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NSA Cyber Crime Attack in 2016

Discuss About The Safety Secure Approach Against Cyber Attacks.

Cyber attack is the specific kind of offensive act that is employed by the nations, societies, organizations or individuals, targeting the computer systems, networks, computer devices or infrastructure [5]. This is done by means of any type of malicious activity that is originated from the anonymous sources for stealing, altering or destroying the targeted system. The other names of cyber attack are cyber terrorism, cyber warfare or cyber campaign. These could range from the installation of a spyware on any specific system to attempting to completely destroy the infrastructure [11]. These types of attacks have taken the entire world completely and thus should be stopped effective immediately.

The following report outlines a brief discussion on the popular NSA cyber crime attack that took place in the year 2016. This report will be providing a brief description on the case study with relevant details. Moreover, the impact of the cyber attack will also be given here.

NSA or National Security Agency is the intelligence agency of national level of the United States Department of Defence. This particular agency mainly monitors, collects and processes the confidential data or information for the purposes of counter intelligence and foreign intelligence. They have specialized in the SIGINT or signals intelligence discipline [10]. They are responsible for the perfect protection of the information systems and the communication networks of the United States. National Security Agency solely relies on the several measures for the successful accomplishment of their mission. Currently, NSA is conducting the collection of mass data from all over the world. Although, they mainly deal with the confidential and sensitive information; they have encountered a major cyber attack that helped to understand that even their information systems are vulnerable to the threats.

On August 14, 2016, the entire cyber world was shaken with a ransom ware cyber attack. The cyber attack eventually originated from stealing of the cyber weapons from the National Security Agency, United States government [4]. The specific group, who stole the cyber weapons from NSA, claimed themselves as “Shadow Brokers”. The National Security Agency suspected that Russian hackers were behind this intelligence breach. After a prolonged 15 months ongoing investigation, it was revealed Kremlin was the major suspect for the leakage of several cyber weapons. It is also suspected that one of the insiders was involved in this case. However, the name of the insider in NSA is still unknown. The group of Shadow Brokers was enough to create havoc in the world. NSA was eventually blamed for this cyber crime attack and they were blamed as they did not take necessary security measures for protecting their cyber weapons from the insider threats [3]. It was solely revealed that without the help of the insider person, it was nearly impossible for the group of Shadow Brokers to get hold of the cyber weapons of NSA.

Description of the Case Study

National Security Agency or NSA is responsible for securing all types of confidential or sensitive information. They have encountered a major cyber attack in August 2016 within their intelligence agency [10]. The important and confidential cyber weapons were stolen by a particular group, known as the Shadow Brokers. They stole the cyber weapons for the purpose of data and intelligence breaching. The impact of this particular cyber crime attack was extremely dangerous. The group of hackers at first stole the cyber weapons with the help of an insider. After that, they wanted to sell those cyber weapons. They started to offer the NSA cyber weapons for sale with the purpose of obtaining huge amount of money [3]. After that, they even offered for providing the exploits of the National Security Agency for paying monthly subscriptions.

The impact of this cyber crime attack was dangerous as with these weapons, the group of Shadow Brokers planned their next major ransom ware attack [9]. This cyber attack hobbled the hospitals in England and was spread in the rest of the world. According to the survey of this attack, more than 45,000 attacks were registered within 99 countries. The most affected countries are the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Russia, China, India, Egypt and Italy. Various popular organizations were also affected in this particular cyber crime attack [1]. The ransom ware was spread to the parts of South America and United States. However, Europe and Russia was at the most vulnerable stake.

When the National Security Agency was asked about this attack and about the involvement of an insider from their agency in the attack, they are numb and did not justify themselves [7]. They even did not acknowledge their role in the development of those cyber weapons. The theft of the cyber weapons lead to the biggest attack of the cyber world, known as the Wanna Cry ransom ware attack. The Shadow Brokers utilized the stolen cyber weapons from the National Security Agency for utilizing them in the Wanna Cry ransom ware. A lot of people were unable to install the patch, especially when they were utilizing the Windows XP. They demanded for 300 dollars as ransom for stopping the malware to get spread any further [12]. Thus, the entire world was strongly affected due to this theft of cyber weapons from the agency of National Security Agency or NSA.

