Cybersecurity, Botnets, and Cyberterrorism

Cybersecurity, Botnets, and CyberterrorismCybercrime is becoming more organised and established as a transnational business. High technology online skills are now available for rent to a variety of customers, possibly including nation states, or individuals and groups that could secretly represent terrorist groups. The increased use of automated attack tools by cybercriminals has overwhelmed some current methodologies used for tracking Internet cyberattacks, and vulnerabilities of the U.S. critical infrastructure, which are acknowledged openly in publications, could possibly attract cyberattacks to extort money, or damage the U.S. economy to affect national security. In April and May 2007, NATO and the United States sent computer security experts to Estonia to help that nation recover from cyberattacks directed against government computer systems, and to analyze the methods used and determine the source of the attacks. Some security experts suspect that political protestors may have rented the services of cybercriminals, possibly a large network of infected PCs, called a ‘botnet', to help disrupt the computer systems of the Estonian government. DOD officials have also indicated that similar cyberattacks from individuals and countries targeting economic, political, and military organisations may increase in the future. Cybercriminals have reportedly made alliances with drug traffickers in Afghanistan, the Middle East, and elsewhere where profitable illegal activities are used to support terrorist groups. In addition, designs for cybercrime botnets are becoming more sophisticated, and future botnet architectures may be more resistant to computer security countermeasures. This book discusses options now open to nation states, extremists, or terrorist groups for obtaining malicious technical services from cybercriminals to meet political or military objectives, and describes the possible effects of a co-ordinated cyberattack against the U.S. critical infrastructure.

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Counting from Zero

Counting from ZeroCan a security expert save the Internet from a catastrophic zero day cyber attack by a network of zombie computers, known as a botnet? At what cost?

“Credible and believable, this story is told by a subject matter expert. I could not wait to find out what happened next.”
Vint Cerf, Internet pioneer
“The threat to the Internet from worms, viruses, botnets, and zombie computers is real, and growing. Counting from Zero is a great way to come up to speed on the alarming state of affairs, and Johnston draws you in with his story and believable cast of characters.”
Phil Zimmermann, creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) the most widely used email encryption program
Today, every computer connected to the Internet is under constant attack from viruses, worms, port scans, and spam. Security professionals continually fight to contain newly unleashed cyber attacks, known as ‘zero day' attacks, only to have new attacks launched. Millions of computers have already succumbed, and, without their owner's knowledge, have become slave computers – remotely controlled ‘zombies'. Under the control of organized crime and backed by foreign governments, these computers are morphing into collections known in the industry as botnets, short for robot networks.
Internet security expert Mick O'Malley is the only one who recognizes the growing threat of the ultimate zero day attack on the Internet from a massive botnet, and his unique hacker skills and network of colleagues enable him to fight back. More cyber prep than cyber punk, Mick uses real-life tools and techniques to encrypt all his communications, and uses these skills to break the encryption used by the botnet. Mick uses encryption on a personal level, too, having multiple passports and multiple names and identities. While crisscrossing the globe in the air, on land, and at sea investigating the threat, Mick becomes the target of attacks on his reputation, his identity, and ultimately his life.
Along the way, Mick meets Kateryna Petrescu, a beautiful Romanian firewall expert. Mick's attraction to Kateryna develops as they work closely together and share the excitement and danger. Why is the government following Mick and trying to intercept his communications? Can he stop the zero day attack before it is unleashed? What will be the cost to Mick for his single mindedness?
Unfolding across three continents, the new cybercrime mystery “Counting from Zero” gives a realistic insider's view of the thrust and parry world of computer security and cryptography, and the very real threat of botnets.

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Hacktivism and Cyberwars: Rebels with a Cause?

Hacktivism and Cyberwars: Rebels with a Cause?This detailed history of hacktivism's evolution from early hacking culture to its present day status as the radical face of online politics describes the ways in which hacktivism has re-appropriated hacking techniques to create an innovative new form of political protest. The full social and historical context of Hacktivism is portrayed to take into account its position in terms of new social movements, direct action, and its contribution to the anti-globalization debate.

