Question #3This newfound technological era that we’ve found ourselves in is known as the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry and it has evolved greatly over the last several years.
All critical infrastructure has become dependent on these computerized systems and while they may improve our daily lives, if this technology were to become corrupted, our way of life would crumble. ICT devices and components are generally interdependent, and disruption of one may affect many others. Over the past several years, experts and policymakers have expressed increasing concerns about protecting ICT systems from cyberattacks. The act of protecting ICT systems and their contents has come to be known as cyber-security. Within cyber-security, there are several threats, many challenges and a few key players responsible for the support of our technological way of life.
Before the advanced technology that we have today, criminals had to dig through people’s trash or intercept mail to steal a person’s personal information. Now however, since all this information is online, criminals have the ease of stealing people’s identities, hacking into their accounts, and revealing important information or infecting devices with malware. The four specific threats to cyber-security which were discussed in class are as followed:Hacktivists – People who use technology hacking to effect social change.Cyber Criminals – Group of individuals who commit a cybercrime to make a profit.Cyber Terrorism – Fear that terrorists are going to go into critical infrastructure and cause mass terror and destruction. Cyber espionage – Hacking into cyber systems and gaining confidential information.
Sadly, a profound amount of proprietary information can be easily accessed by undetected criminals – this is why businesses are strategic and are popular targets. The key to protecting data is by performing risk assessments which assess potential vulnerabilities that can be exploited by unwanted criminals/terrorists. There are no standards or governing bodies to control this criminal behaviour and unfortunately, law enforcement cannot keep up with the rapid ongoing development of cybercrime. The key challenges are as followed.First, one of the key challenges to addressing cyber security involves the concept spoken about in class called “fishing.” This is when cyber criminals/terrorists pose as a legitimate source, but is really a virus that has detrimental value. When talking about Hacktivists, they are unlike any cyber criminal who hack into computer networks for the sole reason that most hacktivists aren’t doing it for the monetary wealth; they are individuals who see themselves purely as fighting injustice in the world. This is a key challenge because attempting to please Hacktivists is virtually impossible because the issue is much bigger than what law enforcement can handle.
Another one of the key challenges to Hacktivism is that they have a potentially limitless membership and that they don’t draw the line anywhere. Attempting to address hacktivism is trying to figure out where their next target is going to be which is difficult. Hacktivists have gone after everyone from foreign governments and corporations to drug dealers and pedophiles. Police departments, hospitals, small towns, big cities and states also have come under attack.
Online activists have successfully frozen government servers, defaced websites, and hacked into data or email and released it online. Doug Robinson, executive director of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) said that he’s seen a “significant growth” in the number and severity of hacktivist attacks on state and local governments in the past five years. The major concern with this is how can Hacktivists possibly be stopped? Moving onto the concerns within cyber terrorism now.
Cyber terrorism is an international crime and because of that, local regulations alone are not able to defend against such attacks; they require a transnational response. Unfortunately, without the aid of international organizations, it is difficult to prevent cyber terrorism. At the same time, international organisations determine which state court, or international court, has the authority to settle a dispute.The more become dependent we become on modern technology, the more susceptible we are to cyberattacks. Cybersecurity and law enforcement capabilities are crucial to safeguarding and securing our cyberspace. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) works with other federal agencies to conduct high-impact criminal investigations to disrupt and defeat cyber criminals, prioritize the recruitment and training of technical experts, develop standardized methods, and broadly share cyber response best practices and tools.
Also, Law enforcement performs an essential role in achieving our nation’s cybersecurity objectives by investigating a wide range of crime. As mentioned in class, when a cyber attack occurs, the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF) is responsible to put these perpetrators to justice. This task force was officially established in 2008. The NCIJTF is comprised of over 20 partnering agencies from across law enforcement, the intelligence community, and the Department of Defense. This joint effort was put in place so that a number of people from different background can come together and combat criminal/terrorist activity through the cyber domain. As a unique multi-agency cyber center, the NCIJTF has the primary responsibility to coordinate, integrate, and share information to support cyber threat investigations, supply and support intelligence analysis for community decision-makers, and provide value to other ongoing efforts in the fight against the cyber threat to the nation. The NCIJTF focuses on identifying, pursuing, and defeating the actual terrorists, spies, and criminals who seek to exploit our nation’s systems.