Research Paper Sample on Traffic Amplification Attack

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1761 words
Wesleyan University
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Research paper
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1.Provide very specific and latest research based solution (countermeasure) for that type of attack and its sub categories. The Solution should be from research paper related to that attack.

Increased use of the internet has brought along various challenges. In the United States, identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes (Lynch 28). Databases and the internet have created a greater pool of potential victims information than ever before. The internet can be used to obtain information both legally and illegally.

Online identity theft, intellectual property crime, stalking, cyber bullying, information piracy and forgery, hacking, e-mail spoofing, financial fraud, and many other types of cybercrimes are the risks an average internet user is exposed to. With these kinds of threats facing users frequently, it is vital to keep ones identity hidden in cyberspace. Criminals or people with malicious intent may use personal information for their gain, to cause emotional or physical stress or to cause malicious damage.

Real-world crime inflicts various types of harm upon distinct targets; online identity theft can inflict both systemic harm and individual harm. Cyberspace and ICTs have become a crucial part of the national critical infrastructure. Many services in organizations are run on cyberspace. A leak of confidential or private information can lead to a security breach which may have disastrous consequences.

Identity theft can lead to bankruptcy, emotional stress, or both. Giving out sensitive information like credit card information to fraudsters or the public can lead to one losing a lot if not all the money available in the affected account. Fraudsters prey on users of online stores. Phishing is one of the common ways identity thieves prey on online buyers. The victims end up getting their money stolen, or purchases being made in their name without authorization. It gets difficult to track the perpetrators of cyber crime.

Stalking has also increased with the advent of the internet and social media. Stalkers gather information from the victims profile, and some may use this information to track down the victim physically. Stalkers sometimes end up harming their victims not just physically, but emotionally. The current laws may not be adequate to deal with instances of online stalking. An individual can also be stalked online. The stalker may have multiple accounts to keep track of their victims online activities. An individual can be traced online using software such as backtrack, and their activities monitored and used to their disadvantage.

Individuals need to establish the safe amount of information they can divulge on the internet in order to avoid exposing themselves too much to risks. Social security fraud is a common hazard for many people. Individuals have discovered their social security numbers have been used to obtain benefits or gain access to certain services posing as the rightful owners of the identity.

Exposing digital identity renders an individual susceptible to their being used to commit offences. A practice particularly common in email spoofing, cyber bullying, piracy and financial fraud. The victim whose identity is stolen may face the consequences of a crime they have not committed if they cannot defend themselves satisfactorily. Cyber criminals are difficult to track down, and this is why they may get away with crimes incriminating others.

It is, therefore, vital for individuals to keep their digital identity secure since the risks involved in the cyber world are difficult to contend with or mitigate. Individuals, therefore, have to be wary not to expose more information than is necessary for cyberspace.

2.Also justify your answer with practical solutions of the attack in any LAN or WAN network (draw diagrams where necessary).

A cyber-attack is a deliberate activity that is used to alter, disrupt, deceive, degrade or destroy computer systems and networks by an adversary or elements resident in the systems or networks (Lin, 2012). The disruptive activities may also be spread to other elements or networks connected to the system. A cyber-attack may be launched to deny access to authorized users (denial of service attack) destroy machinery that is controlled by computers (such as the Stuxnet in Iran) or destroy or manipulate critical information (Lin, 2012). Direct impacts of a cyber-attack may be less damaging than the indirect impacts in some instances. For instance, damage to a computer may be less costly than the damage to a network linked to the computer ( Lin, 2012).

Determination of hostile intentions is based on the technical implications of an activity in cyber space. Due to the possibility of an individuals systems being used to commit an action without their consent, the threshold for determining hostile intent is based on known system involvement, as opposed to witting actor or geography-dependent (Stedmon, 2015).

Differentiation of Cyber Exploitation and Intelligence Gathering from Cyber Attacks

Cyber exploitation involves deliberate activities carried out to obtain information resident or transiting through computers or networks for the sole purpose of gathering information (Lin, 2012). Cyber-attacks on the other hand are carried out to disrupt normal activities on the computer or system. Cyber exploitation involves spying as opposed to destructive activity. Cyber exploitation does not seek to inflict damage on the target from the users point of view and the best exploitation is the one the user never notices. The information targeted in cyber exploitation is usually information that users do not want exposed to the public domain or in the hands of unauthorized users. For instance, the attack on users iCloud accounts for iPhone users that led to release off compromising pictures of celebrities. A particularly interesting aspect of cyber exploitation involves gathering intelligence that would lead to further compromise of the target system. Cyber exploitation can be used to gather information for a potential cyber-attack.