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Botnets: Storm Botnet, Srizbi Botnet, Zeus, Bot Roast, Kraken Botnet, Mega-D Botnet, Torpig, Akbot, Bot Herder

Botnets: Storm Botnet, Srizbi Botnet, Zeus, Operation: Bot Roast, Kraken Botnet, Mega-D Botnet, Torpig, Akbot, Bot HerderChapters: Storm Botnet, Srizbi Botnet, Zeus, Operation: Bot Roast, Kraken Botnet, Mega-D Botnet, Torpig, Akbot, Bot Herder. Source: Wikipedia. Pages: 52. Not illustrated. Free updates online. Purchase includes a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Excerpt: The Storm botnet or Storm worm botnet (not to be confused with StormBot, a TCL script that is not malicious) is a remotely controlled network of “zombie” computers (or “botnet”) that has been linked by the Storm Worm, a Trojan horse spread through e-mail spam. Some have estimated that by September 2007 the Storm botnet was running on anywhere from 1 million to 50 million computer systems. Other sources have placed the size of the botnet to be around 250,000 to 1 million compromised systems. More conservatively, one network security analyst claims to have developed software that has crawled the botnet and estimates that it controls 160,000 infected computers. The Storm botnet was first identified around January 2007, with the Storm worm at one point accounting for 8% of all malware on Microsoft Windows computers. The Storm botnet has been used in a variety of criminal activities. Its controllers and the authors of the Storm Worm have not yet been identified. The Storm botnet has displayed defensive behaviors that indicated that its controllers were actively protecting the botnet against attempts at tracking and disabling it. The botnet has specifically attacked the online operations of some security vendors and researchers who attempted to investigate the botnet. Security expert Joe Stewart revealed that in late 2007, the operators of the botnet began to further decentralize their operations, in possible plans to sell portions of the Storm botnet to other operators.

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Computer Attack and Cyberterrorism

Computer Attack and CyberterrorismMany international terrorist groups now actively use computers and the Internet to communicate, and several may develop or acquire the necessary technical skills to direct a co-ordinated attack against computers in the United States. A cyberattack intended to harm the U.S. economy would likely target computers that operate the civilian critical infrastructure and government agencies. However, there is disagreement among some observers about whether a co-ordinated cyberattack against the U.S. critical infrastructure could be extremely harmful, or even whether computers operating the civilian critical infrastructure actually offer an effective target for furthering terrorists' goals. While there is no published evidence that terrorist organizations are currently planning a co-ordinated attack against computers, computer system vulnerabilities persist world-wide, and initiators of the random cyberattacks that plague computers on the Internet remain largely unknown. Reports from security organisations show that random attacks are now increasingly implemented through use of automated tools, called ‘bots', that direct large numbers of compromised computers to launch attacks through the Internet as swarms. The growing trend toward the use of more automated attack tools has also overwhelmed some of the current methodologies used for tracking Internet cyberattacks. This book provides background information for three types of attacks against computers (cyberattack, physical attack, and electromagnetic attack), and discusses related vulnerabilities for each type of attack.The book also describes the possible effects of a co-ordinated cyberattack, or computer network attack (CNA), against U.S. infrastructure computers, along with possible technical capabilities of international terrorists. Issues for Congress may include how could trends in cyberattacks be measured more effectively; what is appropriate guidance for DOD use of cyberweapons; should cybersecurity be combined with, or remain separate from, the physical security organization within DHS; how can commercial vendors be encouraged to improve the security of their products; and what are options to encourage U.S. citizens to follow better cybersecurity practices. Appendices to this book describe computer viruses, spyware, and ‘bot networks', and how malicious programs are used to enable cybercrime and cyberespionage. Also, similarities are drawn between planning tactics currently used by computer hackers and those used by terrorists groups for conventional attacks.

Price: $37.00

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