Advancement in computer technology has brought with it a lot of positive impacts, but at the same time, it has introduced its fair share of challenges. Cybercrime has become a norm in the current day with firms struggling to keep the crime at bay through policies, laws and other regulations. America has responded to the challenge by establishing cybercrime policies as a way of protecting the public from violent attacks that lead to loss of confidential information. Overall, this memorandum will analyzes matters about cybercrime in America including measures that the government has put in place to contain the situation.
The act passes as both espionage and an act of aggression or war. The Botnet type attack stands as an act of espionage considering it targeted the American defense firm. The attack on the firm compromised a new surveillance system by the name Defense Applications International. Noteworthy, considering that the attack was aimed at a defense firm indicates that the individuals behind the same wanted to get information concerning the defense system that America had put in place. Espionage by its nature refers to the act of obtaining confidential data or information without the express authority of the holder (Johnson, 2016). The attacker above wanted to get information about the American defense system without following the proper channel. The attacker in the case above managed to obtain information about Defense Application International a new surveillance system that placed at risk the lives of American citizens mainly if such information was to land in the hands of terrorists or any other individuals with ill will.
The individuals who conducted the attack compromised the (DAI) further interfered with a software programme under test by DAI in Pennsylvania. The motive of the attack can easily be identified as an attempt to gather information for the preparation of a possible enemy attack. The attack also passes as an act of war as the attacker went for the American defense system possibly to gain an advantage if a war broke out by understanding the surveillance system in place. Gathering intelligence plays a crucial role every war (Johnson, 2016). America has adversaries, and when the adversaries invade the defense system, the incident passes as an act of aggression and the reference stands justified. Invading the defense system passes as an act of war to which America ought to respond swiftly. The US ought to identify the attackers and bring them to book as soon as possible. Punishing the criminal elements behind the attack will act as a deterrent measure to others with a similar motive. The use of economic and military sanctions on countries that participate in such activities will also help in to stem the crime.
Defense Against Future Botnet Attacks
The American government can incorporate network baselining where it will be able to monitor all network activities as well as the performance of all computers. Baselining will help detect irregular network behavior and intervene before crucial information leaks out. The American government also needs to ensure that software remains up-to-date with the required security patches as well as train users to keep vigil and refrain from activities that expose them to bot infections such as downloading attachments, opening emails and opening of links from untrusted users. The US can install Anti-Botnet tools that detect and block Botnet viruses before they invade the computer. Firewalls as well as antivirus software ought to incorporate Botnet detection, removal, and prevention tools. Tools such as network sniffers and rootkit detection packages come in handy in preventing Botnet attacks (Johnson, 2016). Overall, Installing Anti-Botnet tools in critical government departments such as the defense department will go along in preventing a repeat of such attacks that lead to the loss of crucial information which compromises the security of American citizens.
United States should move with speed and task the US Cyber Command with the duty of safeguarding certain private entities. The US has various private companies that provide essential goods and services which help to make the lives of citizens better. Companies such as the ones providing internet services that include Comcast and CenturyLink ought to be protected since their services play a crucial role in the economy (Johnson, 2016). Multinational corporations need protection too from US Cyber Command to keep their businesses safe from external saboteurs and competitors who have ill will. Leaving the companies on their own exposes them to the risks of cyber-attacks which often results in the loss of crucial information. Malicious competitors can use the leaked information that might include strategies, financial strength of the companies and use the same to the disadvantage of the victim. Private companies provide employment to millions of American citizens and survival of the private firm's guarantees survival of the millions of the employees to the same private firms and thus offering them protection comes as a matter of priority.
General Standard for Evaluating Companies for Government Protection
The government ought to consider the sensitivity of the service that the company offers for instance firms that offer security services ought to be given top priority while considering government protection. Johnson (2016) indicates that security firms play a crucial role in the economy as they safeguard the business environment and even advise investors on the safety of their investments. Private security firms handle sensitive security matters which make them a top priority for attackers as they seek to obtain information from which they can analyze and identify lapses in the defense system to use in their attacks. Attackers may want to gather information about the recent surveillance system in place, the defense tactics of the US among other crucial information and use the same data to come up with better attack strategies. In general, companies offering security services ought to remain a priority for government protection.
