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This chapter is from the book

Exercises

  1. List at least three kinds of harm a company could experience from electronic espionage or unauthorized viewing of company confidential materials.

  2. List at least three kinds of harm a student could experience from electronic espionage or unauthorized viewing of personal materials.

  3. Describe a situation in which complete denial of service to a user (that is, the user gets no response from the computer) is a serious problem to that user. Describe a situation in which 10% denial of service (that is, the response from the computer is 10% slower than normal) is a serious problem to a user.

  4. Consider the web site of an organization many people would support, for example, an environmental group or a charity. List at least three classes of people who might attack that web site. What are their motives? Consider the web site of a controversial organization, for example, a group of extreme ideology. List at least three classes of people who might attack that web site. What are their motives? Can you build a list of three classes that would attack both types of sites?

  5. Do you think attempting to break in to (that, is obtain access to or use of) a computing system is ethical? Why or why not? Do you think that act should be illegal? Why or why not? Base your answer on harm: Who is harmed, to what degree, and does benefit to the person breaking in override the harm?

  6. Consider electronic medical records. Which of confidentiality, integrity, and availability do their users require? Cite examples of each of these properties you think are required. Describe at least two kinds of people or situations that could threaten each property you name.

  7. Distinguish among threat, threat agent, vulnerability, harm, and control.

  8. Not all kinds of computer harm are illegal. List five examples of harm that are not illegal.

  9. Consider the example with which this chapter began: a series of seemingly unrelated events, including failure of the communications and electrical power networks. Describe a scenario in which these could all occur concurrently but not be related. Describe a way at least one could lead to another. Describe a way you could determine the root cause of each failure.

  10. Continuing from Exercise 9, suppose you were a malicious agent assigned to cause failure of the telecommunications and electric power systems. What steps could you take to make it difficult to determine who you are? What steps could you take to make it difficult to determine that the attack was malicious and not a natural accident? What steps could you take to make it seem as though the cause was someone else, for example, a particular foreign country?

  11. Consider a restaurant with an online reservation system for patrons. What confidentiality, integrity, and availability threats might such a system experience? Hypothesize vulnerabilities in such a system that an attacker might try to exploit. What countermeasures could be applied against these threats?

  12. Suppose a payroll system secretly leaks a list of names of employees earning more than a certain amount each pay period. Who would be harmed by such a vulnerability? How could such a vulnerability come about? What controls could be instituted to counter such a vulnerability? Suppose the leakage was not just names but also employees' identification numbers and full pay amounts. Would the people harmed or the degree of harm be different? Why or why not? If the employees are the ones suffering the greatest harm, who should be responsible for countering this vulnerability: the employee or the employer? Why?

  13. A letter arrives in the surface mail apparently from your bank, but you are skeptical of its origin. What factors would make you skeptical? How could the bank help allay your skepticism in advance of sending the letter? What could the bank put in the letter itself that would reduce your skepticism? Would your answers be the same if the bank sends email instead of a surface mail letter?

  14. Consider a program you could install on your own personal web page to display your city's current time and temperature. What threats could this program cause to you? To people who visit your web site? What controls could counter those threats?

  15. Consider a program that allows people to order goods over the Internet. What threats could this program cause to users (purchasers)? What threats could this program cause to the merchant? Hypothesize three vulnerabilities that could allow these threats to be actualized.

  16. Suppose you are a talented sailor about to race your boat in a yachting competition. A possible threat to winning is cancellation of the event because of adverse weather conditions. List three other threats you might encounter as you try to win by posting the fastest finishing time. List three vulnerabilities those threats might exploit. List three countermeasures against those threats.

  17. Suppose you are a spy, and you need to pass secret materials to another spy, Agent Smart. However, you and Smart have never before met. You are aware that hostile forces are all around, any one of whom might try to impersonate Smart; if you approach someone and asked if she is Agent Smart, she might say she is even if she is not. Suggest a control for this threat—that is, a way you could be convinced the person to whom you are talking is really Agent Smart. Would your technique work if you assumed your telephone and mail were being monitored by the hostile agents? Suggest a way that would work even if your communications were monitored.

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