Cyber Warfare

Some may consider that Cyber Terrorism to be the same as Cyber Warfare.

Although
both are similar, Cyber Warfare is not political motivated. The definition of Cyber Warfare refers
to the use of computers and the internet to conduct warfare in cyberspace. Information
technology is emerging in many societies and has become more

readily available to hostile
nations. Nations that may decide to use their newfound technology to strike at their opponents’
communications. A serious form of Cyber Warfare would be to attack an electrical power grid.
Attackers would penetrate and inter
rupt an electrical power grid system causing blackouts.
Cyber Terrorism & Cyber Warfare
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Depending on the size of this attack and its location, this may knock out power to hospitals or
other critical systems of a city.

Implication

An implication of Cyber Warfare and Cyber Terrorism is to

cause harm to a nation. A
goal of these attacks is to create alarm and panic among citizens. Attackers want to show how
badly they can damage their victim nations by hacking into government computers and taking
control of critical systems. This can affec
t citizens psychologically causing them to wonder how
their government could let this happen and what they can do to protect themselves and their
families. By achieving these goals, hackers succeeded in leading a nation into a state of chaos
and confusion.

Methods and Techniques

Cyber Attacks Increasing


Computer attacks have been raising the cyber warfare bar to a new level. Each year there
are more and more cyber attacks recorded through the world
(Germain, The Winds of Cyber
War, 2008)
. In 2007, the U.S.

Department of Homeland Security published statistics showing
37,000 reported attempted breaches of government and private computer systems. The prior
year’s report showed 24,000 attempts; a significant 158% increase in 2007
(Germain, The Art of
Cyber Warf
are, Part 1: The Digital Battlefield, 2008)
.


Due to the increase of cyber attacks, the US Government is trying their best to fortify
network security. In the past 12 months, 75 percent of businesses worldwide have experienced a
cyber attack
(U.S. Urged To

Curb Hackers as Cyber Attacks Increase, 2010)
. It’s becoming such
Cyber Terrorism & Cyber Warfare
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a big issue that 42 percent of businesses rated cyber crime as the biggest threat to them, that’s
more than terrorism, traditional crime, and natural disasters combined. Due to the increasi
ng
threat, in May 2009, the U.S. President accepted a Cyberspace Policy Review
(The
Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, 2010)
. This policy was to assess U.S.
structures and policies for cyber security and is an effort to work towards a reliabl
e and
trustworthy digital infrastructure.

The Common Attack Methods


There are several popular cyber attack methods. These popular methods include denial of
service, distributed denial of service, and botnets
(Cyber Attack Techniques, 2009)
. Denial of
serv
ice works by overwhelming the target computer with useless network traffic, resulting in the
blocking of legitimate network traffic to the user. Distributed denial of service is similar in that it
overwhelms the target computer with network traffic, but in
stead this attack is launched from
many computers. The other popular method of attack is the use of botnets. A botnet is a network
of remotely controlled systems used to attack and distribute malware, spam, and phishing scams.
The word “bot” is short for “
robots,” because they are programs that are unknowingly installed
on a target computer. This program allows an unauthorized user to remotely control the system
for malicious purposes
(Cyber Attack Techniques, 2009)
.

Popular Targets

Financial institutions a
nd utility grids are now the prime targets of cyber warfare and
cyber espionage. After a report was released stating that electric power grid has been infiltrated
by foreign spies, the U.S. government has admitted that it is susceptible to cyber attacks
(L
aMonica, 2009)
. Janet Napolitano from the US homeland Security claimed “The vulnerability
is something [we] have know about for years.” World Bank has also reported being infiltrated at
Cyber Terrorism & Cyber Warfare
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least six times in just one year
(Behar, 2008)
. Many other banks, like

Bank of America, have also
been the victims of cyber attack. For instance, on January 29
th
, 2010, their website was down for
a good part of the day

(Carney, 2010)
.

CyberSecurity


In a government paper titled “Defining and Deterring Cyber War”, the purpose

of Cyber

Security is described as “[to] increase a state’s resistance to attacks and reduce the consequences
of attacks.” (Beidleman, 2009) While this paper was written in regards to governments, the
concept holds true for businesses as well. Cyber

Securi
ty can be seen as two parts: resistance and
mitigation of damage.


Resistance to Cyber

T
errorism is primarily implemented through security technologies.
The most prevalent security technology for large organizations is the firewall. The firewall is
literally the first line of defense when it comes to a computer network. The firewall sits between
the internal network of a company and the outside world. It analyzes all incoming and outgoing
transmissions and provides multiple security services. Incomin
g packets are all screened for
malicious data before being rebroadcast into the network. Outgoing packets are also all screened.
Most firewalls come with features that allow for statistical analysis of a network’s baseline.
Fluxuations in the baseline beyo
nd a certain range may indicate an issue and prompt the firewall
to notify a systems administrator for further investigation.


The major forms of attack described in the last section (packet flooding and botnets) are
both addressed by firewalls. To reitera
te
-

Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, distributed or
otherwise, attempt to flood a network with so much traffic that no legitimate forms of data can be
accepted into the system. Firewalls block DoS attacks by identifying the sending source and
blacklisting

all data from that location(s). Botnets or so
-
called “zombie computers” (Strickland,
Cyber Terrorism & Cyber Warfare
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2007) can also be dealt with by firewalls. As mentioned, if botnets are employed in a DoS
attacks, the firewall blocks all traffic from that originating source. Moreover,

firewalls can detect
botnet computers from within an internal network based on outgoing traffic and can take steps to
disinfect them. This involves automatically isolating the infected nodes and informing a systems
administrator who takes further steps to

fix the device.