Military Computer Systems and Networks

On Monday, November 24 from around 7 am Pacific time, a devastating cyber-attack was unleashed on Sony Pictures (Haggard and Lindsay 1). Employees were unable to control their systems and were met by the sounds of gunfire and a flaming skeleton with threats scrolling through their screens. In no time at all, the malware had spread through the entire system before Sonys IT staff could gain control. The attack spread across continents and destroyed half of Sonys global network. The attack was seemingly carried out by a group calling itself Guardians of Peace (GOP) (Haggard and Lindsay 1). Suspicion fell on North Korea considering Sony Pictures was working on a film The Interview that was about an attempted assassination of the North Korean leader (Connor 1). However, there was insufficient evidence to back the claim. The Sony hack was not an act of war but an act of malicious cyber-attack aimed at crippling Sony Pictures and threatening other global corporates.

The malicious attack on Sony Pictures was aimed at severely crippling operations if not to bring down entirely the company. Everything that had been stored on 3,262 of the companys 6,797 personal computers and 837 of its 1,555 servers was wiped out (Haber 41). To ensure that nothing could be recovered, the attackers injected a special erasing algorithm that overwrote the data in seven, unlike ways. After this phase, the attackers tampered with the computers' startup software leading to the death of the machines (Haber 41). The attackers may have got in months earlier. However, when they launched the attack, they managed to return Sony Pictures back into the age of the Betamax in less than an hour. The organization had to use fax machines and posted messages to communicate, and its employees were paid using paper checks.

The attack on the network was not the attackers only objective. Before they wiped out the data, the hackers had copied it for themselves. In the weeks that followed, they posted batches of confidential information on public file sharing sites (Haber 41). The information included social security numbers of thousands of employees, making them prone to identity theft. Emails some of which were damaging were also posted. In one of the emails, a producer called Angelina Jolie a minimally talented spoiled brat.' Salary lists and movies scripts were also released. Availing such information to the public not only damaged the company's reputation but made it vulnerable due to the loss of intellectual property which is a primary earner at the company. For instance, five films, four of which had not been released, were availed to the public for free viewing. Further threats from the hackers that included a promise to carry out a 9/11-style attack against theaters forced Sony to cancel the release of The Interview (Connor 1). However, an uproar from the public compelled Sony to make the video on demand in select theaters.

In practicing proper cyber defense, computers that serve the military should be separated from those serving civilians to minimize the risk of forces that an adversary may use to attack infrastructure. This defense strategy can be carried out by adopting practices such as use of different networks from the civilian networks for military purposes. The military should have their own channels and networks to run their systems to avoid contact with civilians and reduce the possibilities of vulnerability to cyber-attacks. Military systems and networks should operate in customized platforms that are not available for civilian use. The military should have customized operating systems and hardware to reduce the association between civilian and military systems and networks. Presence of military systems and networks in the public domain makes them available for study and increases their vulnerability to infiltration. Contact between civilian and military systems and networks will make it easier for attackers to get closer to protected vital military systems and networks.

Exploitation for Economic versus National Security

Exploitation for economic purposes should be differentiated from exploitation for national security purposes only when the source of the exploitation is a private individual or organization carrying out the attack for reasons other than political purposes. However, if the state carries out exploitation on another state for economic purposes or hires an entity to do so on its behalf, then it should be classified as an issue of national security. There is little consensus on this issue and subsequently it is a loophole in cyber security. There is need for countries to agree on a proper definition of what constitutes economic exploitation versus exploitation for national security reasons.



Lin, H. (2012). A virtual necessity: Some modest steps toward greater cybersecurity. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 68(5), 75-87.

Connor, J. D. "The Sony Hack: Data and Decision in the Contemporary Studio." Media Industries 2.2 (2015).Haggard, Stephan, and Jon R. Lindsay. "North Korea and the Sony Hack: exporting instability through cyberspace." (2015).

Haber, Eldar. "The Cyber Civil War." Hofstra L. Rev. 44 (2015): 41.

Stedmon, A. (2015). Hostile intent and counter-terrorism: human factors theory and application. Ashgate Publishing.


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