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Discussion

Alazab et al. (2012) stated that ethics is important as it signifies the ability of an individual's moral judgments regarding right or wrong situation. In business, ethics can be witnessed through satisfaction in basic human needs, creation of credibility, improvement in decision-making aspects and ability to unite the people and leadership. However, in terms of Information Technology (IT), there are four basic ethical issue- privacy, property, accuracy and accessibility (Kigerl 2012). McGuire and Dowling (2013) furthermore depicts that in privacy ethics resembles a situation where some data are kept in secret and safeguard it from being get hacked. Moreover, ethics in property reveals that scenario, where only some limited people are allowed to access the data; whereas ethics in accuracy means all the data present in the data are accurately stores and the liable person is responsible for ensuring the validity of the data. Lastly, in terms of ethics in accessibility signifies some condition that allows a person to access secured data. In ICT, all these data have to be maintained properly in order to assure the ethical proceeding in a business.

The scenario of ethical issue or dilemma that is highlighted in this business assessment is WannaCry ransomware attack. This kind of attack is occurred recently from 12th May, 2017. This cyber attack was occurred all over the world and in a single day, 230,000 computers gets infected (Griffith 2017). The prime intention of this business report is to illustrate the information regarding this issue and highlight the ethical ICT dilemma that is occurred in this event.  

Recently, a ransom of significant amount of money is charged in form of Bitcoins through cyber attack. This attack was occurred by busing a ransomeware that is encrypted and targets computers that are running on Microsoft Windows operating system (CVE-2017-0144 and CVE-2017-0145)  (Griffith 2017). In over 150 countries, 230,000 computers are being affected from this virus within a single day (Indiatoday.intoday.in 2017).

(Source: Indiatoday.intoday.in 2017)

The basic logic behind this approach is to demand money in return of files that are encrypted by the attackers. In this case, the attackers only targets governing or large firms. Some of the companies that are mostly affected though this cyber attack was Britain's National Health Service (NHS), Deutsche Bahn, FedEx and Spain's Telefónica (Indiatoday.intoday.in 2017). The virus that caused this dilemma is spread though local network especially to those computers that are not recently updated with security updates. It is also found that most of the affected computer uses the outdated windows operating system like Windows 7, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 (Symantec Security Response., 2017). In this process, in initial stages the work uses the application “EternalBlue” that exploits the operating system to enter in a computer (Indiatoday.intoday.in 2017). This worm had taken advantage of Microsoft’s Server Message Block (SMB) protocol due to the vulnerable operating system and install backdoor implant tool and  DoublePulsar that initiate the WannaCry Ransomeware (Indiatoday.intoday.in 2017).

2.1 Overview of WannaCry

Unlike other malware, this WannaCry Ransomeware can be spread though attachment on unsolicited e-mails, clicking on a link send through e-mail that claims to be from a bank or educational institution or hospitals (Griffith 2017). Experts also claims that these can be also be transferred through peer to peer file sharing networks that comprise of some popular activation key for popular software (Kraemer-Mbula et al. 2013). Griffith (2017) also highlight that there are two kind of files- first, called the file coder, in which the malware encrypts the file, second, is s a lock screen, that locks the operating system of the computer unless the payments was given that is asked for ransom.  Griffith (2017) mentioned that in some cases, the lock screen contains some message that is a fine has to be paid to the police organization, as there are video excerpts of child abuse or some other illegal pages through which the user have made an unauthorized access.

Starting from 12th May, 2017, Wanna Cry Cyber Attack Is Highly Unusual and Unlike Anything Anyone Has Ever Seen published in The Street Newspaper (TheStreet 2017). It is suspected that a cybercrime group known as Lazarus Group runs it. This group is famous for their cyber breaches for accessing data on other computer by using computer software technology. Their previous cyber- attacks known as "Operation Troy" occurred in 2009–2012 and it was developed by using the unsophisticated DDoS techniques for targeting South Korean government (TheStreet 2017). Moreover, in the year 2014, this group also attacks the Sony Pictures and in 2016 this group performed a massive attack for stealing $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank (TheStreet 2017). The most tactical step that the cyber attacker have taken is the combination of ransomware and worms that leads to a massive destruction in the world of technology.

