ICSP| NISIR

December 12, 2017 | P.Mutale

Cyber Crime and Security

Today's world has been made easy and simple with computers, for employees as well as students, but they also come with their own disadvantages. Computers and computer systems refer to the computation, communication, instrumentation and control devices that make up functional elements of an organization facility. This includes not only desktop computers, mainframe systems, servers, network devices, but also lower level components such as embedded systems and PLCs (programmable logic controllers). In essence, the concern is all components that may be susceptible to electronic compromise. This involves theft of confidential information, fraud: where money is stolen from bank accounts using the internet through by passing passwords of various electronic gadgets . There are many criminal activities that occur using the information communication technologies (ICTS) and these crimes are called "Cybercrimes". In this paper we discuss the in-depth of cybercrime, how it's committed and how to avoid such crimes in an organsiation.

The introduction of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs ) into many aspects of everyday life has led to the development of the modern concept of the information society. This development of the information society offers great opportunities. Technical developments have improved daily life, for example, online banking and shopping, the use of mobile data services and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), are just some examples of how far the integration of ICTs into our daily lives has advanced. However, the growth of the information society is accompanied by new and serious threats. Essential services such as water and electricity supply now rely on ICTs. Cars, traffic control, elevators, air conditioning and telephones also depend on the smooth functioning of ICTs . Personal and sensitive information is stored online, increasing the potential rewards for cyber criminals. Attacks against information infrastructure and Internet services now have the potential to harm society in new and critical ways.

fraud and hacking attacks are just some examples of computer-related crimes that are committed on a large scale, known as cyber crimes. Cybercrime is committed using computers; it takes someone who is computer literate to perform the crime. This is a challenge of today's computer age apart from viruses. Cyber crimes are defined as "criminal activities carried out by means of computers or internet, networks, it is also known as hacking".They arise by new technology and procedures. Most cyber crimes are anonymous and it’s difficult to trace the culprit, it needs expert knowledge to identify that your computer has been hacked. Cyber crimes have caused financial damages in some countries, malicious damage on the computer software systems and information theft. Cyber crime is more costly than any other physical crime .

Cybercrime often has an international dimension. E-mails with illegal content often pass through a number of countries during the transfer from sender to recipient, or illegal content is stored outside the country. Within cybercrime investigations, it's concluded that close cooperation between the countries involved is very important, because it's a global problem. The existing mutual legal assistance agreements are based on formal, complex and often time-consuming procedures, and in addition often do not cover computer-specific investigations setting up procedures for quick response to incidents, as well as requests for international cooperation, is therefore vital.

Many organizations are behind the curve in terms of cyber security, relying predominantly on static defensive measures and compliance-oriented processes. Transitioning to a threat-oriented posture is not easy, and change needs to occur across the organisation, processes and technologies.
To prevent an organization from being hacked it is necessary to implement cyber security program, to make your system more secure. Cyber security is an attempt to describe the protection of a very complex and expanding set of programmable electronic devices and their supporting architecture.
There are two types of threats in an organisation that can drive to cybercrime; Cybercrime insider threats and Cybercrime outsider threats

Cyber insider threats;

These are employees within an organization. The threat from insiders is real and growing. The insider threat can never be ruled out.He's always the first suspect, therefore there's need to use mechanisms to keep insider threats in check. Insiders pose the most risk to cyber security, because they may have unrestricted access to sensitive data & systems. They may have means, methods and motives to access information and they may have mechanisms to hide or delay the attack detection. Insiders can leak information, even passwords to sensitive data information, tricked by external parties in return for a bribe or blackmail
Occasionally, insiders lack awareness and make unintended mistakes; by going to unsolicited sites and make the system vulnerable to attackers. Other reasons could be that insiders have ineffective management of privileged user inappropriate role. Non existence of the ICT policy which gives the guideline on how to use the ICTs in an organization, has resulted to employees committing the crime due to ignorance

Cyber Out sider threats;

Are usually motivated by money, they engage in malware, phishing, identity theft and fraudulent money request attacks. Such attackers are usually hired by competitors of the parent organisation, for sabotage

Measures to be taken Avoid Cyber Crimes

Sun Tzu, in the "Art of War" states that "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat ". Understanding the enemy is an important mechanism to develop an effective defensive posture. It is hard to protect against that which you do not understand . Threat actors to security in organizations continue to develop and enhance their cyber capabilities. Assessment of these cyber capabilities, while often an extremely difficult challenge due to multiple factors, is an important aspect of cyber security.
Methodologies are needed to support characterization and analysis of the threat including capabilities, motivation, and probable tactics. Accurate threat assessments are the key element in developing a design basis threat document for use in protective system development and testing as well as for regulatory evaluation

Taking the following steps will help you get protected from various cyber threats:

  • Address accessibility and search ability challenges for logins
  • Emphasis on detecting targeted attempts
  • Upgrade indicator tracking from docs/memos to database
  • Email indicators: "redirect" suspicious incoming emails to analyst mailbox i.e. Spam emails
  • Use signatures from peers to proactively scan
  • Consider in-house cyber threat role
  • Strengthen integration between IT and cyber security groups via exercises, liaison roles, exchanges, joint planning decisions
  • Strengthen controls on network usage (2 factor authentication)
  • Perform risk assessment
  • Strengthen user awareness training: threat bulletins, real examples, what to do before you click, contests ongoing campaign
  • Consider sharing logs, samples (indicators aren’t the only valuable data)
  • Change password frequently
  • Password should have a combination of letters and numbers, with other characters, avoid using your name, age and anything familiar to the hacker
  • Antivirus update
  • Gain access to perimeter email logs

Conclusion

Finding response strategies and solutions to the threat of cybercrime is a major challenge, especially for developing countries. A comprehensive anti-cybercrime strategy generally contains technical protection measures, as well as legal instruments. The development and implementation of these instruments need time. Technical protection measures are cost-intensive. Developing countries need to integrate protection measures into the roll-out of the Internet from the beginning, as although this might initially raise the cost of Internet services, the long-term gains in avoiding the costs and damage inflicted by cybercrime are large and far outweigh any initial outlays on technical protection measures and network safeguards.

References

  • Donald D. Dudenhoeffe, Computer Security Programme: Overview Computer Security Programme, 2005
  • Regarding the threat of attacks against computer systems integrated in cars, see: BBC News, Cars safe from computer viruses, 11.05.2005,
  • Regarding the threat of attacks against computer systems integrated in cars, .2005, Report, 2007
  • Varying Regarding the impact of ICT on society, see the report Sharpening Europe’s Future through ICT – Report from the information society technologies advisory group, 2006,
  • Sun Tzu, Art of war, 2009