Journal 1

Journal 1


Question of the week 1

What is your opinion on this matter?

The intelligence community has a different reaction on the leaks caused by Edward Snowden. Some people consider him to be a hero who managed to reveal the data of NSA on the US surveillance on the phone and internet communication. Others believe that he is a criminal. I consider Edward Snowdens leaks of classified US government information to be a bad thing as it have influenced the US national security interests.

Should Snowden be considered a criminal or a hero?

No doubt, critics of the US government secrecy will consider Snowden to be a hero. However, taking into account the damage to American national security I believe that Snowden is a criminal. He had not disclosed government data to reveal illegal activity, but he had exposed legal NSA programs. Thus, he has to face criminal charges.

What good has he done?

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Despite negative influence of Snowdens leaks, it has to be mentioned that he has great moral courage. Snowden has found an opportunity to reveal fraud, abuse and illegality on a massive scale. He had a strong motive that the leaking information has to be public. The US citizens have right to know what the government is doing and when its activities infringes on individual rights.

Should he be protected by whistleblower legislation?

Indeed, Edward Snowden can be considered as a classic whistleblower. The US government has adopted Whistleblower Protection Act in order to protect the public reveal or disclosure of laws violations in case if such reveals are not prohibited by the legislation (Williams, 2013). Whistleblower Protection Act, however, does not protect a person from future reprisals and make him vulnerable to retaliation. Thus, intelligence community employees are not protected by the government and risk their freedom. In case of Edward Snowden, he cannot claim for whistleblower protection as he has not taken his concerns directly to the NSAs inspectors in order to provide proper security clearance. Moreover, Snowden could use whistleblower protection if he was a governmental worker (German, 2013).

What damage has he done?

However, Snowdens reveal has made an enormous impact on the US national security interests. It has damaged American interests. Snowden has decided that he does not want to live in American society. He acted selfishly and somehow deprived the US citizens with an opportunity to protect themselves from potential terrorist attacks. Being a national security employee, Snowden decided to disclose evidences of improper activities of the US government (Greenberg, 2013). Thus, he made the government vulnerable to a variety of negative impacts.

What do you feel should happen to him and why?

Now, Edward Snowden has to face criminal charges. He could have prevented from this if he has not decided to reveal all the data to the press. There is a great variety of other methods to combat illegal actions of NSA. Firstly, he could have reported about his concerns to the inspector general. Secondly, he could have addressed directly to Congress in order to combat illegal actions of NSA.

It is really important for the US government to address the problem of Snowden properly as it will demonstrate what they are really trying to accomplish.

Question of the week 2

Threat 1. Mobile worms on victims machines that buy malicious apps and steal via tap-and-pay NFC.

In recent years, criminals have developed new techniques that are aimed at targeting mobile phones. In many cases, the users interaction is not needed for criminals. As users tend to use tap and pay to make purchases in a different location, they carry digital wallets with them. As a result, attackers have developed mobile worms with NFC capabilities to steal money. Thus, it is a serious threat for the users of tap and pay methods.

Threat 2. SMS spam from infected phones. Whats your mother trying to sell you now?

When mobile users get text spam from infected phones, they risk having their accounts closed. Thus, every user is in the risk of getting spam. Thus, cell phone providers are trying to develop a technology that will prevent SMS spam.

Threat 3. Rapid development of ways to attack Windows 8 and HTML5.

Despite effective security methods, Window 8 and HTML 5 increase the attack vulnerability for every user. Big-scale attacks, which are aimed at controlling users computers for financial gains and stealing of intellectual property, have become extremely wide-spread. As a result, every user can suffer from an attack.

Threat 4. The snowshoe spamming of legitimate products from many IP addresses, spreading out the sources and keeping the unwelcome messages flowing.

Unreliable companies have increased the number of sent spam messages. In order to achieve better results, they send spam from a variety of IP addresses. Recipients receive a great number of spam, and cannot refuse from getting messages. Moreover, this kind of activity is often ignored by the public. However, everyone can become a victim of snowshoe spamming.

Threat 5. Nation states and armies will be more frequent sources and victims of cyber threats.

As military units tend to be on the front line of social networks and use the Internet, they increase the possibility of informational leakage. As a result, criminals can easily steal necessary information without any sophisticated mechanisms. This is a threat for a whole society as it can damage everyone.

Question of the week 3

Ashford, Warwick. Powerful cyber attack tools widely available.

The article deals with the problem of great availability of cyber attack tools. As online cyber criminal markets have become more available in recent years, a lot of low-level attackers can use these tools to commit crimes. Moreover, a great number of tools are relatively cheap and easy in usage. It also contributes to the increasing of the cyber attacks as even lower-level cyber criminals, who lack experience, can acquire necessary tools. It is also mentioned that criminals are predominantly targeting highly-sensitive information of the companies. Besides this, number of malware infection on computers within business networks has also increased (Ashford, 2012).

Thus, the article is important as it deals with the problem of cyber terrorism, especially availability of cyber attack tools. Even if the organizations are not particularly targeted, they have to be protected from the increasing number of different computer attacks. Thus, it is important to develop new strategies of protections. Anti-virus and firewall protections have appeared to be ineffective.

Ashford, Warwick. Cyber Attackers Increasingly Targeting Applications.

According to the latest researches, web and mobile applications have become new targets of cyber attacks. Approximately 86% of web applications are vulnerable to attacks of cyber criminals. Thus, good software is not supposed to have such high rates of vulnerability. There is an increase in targeting applications, because of the simple coding mistakes. As a result, loss of compliance or data sharing can contribute to increasing of the number of cyber attacks in other areas. Moreover, it is difficult to detect particular kinds of vulnerabilities and develop a defense strategy. As a result, business can be hindered (Ashford, 2012).

The number of attacks on mobile phones applications has also increased. The security of mobile applications is still in its infancy. That is why it is important to develop an effective method of its protection.

The article is important as it reveals the problem of web and mobile application security. It is also dealing with the issue of data leaking and protection of personal information. Web and mobile applications have become the primary target for cyber attackers.

Bignell, Paul. Government Emails Targeted by Cyber-Gangs.

In recent years, the number of government emails across different departments in United Kingdom was targeted by cyber-terrorists. Cyber-espionage attacks are used to steal data of ministers. Thus, it is a serious problem that requires effective protection. The majority of attacks were originated in China, Russia, Brazil, and Iran. Cyber criminals have developed sophisticated networks in order to operate effectively in mentioned areas. Cyber attacks are expected to continue. They have already targeted about 200 email accounts, including an account of Ministry of Defense (Bignell, 2013).

Thus, there is a threat of revealing key data on particular subjects. The problem has to be addressed properly in order to protect valuable information. At the same time, it is difficult to arrest attackers as they are organized in different countries. Government security systems are well-developed; however, they do not meet latest standards in order to protect networks. The problem is also important as it proves that cyber criminals have become incredibly professionalized.

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