This is one of the reasons due to which, Griffith in The Australian mentioned that “Hackers on top after WannaCry cyber attack”. It is mentioned in the file that the WannaCry not only encrypts the file present in a unsecured computer but it can also affect a protected computer in contact with an unprotected computer. An encrypted file is impossible to read but on sharing these file through peer to peer networks, a protected file also gets affected (Indiatoday.intoday.in 2017). Moreover, in March and April attacks, five organizations are there that were affected by new and updated samples of WannaCry. Griffith (2017) stated that since there are not a single pattern among these attacks was notice, so it is difficult to predict the actual intruder behind these attacks. In this case, two different backdoors were used to deploy WannaCry (Symantec Security Response 2017). Trojan.Alphanc and Trojan.Bravonc are these two backdoors (Symantec Security Response 2017). In May, 2017, “EternalBlue” is the new form of WannaCry. This form of WannaCry attacks caused widespread disruption in both the infected organization and to the companies that are forced to take computers offline for software updates. It is also found that file embedded in the WannaCry dropper is encrypted by using password like "wcry@123", "wcry@2016", and "WNcry@2ol7" and this is the key points through which it can be identified that past all the cyber- attacks are operated by same intruder (Symantec Security Response 2017).

2.2 How does these WannaCry ransomeware spread

United Kingdom have reported that UK hospital’s computer systems suddenly slowed down and the medical personnel faces difficulty in performing daily operations and later it is known that the problem is global (Indiatoday.intoday.in 2017). WannaCry affected computed files by encrypting the data present in the hard drives and demands $300 (around Rs 19,000) to $600 (around Rs 39,000) in the form of Bitcoins (Indiatoday.intoday.in 2017). After the news gets spread, the social security system of Brazil disconnected all their computers and switched off the facility of public access in their website. Moreover, in Germany, the Saturday departure and arrival display screens were also affected but lastly it did not hamper the train services (Indiatoday.intoday.in 2017). 

According to the ACS code of ethics in ICT, a computer software developer or an ICT employee must adhere some ethical aspects. First code of ethics resembles “priorities” that majorly symbolizes to preserve the security and integrity of other’s information (Acs.org.au 2017). Other considered aspects under this section is that a computer programmer, will respect the priorities of other’s information and advice must be provided to them regarding any potential conflicts of interest between legal issues and the developed programmer.

Kim et al. (2014) also portrays that in section under “competence”, the major focus points are that the developer is endeavored to provide products and services that matches the financial and operational needs of the products and they are also liable regarding the relevant ICT standards and act accordingly so that no one gets affected. Moreover, all the clients' and employers' proprietary interests should be protected by the ICT personnel and they should responsibility of their actions. These personnel will advise common people when it is not favorable for not using a particular software or hardware along with the fact that they will go beyond their brief in order to act professionally (Acs.org.au 2017).

Patrignani and Whitehouse (2014) highlighted another aspect of ICT code of ethics is “honesty”, in which the computer expert will not mislead a client or potential client regarding a computer products. Especially no ICT personnel will misrepresent their skills or knowledge. Ville and Jani (2014) also stated that according to the ACS policy of ethics, ICT workers also provide opinion that is unbiased and objectives. Boughton (2013) also highlight that, in this aspect the computer programmer will give realistic estimates for projects, will qualify professional opinions based on experience or limited knowledge and lastly, they will give credit for the work that other have accomplished in their project.

2.3 WannaCry cyber attack in recent times

Another aspect of the code of ethics is “Social Implications”, where it is stated that all the health and safety concern of the affected clients are the responsibility of ICT personnel and they will also respect the people’s privacy (Acs.org.au 2017). Patrignani and Whitehouse (2014) furthermore depicts that they should not treat anyone unfairly and they will enhance the feelings of personal satisfactions, competence, and control the situation those who are affected by any computer products. 

Patrignani and Whitehouse (2014) stated that other ICT’s code of ethics represents the aspect of “Professional Development” that resembles that computer professional will continue to upgrade their knowledge and skills. Boughton (2013) also mentioned that they will also try to overcome the issue affecting the computing profession and the relationship with the community. Boughton (2013) on the other hand depicted that in this aspect, computer professionals should encourage the professional development positively and not for other adverse programs.

