Cyber Infrastructure Protection

From the preface:

The Internet, as well as other telecommunication networks and information systems, have become an integrated part of our daily lives, and our dependency upon their underlying infrastructure is ever-increasing. Unfortunately, as our dependency has grown, so have hostile attacks on the cyber infrastructure by network predators. The lack of security as a core element in the initial design of these information systems has made common desktop software, infrastructure services, and information networks increasingly vulnerable to continuous and innovative breakers of security. Worms, viruses, and spam are examples of attacks that cost the global economy billions of dollars in lost productivity. Sophisticated distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that use thousands of web robots (bots) on the Internet and telecommunications networks are on the rise. The ramifications of these attacks are clear: the potential for a devastating largescale network failure, service interruption, or the total unavailability of service.

Yet many security programs are based solely on reactive measures, such as the patching of software or the detection of attacks that have already occurred, instead of proactive measures that prevent attacks in the first place. Most of the network security configurations are performed manually and require experts to monitor, tune security devices, and recover from attacks. On the other hand, attacks are getting more sophisticated and highly automated, which gives the attackers an advantage in this technology race.

A key contribution of this book is that it provides an integrated view and a comprehensive framework of the various issues relating to cyber infrastructure protection. It covers not only strategy and policy issues, but it also covers social, legal, and technical aspects of cyber security as well. We strongly recommend this book for policymakers and researchers so that they may stay abreast of the latest research and develop a greater understanding of cyber security issues.

Read the full book here.

Reality Check on a Cyber Force

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It is premature to call for a separate cyberspace armed service, independent of the other services and agencies, to project power and protect vital US national security and economic vitality interests. There are four key prerequisites before achieving this goal: 1) a unique, strategic military capability unachievable by any of the other services and agencies; 2) corresponding technological advances; 3) an unrestricted battlespace; and 4) political champions to maneuver the bureaucracy and pass legislation.

Read the full article here.

Kingpin

Kingpin

 

From Amazon.com:

Former hacker Kevin Poulsen has, over the past decade, built a reputation as one of the top investigative reporters on the cybercrime beat. In Kingpin, he pours his unmatched access and expertise into book form for the first time, delivering a gripping cat-and-mouse narrative—and an unprecedented view into the twenty-first century’s signature form of organized crime.

The word spread through the hacking underground like some unstoppable new virus: Someone—some brilliant, audacious crook—had just staged a hostile takeover of an online criminal network that siphoned billions of dollars from the US economy.

The FBI rushed to launch an ambitious undercover operation aimed at tracking down this new kingpin; other agencies around the world deployed dozens of moles and double agents. Together, the cybercops lured numerous unsuspecting hackers into their clutches. . . . Yet at every turn, their main quarry displayed an uncanny ability to sniff out their snitches and see through their plots.

The culprit they sought was the most unlikely of criminals: a brilliant programmer with a hippie ethic and a supervillain’s double identity. As prominent “white-hat” hacker Max “Vision” Butler, he was a celebrity throughout the programming world, even serving as a consultant to the FBI. But as the black-hat “Iceman,” he found in the world of data theft an irresistible opportunity to test his outsized abilities. He infiltrated thousands of computers around the country, sucking down millions of credit card numbers at will. He effortlessly hacked his fellow hackers, stealing their ill-gotten gains from under their noses. Together with a smooth-talking con artist, he ran a massive real-world crime ring.

And for years, he did it all with seeming impunity, even as countless rivals ran afoul of police.

Yet as he watched the fraudsters around him squabble, their ranks riddled with infiltrators, their methods inefficient, he began to see in their dysfunction the ultimate challenge: He would stage his coup and fix what was broken, run things as they should be run—even if it meant painting a bull’s-eye on his forehead.

Through the story of this criminal’s remarkable rise, and of law enforcement’s quest to track him down, Kingpin lays bare the workings of a silent crime wave still affecting millions of Americans. In these pages, we are ushered into vast online-fraud supermarkets stocked with credit card numbers, counterfeit checks, hacked bank accounts, dead drops, and fake passports. We learn the workings of the numerous hacks—browser exploits, phishing attacks, Trojan horses, and much more—these fraudsters use to ply their trade, and trace the complex routes by which they turn stolen data into millions of dollars. And thanks to Poulsen’s remarkable access to both cops and criminals, we step inside the quiet, desperate arms race that law enforcement continues to fight with these scammers today.

Ultimately, Kingpin is a journey into an underworld of startling scope and power, one in which ordinary American teenagers work hand in hand with murderous Russian mobsters and where a simple Wi-Fi connection can unleash a torrent of gold worth millions.

Black Code

The Black Code

 

From Amazon.com

Cyberspace is all around us. We depend on it for everything we do. We have reengineered our business, governance, and social relations around a planetary network unlike any before it. But there are dangers looming, and malign forces are threatening to transform this extraordinary domain.

In Black Code, Ronald J. Deibert, a leading expert on digital technology, security, and human rights, lifts the lid on cyberspace and shows what’s at stake for Internet users and citizens. As cyberspace develops in unprecedented ways, powerful agents are scrambling for control. Predatory cyber criminal gangs such as Koobface have made social media their stalking ground. The discovery of Stuxnet, a computer worm reportedly developed by Israel and the United States and aimed at Iran’s nuclear facilities, showed that state cyberwar is now a very real possibility. Governments and corporations are in collusion and are setting the rules of the road behind closed doors.

This is not the way it was supposed to be. The Internet’s original promise of a global commons of shared knowledge and communications is now under threat.

Drawing on the first-hand experiences of one of the most important protagonists in the battle — the Citizen Lab and its global network of frontline researchers, who have spent more than a decade cracking cyber espionage rings and uncovering attacks on citizens and NGOs worldwide — Black Code takes readers on a fascinating journey into the battle for cyberspace. Thought-provoking, compelling, and sometimes frightening, it is a wakeup call to citizens who have come to take the Internet for granted. Cyberspace is ours, it is what we make of it, Deibert argues, and we need to act now before it slips through our grasp.