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Cyber -Attacks on America - Essay Example

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Name: Title: Course: Tutor: Date: Cyber Attacks on America Introduction The 11 September 2011 terrorist attack on the US exposed the vulnerability of the country to foreign attack in a way not witnessed in a long time. Since then, the public, media and even the federal government have been on alert to avert any future attacks by undertaking appropriate precautionary measures…
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Cyber -Attacks on America

Download file to see previous pages... These include voice communication systems, financial institutions and federal agencies among others. Whereas physical attacks would be carried out by hostile foreign nations and terrorists, cyber-attacks could be executed by a wide array of enemies including organized protest groups, terrorists, foreign states and even teenagers. Additionally, Lee (2013) observes the incapacity to protect all computer networks or cell phones or pagers from attack, especially now that 95% of these gadgets are operated and owned by the private sector. Therefore, America is increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks which grow by breadth and complexity, indicating the need for the country to continuously adopt and re-engineer its protection approaches that would uphold its cybersecurity. Cyber-attack refers to an attack originated from a computer system against another computer system or a website, aimed at altering, stealing or erasing information or have the functionality of the targeted computer system impeded or destroyed (Lee, 2013). A report on cybercrime documented recently by Hewlett-Packard indicates that the number of cyber-attacks have risen by 42% as compared to the year 2012 (Lau & Xia, 2013). Organizations get successfully attacked 102 times weekly with the annualized cost as a result of these cyber-attacks rising to $8.9 million per organization. Furthermore, it was indicated that security breaches by an organization could cost it up to 1% of its market value. Citing the examples of recent attacks on HSBC, the New York Stock Exchange and major commercial banks such as Citi Bank and Bank of America, PricewaterhouseCoopers, PWC (2013) appreciates cyber-attacks as a serious problem in America that needs critical intervention. Types of Cyber Attacks Cyber-attacks could occur in different ways. First, it could occur in form of exploits. As explained by Vatis (2002), this form of attack involves a sequence of commands, chunk of data or piece of software which takes advantage of software bug to cause unanticipated or unintended reaction by the computer hardware, software or any piece of electronic. It normally includes denial of service, allowing privilege escalation or gaining control of the system. Secondly, the attack could take the form of eavesdropping where the attacker surreptitiously listens to private conversation. This could be done through the monitoring of faint electronic magnetic transmissions which get generated by the hardware. Moreover, attackers have penetrated even the most secure computer systems leveraging on the carelessness of authorized individuals or through deliberate deceit of such individuals. Lee (2013) refers to this as social engineering. Denial of service attacks are a unique approach to cyber-attacks. They are not used to control a system or gain unauthorized access, but rather render the system unusable. This could include multiple deliberate entry of a wrong password to lock the user or overloading the capability of a system or network so as to block it. Finally, direct access to a computer system could lead to the installation of devices that could compromise security, including modification of operating systems. It could also include downloading crucial information from the system (Brenner, 2010). Using this knowledge, cyber attackers have adopted varied approaches to executing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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