Assignment 2: LASA 2: Submissions Assignment
This assignment comprises of four parts. All parts should be compiled into one Word document and submitted to the Submissions Area.
Part 1: Case Study 1: Textbook Chapter 2: “Security of Technical Systems in Organizations: An Introduction”
Many of the technical controls put into place can be circumvented with a simple phone call. Recently, famed hacker Kevin Mitnick demonstrated this, by breaking into Sprint’s backbone network. Rather than mounting a buffer overrun or denial-of-service (DoS) attack, Mitnick simply placed a call posing as a Nortel service engineer and persuaded the staff at Sprint to provide log-in names and passwords to the company’s switches, under the guise that he needed them to perform remote maintenance on the system. Once the password information had been obtained, Mitnick was able to dial in and manipulate Sprint’s networks at will.
Many people believe this was an isolated incident, and they would not fall for a similar act of social engineering, but Mitnick gained notoriety during the 1980s and 1990s, by performing similar techniques on computer networks around the world. Mitnick’s more notorious crimes included accessing computer systems at the Pentagon and the North American Defense Command (NORAD), and stealing software and source code from major computer manufacturers. Kevin Mitnick was arrested six times. He has been working as a consultant, specializing in social engineering techniques, having gone straight after serving a five-year sentence for his most recent crime. He has authored several books regarding social engineering, including The Art of Intrusion and The Art of Deception.
Create a 2- to 3-page report in a Microsoft Word document that includes responses to the following:
- Analyze what procedures could help prevent a similar breach of security at your organization.
- Phishing (the practice of luring unsuspected Internet users to fake Web sites by using authentic looking email) is usually associated with identity theft. Analyze whether this tactic could also be used to gain information needed to circumvent security controls. Why or why not?
- Many social engineering breaches involve using what is believed to be insider information to gain the trust of individuals in an effort to obtain confidential information. Test your ability to obtain what some might consider insider information using a search engine to find contacts or other useful information referencing your organization. Report your findings.
Part 2: Case Study 2: Textbook Chapter 5: “Network Security”
A recent network security breach at Tucson, Arizona–based CardSystem Solutions Inc. has exposed 40 million credit card customers to possible fraud, and is considered one of the largest card-information heists ever. CardSystem Solutions admitted that it improperly stored consumers’ data in its system. So possibly, the hackers apparently took advantage of network vulnerability in one or more of its systems. CardSystem is a third-party processing facility, which performs back office processing for MasterCard as well as several other banks and credit unions. Companies such as CardSystem perform payment processing, but need not store data for future use. Therefore, the incident calls into question the sloppy handling of customers’ personal information as well as lapses in security measures.
The thieves apparently installed scripts that allowed them to download the customer information. It is also unclear how long the information was being viewed or downloaded for fraudulent purposes. Proper auditing would have detected such an event in its earliest stages. But the security breach was apparently detected by MasterCard after they noticed fraudulent activity on their customer accounts. Some credit card companies have been mailing letters to the affected customers, but many do not automatically replace the cards unless a customer requests a replacement. It is uncertain whether or not the cost of lost customer goodwill will be associated with the mistake for CardSystem. But having your best customers inform you of a breach in trust of this magnitude could be devastating.
Companies such as CardSystem solutions are not explicitly covered under any federal regulation to ensure they are in compliance with security best practices. Therefore, this is going to fuel further debate for more stringent and wide-sweeping legislation. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was designed to cover financial institutions and gives the Federal Trade Commission the power to enforce security guidelines, but third-party processing firms are not bound to any security guideline except by contractual agreement. However, in light of the recent security breaches, there are already calls to include any entity that’s dealing with sensitive financial information under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to ensure compliance with security best practices.
- Describe a layered security approach that would prevent easy access to the information stored on CardSystem’s servers.
- Explain what measure could have allowed earlier detection of fraudulent activity, and aided in the investigation and why?
- Analyze what could have prevented a program being installed that allowed access to customer files.
- Describe the difficulty in adapting legislation to meet emerging business models in the information age.
Part 3: Ad-Ware and Forensics
Based on your learning of this week, respond to the following:
- Imagine that your computer has been infected with an Ad-Ware. You systematically follow steps to remove the Ad-Ware. You have used commercially available antispyware software, but to no avail. Discuss what may be wrong and what further steps you can possibly take to ensure complete eradication.
- Scan the popular press for computer crime cases. Gather information on the kinds of evidence that was collected, its usefulness in apprehending the culprit, and emergent problems and concerns, if any. Draw lessons and present best practices for computer forensics.
Part 4: Research Case Study
Using the Argosy University Online Library and the Internet, provide a significant case study that reports about one of the issues discussed during the course. Ensure that, if you wish to deviate from the topics discussed, the overall direction of the material still fits under the greater umbrella of computer security. The case study can be from a peer-reviewed journal or from a textbook. Try to find something close to your area of interest professionally. This will help you act as a computer security expert. After successfully providing a case study, create a report that includes:
- A short introduction to the case study.
- A set of five questions designed by you, highlighting the key points discussed in the case study.
- Answers to the questions you designed, explaining the key points of your interest for this particular case.
Your report should include references and links to relevant Web sites.
Support your responses with examples.
Cite any sources in APA format.
Name your document AUO_IST443_M5_A2_LastName_FirstInitial.doc.
Submit your document to the Submissions Area by the due date assigned.
Assignment 2 Grading CriteriaMaximum PointsEvaluated security breach prevention procedures based on the Kevin Mitnick case study.52Explained how a layered security approach would prevent easy access to the information stored on CardSystem’s servers.52Explained why the antispyware did not remove the ad-ware.32Analyzed best practices for computer forensics.44Provided a computer security case study in which questions were designed and answered pertaining to key points on the case study.56Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Usage and Mechanics (16)
APA Elements (24)