Lastly, “Computing Profession” is one of the aspects of ACS code of ethics in ICT. Boughton (2013) mentioned that a computer professional will never associated with dishonest or fraudulent ICT practices. Moreover, they will also not try to enhance reputation for the work of others. These professional are also bound to maintain distance with people and professional who are terminated from the membership of ACS (Acs.org.au 2017). Stahl et al. (2014.) also portray that these professionals will protect and promote professionalism in computing.

It can be said that kidnapping important files from the computer system of any individual and then demands for ransom is illegals and many legislations are there following which these adversity can be punished. Moreover, it can also be said that almost all the ACS code of ethics are violated and this is described below:

The WannaCry attackers will not follow any ethical aspects from ACS code of ethics. According to the aspect of “Priorities”, the attackers does not care whether the community gets adversely affected they continue the flow of their viral services. These attackers also did not respect the proprietary nature of others' information (Australia.gov.au 2017). Moreover, no advice was provided by them regarding how to get unaffected through this adversity rather they demand huge amount of money that’s too in the form Bitcoins.

In addition to that, under “Competence”, even though WannaCry attackers are aware of the ICT legislation they continue to attack many computers and their file especially of governing bodies and international companies. Griffith (2017) also highlight that the aspect of ICT code of ethics also illustrate that the professional should respect and protect the clients' proprietary interests but in this case, they took advantage of this proprietary and ask for money on ransom.

2.3.1 Affected Area

Another aspect of ICT code of ethics is “Honesty”, which is also breached by WannaCry attackers as they misinterpret their knowledge in computer programing. They affected other computer through worm programming. Griffith (2017) highlight that the concerned ICT intruder does not provide an estimated price for releasing the file and no one can estimate their demands and it might be the case that they will increase their amount if the victim agrees to pay the amount.

Moreover, under the aspect of “Social Implications”, it is clearly evident that the concern of protecting safety of the community is breached by WannaCry attackers. The important file from the computer is kidnapped and these files were encrypted that is almost impossible to recover (TheStreet 2017). The concern of unfair attitude regarding any ICT action is also breached and it can be witnessed through that many companies just shut down their service suddenly that not only hamper the community’s demands but organization’s profitability.

In the aspect of “Professional development”, it is evident that attackers have surely develops their skills as combination of malware and worms makes the protected computer even affected who shares some file through peer to peer network. Griffith (2017) depict that even though these attackers are aware of the raised adversity, they continue to accomplish their mission that is to gather money from popular industry and sectors.

Lastly, in context of “Computing Profession”, it can be said that the intruders are associated with dishonest and fraudulent practices. It can also be said that the code of ethics for protecting and promoting professionalism in computing is also breached. However, all these actions are punishable under Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Act 2012(Cth) (CLAA) and Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) (the Criminal Code). Since the intruders also access in unauthorized way and are liable to impairment of data and restricted data, they are also punishable under sections 477.1, 477.2 and 478.1 of the Criminal Code (Australia.gov.au 2017). Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth,) and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987 (Cth) are also developed for ICT intruders (Australia.gov.au 2017).

The ethical dilemma in this case is that the attacker demands money that is not the legal way to make money by using the technology. This, users are recommended not to pay money especially for two reasons. The first reason for which the user asked not to pay is that there is no way to know whether they will not demand any further ransom money (Kenyon and McCafferty 2016). O'Gorman and McDonald (2012) explain the second reason that is if victim agree to pay, they will fuel the growth of other cyber attackers. Thus, one way through which this adversity can be overcome is to take backup of the important data instantly and to get better protection of the computer (Aziz 2016). Another step that can be taken in the problem occurred is to update the operating system. Weckstén et al. (2016.) mentioned that government organization adopts the recent technology much lately compared to other organization and this is the reason that these organization have to take better safety measures. Updating operating software and train the employees to use the new operating system is crucial in this step (Valach 2016).