Beyond the firewall, security software should also be installed on all workstations in the
network. The
rationale

behind this procedure is that individual workstations may be infected by
code that slips past the firewall. Security softwar
e such as anti
-
virus and anti
-
spyware programs
should be implemented and kept up
-
to
-
date with the latest virus definitions. In addition, all
devices on the network should be kept up
-
to
-
date with the latest updates to seal potential security
vulnerabilities
.


On the user side, there are several best
-
practices that can be used to p
revent or mitigate
damage from c
yber

terrorist

attacks. Firstly is the issue of access control


users should only
have access to resources that they require. The
rationale

behind t
his statement is that, should a
user account be compromised by attackers, their level of access in the system is limited. To
prevent the accounts from being compromised in the first place, policies should be in place that
enforce strong passwords. The Univ
ersity of Texas recommends the following for conditions in a
strong password (Uni. of TX, 2009):




“Use both upper
-

and lower
-
case letters.



Place numbers and punctuation marks randomly in your password.



Make your password long and complex, so it is hard to
crack. Between 8 to 20 characters
long is recommended.

Cyber Terrorism & Cyber Warfare
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Use one or more of these special characters: ! @ # $ % * ( )
-

+ = , < > : : “ ‘”



Moreover, the password policy should require that passwords be reset every month and
that identical passwords or pass
word characters may not be reused for a set period of time. This
is so that
cyber t
errorists

cannot run automated programs that try every possible combination of
characters to guess a password.


The final step to deterring cyber attack is continual penetra
tion testing and security audits
of an organizations own system. By attacking its own security system, vulnerabilities may be
identified and fixed before they can be taken advantage of by attackers. To help mitigate the
damage from attacks, organizations s
hould keep backups of their data in an easily
-
retrievable
format. This way, should a cyber attack succeed in destroying data, files can be restored from the
time of the last backup.

Conclusion

After
a
thorough analysis on why Cyber Terrorism and Cyber Warf
are occur, the
determi
nation was that these events for the reason of
bring
ing fear to the public
.
Even though
these acts
can
be
politically
motivated
, the goal is still the same.

There are many different
methods for such attacks
,

like using botnets or de
nial of service to
bring down

popular targets;
institutions and

power grids
. Even with
these methods of attack,

the use of network security
products, such as

firewalls

and anti
-
virus,

can greatly reduce the risk of being a victim of cyber
attacks.

Cyber Terrorism & Cyber Warfare
11

Referen
ces

Behar, R. (2008, October 10).
World Bank Under Cyber Siege in 'Unprecedented Crisis'
.
Retrieved May 7, 2010, from http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,435681,00.html

Beidleman, S. (2009). Defining and deterring cyber war. Strategy Research Project, Retr
ieved

from http://www.dtic.mil/srch/doc?collection=t3&id=ADA500795

Carney, J. (2010, January 29).
Bank of America's Website Has Been Down All Morning
.
Retrieved May 10, 2010, from http://www.businessinsider.com/bank
-
of
-
americas
-
website
-
has
-
been
-
down
-
all
-
m
orning
-
2010
-
1

Cyber Attack Techniques
. (2009, May 28). Retrieved April 28, 2010, from
http://www.cybersecuritymarket.com/2009/05/28/cyber
-
attack
-
techniques/

Germain, J. M. (2008, April 29).
The Art of Cyber Warfare, Part 1: The Digital Battlefield
.
Retrieved April 20, 2010, from http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/62779.html

Germain, J. M. (2008, September 16).
The Winds of Cyber War
. Retrieved April 10, 2010, from
http://www.technewsworld.com/story/The
-
Winds
-
of
-
Cyber
-
War
-
64494.html

LaMonica, M. (2009, April 8).
Report: Spies hacked into U.S. electricity grid
. Retrieved May 3,
2010, from http://news.cnet.com/8301
-
11128_3
-
10214898
-
54.html

Lewis, J. (2002).
Assessing the Risks of Cyber Terrorism, Cyber War and Other Cyber Threats:.

Retr
ieved April 30, 2010, from
http://csis.org/files/media/csis/pubs/021101_risks_of_cyberterror.pdf

Pollit, M. (n.d.).
CYBERTERRORISM


Fact or Fancy?
. Retrieved April 30, 2010, from
http://www.cs.georgetown.edu/~denning/infosec/pollitt.html

Security
-
gurus. (
n.d.).
Cyber Warfare.

Retrieved April 30, 2010, from http://www.security
-
gurus.de/papers/cyberwarfare.pdf

Cyber Terrorism & Cyber Warfare
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Sproles, J & Byars, W. (1998).
Cyber
-
terrorism.

Retrieved April 30, 2010, from
http://csciwww.etsu.edu/gotterbarn/stdntppr/#Define

Strickland, J. (200
7, September 10). How Zombie computers work. Retrieved from

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/zombie
-
computer.htm#

The Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative
. (2010, March 2). Retrieved April 20,
2010, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/cybersecurity
/comprehensive
-
national
-
cybersecurity
-
initiative

Uni. of TX. (2009, October 7). Keep Safe with strong passwords. Retrieved from

http://www.utexas.edu/its/secure/articles/keep_safe_with_strong_passwords.php

U.S. Urged To Curb Hackers as Cyber Attacks Incre
ase
. (2010, February 25). Retrieved April
15, 2010, from http://www.spywareremove.com/security/us
-
urged
-
to
-
curb
-
hackers
-
cyber
-
attacks
-
increase/