Size of the Company
The size of the company also ought to determine which companies receive government protection and which ones do not. America has several multinational corporations that employ millions of people, and their collapse might impact negatively on the economy. These multinational corporations rely on internet services to run most of their activities in their various branches distributed across the world. Criminals might take advantage of the companies' reliance on internet services to infiltrate their system and steal crucial information for criminal purposes (Johnson, 2016). In additions, the attackers might use the information to obtain personal details of employees from the company's database and use them to further other criminal activities. In light of the above challenges, it appears justified for the US government to assign the US Cyber Command the duty of protecting private companies.
The United States ought to take the lead at international cyber agreement because it stands as the target of many attackers owing to the country's position as the superpower. America as the world superpower intervenes in many international issues including restoration of peace initiatives in various countries which have earned it allies as well as adversaries in equal measure (Perkovich & Levite, 2017). As the superpower nation, many countries would like to rise to the same position some using dubious means and cyber-attacks provides one of such means.
America has also imposed sanctions both economic and military in certain countries as a way of punishing them for their mistakes and as a result becoming the target of the same countries. The US also provides the lead regarding technological advancements in various fields and thus has extensive knowledge on various matters which justifies the country to play the lead role at the international cyber agreement. As the superpower nation, America ought to provide direction on various issues that concern the world (Perkovich & Levite, 2017). Providing direction in this regard, involve playing a leading role at various international cyber agreements. As the world's leading economy, America has a lot at stake than any other country in the world, and therefore, the nation must play the lead role in such agreements to safeguard its interests. In light of the above, America ought to lead the efforts at any international cyber agreement as the nation's stakes stand higher than those of any other country in the world.
Challenges in Getting the Agreements
The President is bound to get resistance in trying to get the cyber agreement from other countries which might unite and oppose the move. Most of the international agreements rely on voting by member countries at the international conventions, and if the participating nations feel disfavored by the same deal, then they can unite and vote against the US thus making it difficult for the President to get the same. America risks isolation by other nations if the agreements appear to disadvantage them which explain why the country needs to exercise a lot of restraining and considerations while playing the lead role in such agreements (Perkovich & Levite, 2017).
The President might also have to incur huge financial expenditures to get the agreement in the international conventions. A lot of lobbying takes place amongst countries participating in such international convention and to get countries supporting a particular position in the said agreement requires intense lobbying which comes at a substantial financial cost. Seeking to play the lead role in international cyber agreement also brings out America as a selfish nation out to protect its interest at the expense of other countries which might make it difficult for the state to get the deal (Perkovich & Levite, 2017). America needs the agreement more than any other country in the world, and therefore, will have to go an extra mile to get it. The US will have to convince other member states why it deserves to play the lead role and also justify how the agreement will benefit other member countries.
America might employ other options such as presenting the policies that guide cyber activities in international agreements and also provide an enforcement system for the same. Policies and reinforcement structures will ensure that America remains at the center of the deal even it fails to play the lead role (Perkovich & Levite, 2017). Overall, the target is to ensure that America determines the direction of the cyber agreements in international conventions and taking charge of the guiding policies and reinforcement structures will equally serve the same role.
The increasing cases of cyber-attacks in various organizations in America point to the need to change certain aspects in the Cybersecurity policy. Currently, the American Cybersecurity policy forbids any firm from hacking back its attackers on the basis that the power to spy rests with the Federal government. The policy also prohibits hacking back because the Federal government retaliates on behalf of companies that have experienced cyber-attacks. The policy ought to allow for active defense as proposed earlier where the firm under attack can also hack back the attacker, determine the identity of the aggressor and find out the kind of information accessed. Allowing hacking back of attackers will not only act as a deterrent measure but also bring the culprits to book for their criminal activities.
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