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vo uching f o r the “quality” o f their wares.R. Singel, “Undergro und Crime Eco no my Health, Security
Gro up Finds,” Wired, No vember 24, 2008. Hackers might also inf iltrate co mputer systems to enlist hardware f o r subsequent illegal acts. A
cybercro o k might deliberately ho p thro ugh several systems to make his path dif f icult to f o llo w,
slo wing cro ss-bo rder legal pursuit o r even thwarting pro secutio n if launched f ro m natio ns witho ut
extraditio n agreements. In f act, yo ur co mputer may be up f o r rent by cyber thieves right no w. Bot net s o f zo mbie
co mputers (netwo rks o f inf iltrated and co mpro mised machines co ntro lled by a central co mmand)
are used f o r all so rts o f nef ario us activity. This includes sending spam f ro m tho usands o f dif f icult- to -shut-do wn acco unts, launching to ugh-to -track click f raud ef f o rts o r staging what’s kno wn as
dist ribut ed denial of service (DDoS) attacks (ef f ectively shutting do wn Web sites by
o verwhelming them with a crushing lo ad o f seemingly legitimate requests sent simultaneo usly by
tho usands o f machines). Bo tnets have been disco vered that are capable o f sending o ut 100 billio n
spam messages a day,K. J. Higgins, “SecureWo rks Unveils Research o n Spamming Bo tnets,”
DarkReading, April 9, 2008. and bo tnets as large as 10 millio n zo mbies have been identif ied. Such
systems theo retically co ntro l mo re co mputing po wer than the wo rld’s f astest superco mputers.B.
Krebs, “Sto rm Wo rm Dwarf s Wo rld’s To p Superco mputer,” Washingto n P o st, August 31, 2007. Exto rtio nists might leverage bo tnets o r hacked data to demand payment to avo id retributio n.
Three eastern Euro pean gangsters used a bo tnet and threatened DDo S to exto rt $ 4 millio n f ro m
UK spo rts bo o kmakers,Trend Micro , “Web Threats Whitepaper,” March 2008. while an exto rtio n
plo t against the state o f Virginia threatened to reveal names, So cial Security numbers, and
prescriptio n inf o rmatio n sto len f ro m a medical reco rds database.S. Kro f t, “Cyberwar: Sabo taging
the System,” 60 Minutes, No vember 8, 2009. Co mpetitio n has also lo wered the price to inf lict such
pain. BusinessWeek repo rts that the co st o f renting o ut ten tho usand machines, eno ugh to cripple a
site like Twitter, has tumbled to just $ 200 a day.J. Schectman, “Co mputer Hacking Made Easy,”
BusinessWeek, August 13, 2009. Co rpo rate espio nage might be perf o rmed by insiders, rivals, o r even f o reign go vernments. Gary
Min, a scientist wo rking f o r DuP o nt, was busted when he tried to sell inf o rmatio n valued at so me
$ 400 millio n, including R&D do cuments and secret data o n pro prietary pro ducts.J. Vijayan,
“So f tware Co nsultant Who Sto le Data o n 110,000 P eo ple Gets Five-Year Sentence,”
Co mputerw o rld, July 10, 2007. Spies also breached the $ 300 billio n U.S. Jo int Strike Fighter
pro ject, sipho ning o f f terabytes o f data o n navigatio n and o ther electro nics systems.S. Go rman, A.
Co le, and Y. Dreazen. “Co mputer Spies Breach Fighter-Jet P ro ject,” Wall Street Jo urnal, April 21,
2009. Hackers inf iltrated security f irm RSA, stealing data keys used in the f irm’s co mmercial
authenticatio n devices. The hackers then apparently leveraged the heist to enter the systems o f
RSA custo mers, U.S. Def ense co ntracto rs L-3, Lo ckheed Martin, and No rthro p Grumman.E. Mills,
“China Linked to New Breaches Tied to RSA,” CNET, June 6, 2011. Go o gle has identif ied China as
the natio n o f o rigin f o r a series o f hacks targeting the Go o gle acco unts o f diplo mats and activists.P .
Eckert, “Analysis: Can Naming, Shaming Curb Cyber Attacks f ro m China?” Reuters, June 3, 2011.
And the go vernment o f Tunisia even attempted a who le-scale hacking o f lo cal users’ Facebo o k
acco unts during pro tests that eventually led to the o uster o f the regime. The so -called man-in-themiddle style attack intercepted Facebo o k traf f ic at the state-af f iliated ISP as it traveled between Tunisian Web surf ers and Facebo o k’s servers, enabling the go vernment to steal passwo rds and
delete po sts and pho to s that criticized the regime.A. Madrigal, “The Inside Sto ry o f Ho w Facebo o k
Respo nded to Tunisian Hacks,” Atlantic, January 24, 2011. Cyberwarf are has also beco me a legitimate threat, with several attacks demo nstrating ho w
devastating techno lo gy disruptio ns by terro rists o r a f o reign po wer might be (see sidebar o n
Stuxnet). Brazil has seen hacks that cut o f f po wer to millio ns, and the 60 Minutes news pro gram
sho wed a demo nstratio n by “white hat” hackers that co uld co mpro mise a key co mpo nent in an o il
ref inery, f o rce it to o verheat, and cause an explo sio n. Taking o ut key co mpo nents o f the vulnerable
U.S. po wer grid may be particularly devastating, as the equipment is expensive, much o f it is no
lo nger made in the United States, and so me co mpo nents may take three to f o ur mo nths to
replace.S. Kro f...
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This document was uploaded on 01/31/2014.
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