America Isn't Ready For Real Digital Protection Of Its Infrastructure Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Education - Computers Type: Essay Paper: #62833907 Related Topics: Cyber Crimes, Cybersecurity, Americas, America
Excerpt from Essay :

Combating Digital Crime & Digital Terrorism

"Describe the overall impact (e.g. economic, social, etc.) of utilizing technologies in combating digital crime and digital terrorism"

It has become very obvious over the past few years that the United States' technologies that are supposed to combat cyber attacks on corporate, personal, and government computers are enormously ineffective. Some would say that is an understatement. This paper discusses ways to combat cyber crime and cyber terrorism. There is good reason why this subject needs addressing not just in college research papers but by the agencies that are supposed to protect Americans and the U.S. government and its employees (including the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, among others).

Why better digital crime prevention is imperative

In fact one of the most devastating digital attacks on U.S. government computers occurred earlier in June, as hackers linked to China gained access "... To the sensitive background information submitted by intelligence and military personnel for security clearances" in the Office of Personnel Management (Reynolds, 2015). It was a cyber crime of enormous proportions, and in addition to the regular personnel records of federal employees -- which may lead the cyber criminals to attempt to blackmail, intimidate workers and steal their identities -- the hackers stole a "trove of military and intelligence records that could be even more valuable" (Reynolds, p. 1). The forms that were stolen by the criminals were "Standard Form 86," which lists employees in very sensitive positions and their "weaknesses, past arrests, bankruptcies, drug and alcohol problems" (Reynolds, p. 1).

In addition, thieves stole personnel information from current and former employees including issues linked to divorce information, social security numbers, and private information on roommates, spouses, relatives and friends, Reynolds explained. So, following this successful digital attack, there are nearly 14 million present and former federal employees who are in a "collective panic over the loss of their information" (Reynolds). This brazen security breach is being called a "cyber Pearl Harbor," which may be a stretch, but even though no bullets or...

...

personnel information.

What should the U.S. be doing to thwart cyber criminals?

Reynolds writes that the federal government is offering those 14 million employees (and former employees) "free identity-theft protection," but it's like putting a "band-aid on a severed limb," Reynolds writes on page 2. But looking at the problem and what to do, James Jay Carafano explains that the kind of theft that the Chinese pulled off didn't necessarily require "ninja cyber skills" because entrance into so-called protected servers and computers can be done with "phishing" -- gaining entry through passwords by "tricking legitimate users into handing them over" (Carafano, 2015).

It is "unforgivable that the feds couldn't stop the hackers from taking so much out and running their vacuum cleaner operation for so long undetected" (Carafano, p. 1). Washington spends too much time trying to tell the rest of the world what to do and too little time getting its own house in order" (Carafano, p. 1).

The existing challenges based on the independent nature of law enforcement agencies include: a) ensuring cyber crime is being reported; b) ensuring adequate analytical and technical capabilities for law enforcement; c) working in "a borderless environment with laws of multiple jurisdictions"; and d) raising awareness and putting into place "information security practices" (Wolf, U. 2009).

What the United States needs to focus on -- and this is a huge challenge based on the vulnerability America has clearly shown in terms of failing to protect its government resources and infrastructure -- is protecting the "networked critical infrastructures" (NCIs). In a peer-reviewed article in the journal Communications of the ACM, the authors explain that NCIs include "transportation systems, electricity grids, and telecommunications networks, which, if seriously compromised, would disrupt the American economy and "the lives of all citizens" (Siaterlis, et al., 2014).

The past few years have seen a "dramatic increase in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) within the NCIs," and the main purpose of those increases has been to "reduce the cost of industrial installations and implement…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Bennett, B., and Diersing, C. (2015). Hacked U.S. files not encrypted. Los Angeles Times.

Retrieved June 17, 2015, from http://www.latimes.com.

Bissell, K. (2013). Fighting Cybercrime with Collective Intelligence and Technology.

The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 17, 2015, from http://deloitte.wsj.com.
Carafano, J.J. (2015). In cyberattacks, blame the victim: Column. USA Today. Retrieved June 17, 2015, from http://www.usatoday.com.
USA Today. Retrieved June 17, 2015, from http://www.usatoday.com.
Criminals. Govtech.com. Retrieved June 17, 2015, from http://www.govtech.com.


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