Another significant impact of the NSA cyber crime attack was on the society or the rest of the world. The developing countries were mainly affected in this case. The banking systems, the national health systems, the physical infrastructure and the government of the United States were eventually affected [5]. The databanks or the information that were leaked, were extremely confidential and thus, it breached the entire security system of the nation. Since, NSA has the responsibility to protect all types of legal and sensitive data; they were blamed for their own insecurity to data [8]. This type of cyber attack even affected the economy of the country as the cyber weapons were highly expensive. They were kept for the protection of the country from any outsider attacks. As, these cyber weapons were stolen, the National Security Agency has to arrange for them once more, and this would be again extremely costly [5]. Moreover, the group of Shadow Brokers induced the fact that NSA has an insider threat and he or she could be helpful in any future attack as the name was not revealed and he or she is still a part of the agency.

Impact of the Cyber Attack

Thus, the NSA cyber crime attack was one of the most significant attacks in the world. It is also considered as the largest intelligence theft in the world till date [6]. These types of cyber attacks are extremely vulnerable for the cyber world.

Conclusion

Therefore, from the above discussion, it can be concluded that a cyber attack is the deliberate exploitation of several types of computers, systems, networks and enterprises that are dependent on the technology. These types of attacks utilize a specific malicious code for altering logic, data or computer code, thus resulting in dangerous consequences for compromising data. The cyber attacks then lead to various cyber crimes like information theft or identity theft. Cyber attacks are also known as the CNA or computer network attacks. Various types of consequences can be included in cyber attacks like password sniffing, identity thefts, extortion, malware, spamming, phishing, Trojans, viruses, access breaching, stolen hardware, denial of service attacks and many more. Several popular data breaching cases have been registered in the world. One of the most significant cyber attacks is NSA cyber crime attack that shook the entire cyber world. The above report has properly outlined a brief discussion on the NSA cyber attack and its impact on the world.

References

[1] Rid, Thomas, and Ben Buchanan. "Attributing cyber attacks." Journal of Strategic Studies 38, no. 1-2 (2015): 4-37.

[2] Kwon, Cheolhyeon, Weiyi Liu, and Inseok Hwang. "Security analysis for cyber-physical systems against stealthy deception attacks." In American Control Conference (ACC), 2013, pp. 3344-3349. IEEE, 2013.

[3] "Russians Probably Stole Our Cyber Weapons And Are Now Using Them Against Us". 2018. Newsweek. https://www.newsweek.com/russia-nsa-cyber-weapons-hacking-710053 .

[4] Sanger, Nicole. 2018. "Hacks Raise Fear Over N.S.A.’S Hold On Cyberweapons". Nytimes.Com. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/28/technology/ransomware-nsa-hacking-tools.html.

[5] Liu, Shuai, Guoliang Wei, Yan Song, and Yurong Liu. "Extended Kalman filtering for stochastic nonlinear systems with randomly occurring cyber attacks." Neurocomputing 207 (2016): 708-716.

[6] Uma, M., and Ganapathi Padmavathi. "A Survey on Various Cyber Attacks and their Classification." IJ Network Security15, no. 5 (2013): 390-396.

[7] Hartmann, Kim, and Christoph Steup. "The vulnerability of UAVs to cyber attacks-An approach to the risk assessment." In Cyber Conflict (CyCon), 2013 5th International Conference on, pp. 1-23. IEEE, 2013.

[8] Walters, Riley. "Cyber attacks on us companies in 2014." The Heritage Foundation 4289 (2014): 1-5.

[9] Spyridopoulos, Theodoros, G. Karanikas, Theodore Tryfonas, and Georgios Oikonomou. "A game theoretic defence framework against DoS/DDoS cyber attacks." Computers & Security 38 (2013): 39-50.

[10] "NSA.Gov". 2018. Nsa.Gov. https://www.nsa.gov/ .

[11] Yuan, Yuan, Quanyan Zhu, Fuchun Sun, Qinyi Wang, and Tamer Ba?ar. "Resilient control of cyber-physical systems against denial-of-service attacks." In Resilient Control Systems (ISRCS), 2013 6th International Symposium on, pp. 54-59. IEEE, 2013.

[12] Hashimoto, Yoshihiro, Takeshi Toyoshima, Shuichi Yogo, Masato Koike, Takashi Hamaguchi, Sun Jing, and Ichiro Koshijima. "Safety securing approach against cyber-attacks for process control system." Computers & Chemical Engineering 57 (2013): 181-186.

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