Effects of Cyberattacks on International Peace Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Cyberattacks to Achieve International Threats

Cyberattacks have become a global phenomenon leading to international conflicts among individuals, organizations and in conjunction to military operations. Target of cyberattacks include banking services, critical organizational infrastructures, government networks, and media outlets. Implication of such attacks may be an attempt to achieve both financial and political objectives. Typically, some attackers have defaced websites of different organizations, damage corporate infrastructures, and shut down network systems. Many cyberattacks are political motivated, and sources of these attacks are difficult to trace because most of the attacks are often state sponsored. Cyberspace attackers employ different tactics to achieve their objectives, which include both financial and military gains.

Objective of this paper is to explore the cyber operations and some of the tools that cyber attackers use to achieve their operations.

Objectives of Cyberattacks and Tools used to achieve the Objectives

Cyberattacks are broadly described as the type of criminal activities where computer systems and computer networks are the targets of criminal activities. The U.S. Department of Justice defines the cyberattacks as the type of crime target at computer systems without the authorization in order to carry a theft and attack the system integrity, data integrity, availability and data confidentiality. (Stallings, 2011). Major objectives of carrying out the cyberattacks are to achieve both financial and strategic gains.

Different tools are used for cyberattacks. Malware or malicious software is one of the tools that cyber criminals use to perpetuate their attacks. Malware is a program that attackers use to exploit the vulnerabilities of the computer systems. "Nearly two-thirds of critical infrastructure companies report regularly finding malware designed to sabotage their systems." (Maude, 2011 p 17). Examples of non-independent malware include logic bombs, Viruses, and backdoors. However, independent malware includes Bot programs and Worms. A logic bomb is one of the predatory viruses, program threat, and worms. The logic bomb refers as the code embedded in a legitimate program, which explodes when certain condition is met. When a user downloads the application embedded with the logic bomb, it will trigger the logic bomb, which in turn may delete or alter the entire file. For example, Tim Lloyd, an employee of Omega Engineering used the logic bomb on his company's infrastructure that cost the company over $10 million, derailed the corporate strategic growth and consequently led to a layoff of 80 workers. "Ultimately, Lloyd was sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay $2 million in restitution." (Stallings, 2011, p 787-788).

Cyber criminals also use the backdoor to enter a legitimate website to commit fraud. A backdoor is a program that creates as secret entry point to gain access into the organizational infrastructures. Typically, the backdoor has become a threat using an unscrupulous program to gain access to network infrastructure to carry out unauthorized or illegal activities.

DoS (Denial of Service) is another tool of cyber attackers where attackers flood the networks, and servers with flood of traffic thereby make an organizational computer system inaccessible. The goal of DoS is to debar legitimate users from gaining access to the information resources.

Botnets is a type of computer referred as zombie army where the computer has been programed to forward transmission that contains viruses or spam. Using this tactics, cyber attackers can install Trojan horse, virus or worm into organizational network systems thereby steal sensitive information. An attacker can use Botnets to forward an attachment that contains a Trojan horse to gain access to organizational sensitive information.

Reply to Thread is one the tools that cyber attackers use to gain access to…

Sources Used in Document:


Stallings, W. (2011). Cryptography and Network Security: Principles and Practice (5th Edition). Pearson Education, Inc.

Maude, F. (2011). The UK Cyber Security Strategy Protecting and promoting the UK in a digital world.UK.

UNODC (2012). The use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

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