2.4 Cybercrime legislation in ICT

3.0 Conclusion

Thus, it can be concluded that all the ACS codes of ethics are affected in case of WannaCry Ransomeware attack in recent times. All the important file of the leading organizations is hacked, encrypted and impossible to recover by applying some decryption tools. The attackers demands money in Bitcoins and they do not consider the raised adversity due to this. These infected files are capable to infect a protected computer and normal ways are selected for spreading the virus that is through mail attachments, links provide in the e-mail by the name of police or some agency. Even through peer to peer sharing netwrks the infected file can attack a protect computer. Several legislation like Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Act 2012(Cth) (CLAA) and Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) are there to punish the intruders.

4.0 Reference List

Acs.org.au., 2017. ACS Code of Professional Conduct. [online] Available at:

https://www.acs.org.au/content/dam/acs/acs-documents/Code-of-Ethics [Accessed 26 May 2017].

Alazab, M., Venkatraman, S., Watters, P., Alazab, M. and Alazab, A., 2012. Cybercrime: the case of obfuscated malware. In Global Security, Safety and Sustainability & e-Democracy (pp. 204-211). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Australia.gov.au., 2017. IT and Communications | australia.gov.au. [online] Available at:

https://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/it-and-communications [Accessed 26 May 2017].

Aziz, S.M., 2016. Ransomware in High-Risk Environments.

Boughton, C., 2013. 5. What is an ICT professional anyway?. Professionalism in the Information and Communication Technology Industry, 3, p.77.

Griffith, C., 2017. Hackers on top. [online] Theaustralian.com.au. Available at:

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/personal-technology/hackers-on-top-after-wannacry-cyber-attack/news-story/327769be8e177dcbd9127963634ac3ab [Accessed 26 May 2017].

Indiatoday.intoday.in., 2017. Wanna Cry ransomware cyber attack: 104 countries hit, India among worst affected, US NSA attracts criticism. [online] Available at:

https://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/wanna-cry-ransomware-attack-104-countries-hit-nsa-criticised/1/953338.html [Accessed 26 May 2017].

Kenyon, B. and McCafferty, J., 2016. Ransomware Recovery. ITNOW, 58(4), pp.32-33.

Kigerl, A., 2012. Routine activity theory and the determinants of high cybercrime countries. Social Science Computer Review, 30(4), pp.470-486.

Kim, H.S., Kim, J.M. and Lee, W.G., 2014. IE behavior intent: A study on ICT ethics of college students in Korea. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 23(2), pp.237-247.

Kraemer-Mbula, E., Tang, P. and Rush, H., 2013. The cybercrime ecosystem: Online innovation in the shadows?. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 80(3), pp.541-555.

McGuire, M. and Dowling, S., 2013. Cyber crime: A review of the evidence. Summary of key findings and implications. Home Office Research report, 75.

O'Gorman, G. and McDonald, G., 2012. Ransomware: A growing menace. Symantec Corporation.

Patrignani, N. and Whitehouse, D., 2014. Slow Tech: a quest for good, clean and fair ICT. Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, 12(2), pp.78-92.

Stahl, B.C., Eden, G., Jirotka, M. and Coeckelbergh, M., 2014. From computer ethics to responsible research and innovation in ICT:

The transition of reference discourses informing ethics-related research in information systems. Information & Management, 51(6), pp.810-818.

Symantec Security Response., 2017. WannaCry: Ransomware attacks show strong links to Lazarus group. [online] Available at:

https://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/wannacry-ransomware-attacks-show-strong-links-lazarus-group [Accessed 26 May 2017].

TheStreet., 2017. How Hackers Changed Their Style in the Wanna Cry Attacks. [online] Available at:

https://www.thestreet.com/story/14147814/1/how-hackers-changed-their-style-in-the-wanna-cry-attacks.html [Accessed 26 May 2017].

Valach, A.P., 2016. What to Do After a Ransomware Attack. Risk Management, 63(5), p.12.

Ville, K. and Jani, K., 2014. Why (an) ethics code for information system development needs institutional support: there is even an upside for computing practitioners and businesses. ETHICOMP, Les Cordeliers, Paris, pp.25-27.

Weckstén, M., Frick, J., Sjöström, A. and Järpe, E., 2016, October. A novel method for recovery from Crypto Ransomware infections. In Computer and Communications (ICCC), 2016 2nd IEEE International Conference on (pp. 1354-1358). IEEE.

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