Cyber-attacks types and methods that hackers use


The internet, computer and other databases have become a battlefield over the years. It is hardly possible to identify any single person who is secure from cyber threats and attacks. Paradoxically, countries who feel least vulnerable are the most targeted by cyber attackers, especially the western powerful and rapidly developing countries. Incredibly, cyber attackers find the internet the most accessible, affordable and most straightforward platform to carry out cyber-attacks which often have severe damages and economic losses. Cyber-attacks are very indispensable for the military and defence sector as they consider the internet and virtual space very critical to national security. This research paper discusses cyber-attacks types, methods and techniques that hackers use to threated industries and government system security. It also discussed the preparedness of the government to handle incidences of cyber-attacks and key counterintelligence that the government and organizations employ to address this matter.

Keywords:cyber warfare, cyber-attack, internet, terrorists, government

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  1. Introduction

The 21st century has come with consistently rising state of cybercrime and cyber warfare technologies, capabilities and resources globally. In the 1990s, most people started using the internet, and this came handy with a profusion of cyber commerce. “The cyber warfare threat facing the United States is increasing in scope and scale, and its impact is difficult to overstate” (Andress, Winterfeld, Rogers & Northcutt, 2011). However, taking centre stage for these new concepts is the increase in cybercrime rates, and the responsible agencies have since attempted to find out ways to combat the new forms of cybercrime targeting. For example, the general denial of service attack is an upward trending theft for ransoming money from websites without access to the internet. Worm viruses like SQL Slammer and Sasser are also rising with the internet becoming a great platform to spread the virus targeting the unpatched vulnerabilities in the majority of the systems. Over time, these worms and in their different forms have been weaponized to create terror further. Various methods have been used in cyber warfare and with changing technologies, the expectation for these ways to change is broadening.

Cyber warfare is an exciting and hot debate. Law enforcement, intelligence agencies and armed forces consider investment in computer security as a top priority when it comes to ensuring national security. Currently, the world is witnessing significant efforts directed towards cyberspace as the governments intensely attempt to overreach the state of events with the disastrous implications for democracy and human rights.Cyberwarfare encompasses both am offensive and defensive operations where perpetrators use and target networks and computers in warfare to cause cyber-attacks, espionage and sabotage.

Cyberwarfare is a digital attack by an international organization or national-state to attack or try to destroy or disrupt vital computers systems or information networks of another nation via denial-of-service, hacking or virus attacks among other techniques (Ranger, 2018). Andress, Winterfeld, Rogers & Northcutt (2011) defines cyberwarfare as “actions by a nation-state to penetrate another nation’s computers or networks to cause damage or disruption.” However, other authors relate cyber warfare to terrorist groups, hacktivists, criminals, companies, political, transnational criminal organizations, and ideological extremist groups (Shakarian, 2013). However, the controversies are even tremendous, considering that some governments value cyber warfare capability to make it integral in their overall military strategy.

Cyberwarfare is tests the war-fighting capabilities established by the government and uses identical yet strategic sets of infiltration testing methodologies. Governments combat cybercrimeby employing different strategies to prevent cyber-attacks against vital state infrastructure, mitigate the state of the nation to cyber-attack vulnerabilities, and reduce the damage and recovery time. The U.S. and other countries undertake offensive and secretive operations as state-level strategies to intervene in this warfare. However, despite the series of challenges, the government and the agencies have stayed up front in the cyberwar. There are diverse methods that various people or nations, for a set of varied reasons, can damage computers or information networks. The research paper seeks to provide in-depth debate on types of cyber-attacks that different perpetrators use to infiltrate computer networks. The study also presents an assessment of the various methods used in cyber-attack, the motives behind these attacks and the possible counterintelligence approaches.


  1. Types of cyber attacks

Cyber warfareposes a variety of threats to the computer system and the internet. Any person intending to cause harm can use different types of cyber-attacks to infiltrate the computer systems or networks. An instance of an attack includes tampering with the operation of air defences over the internet to take control of the air attack. Imagine the harm that such an attack would cause. Besides the “hard” threats, cyber warfare is a crucial contributor to cyber threats such as espionage and propaganda. Then, this section deliberates on the main types of cyber-attacks that an organization or a country faces on normalcy. The cyber-attacks discussed include; espionage, sabotage, propaganda, economic disruption and surprise cyber-attack.

  1. Espionage

Espionage is consistently increasing, whether state-sponsored or industry-sponsored. Each day, there is an incident of cyber espionage where unidentified computer hackers surreptitiously and illegally duplicateimmense quantities of computer data and network communications(Lewis, 2010). According to Messener (2008), espionage is the act of secretly obtaining information or intelligence on the plans and activities by spying or using spies, especially on matters of a competing firm or a foreign government. As a form of cyber-attack cyber espionage is a way that people use to “steal classified, sensitive data or intellectual property” with the intent of having the upper hand over the competitor or government entity (Messener, 2008). From a theoretical perspective, this type is anoverwhelming intelligence-gathering operation conducted over the internet by specific hackers, persons, rivals,terrorist groups, and governments on extremely sensitive political and military intelligence. Often, the hackers infiltrate the internet, systems or computers using proxy servers, malicious software such as spyware to crack the databases.

Most people fail to understand how possible it is to be hacked and blindly log into unprotected servers. Online penetration from computer desktops at the workplace for most professionals is among the reasons why businesses lose critical information to competitors or government offices lose their most cherished security intelligence to foreign governments and terrorists. Some people take it far to infiltrate other homes using spies and moles to maliciously stalk their activities. In the cyber warfare and cyber espionage scenario, spies are armies of reprehensible hackers who work to support economically, politically or military motivated cybercrime.

  1. Sabotage

Disruption of equipment often happen from vulnerability of computer and satellites systems.Power supply/stations, fuel, water, communications networks, and transportation infrastructure all may be vulnerable to disruption. Take a special type of sabotage such as the DDoS attack which involves messaging severaldigital service requests to a website such that it overloads the website to make it dysfunctional.DDoS attacks are emerging, famous, highly advanced and hard-to-detect forms of attack. The sabotage often target a large group of computers to create botnet wherethe service requests to have an extensive infiltration phase. Different hackers have evolved to develop an automated digital hacking devices or smart software to hurriedly assemble several of bots and initiate random and malicious attack with much ease.

There are several instances of sabotage. C4ISTAR components are very critical when it comes to passing orders and communications to military personnel; interception or malicious activities is an example of military system compromise that could jeopardize the entire military operations. The civilian realm is highly risked when sabotages of electric power grid, trains, or the stock market particularly targets them. According to The New York Times, a report in the mid-July of 2010  reveal an incident where security experts unveiled the Stuxnetsoftware program that infiltrated the computers of the factoryand spread across the entire firm as an attack on the factory’s industrial infrastructure (Richmond, 2010). Another example is the 2015 Ukrainian power failure on the night of December 23 in various places. The temperature were freezing at the time of the attack but after few hours the engineers manually restored the electricity. This was the first successful cyber-attack on Ukraine which also involve a corresponding DDoS attack which incapacitated the customer service lines.

The span of cyberspace complicates any attempts to handle cybercrime. Non-state actors are significant contributors in the cyber war just as state actors. Highly skilled malware developer’s contributions influence global politics and cyber warfare. These groups willingly share their exploits on the web with each other as a form of arms proliferation to allow more hackers to be active in initiating the large scale attacks.

  • Propaganda

Over a long time fake news and hate speech content have often spread across internet, often targeted at politicians and influential individuals. According to Carter (2018), cyber propaganda is an attempt to control information to influence public opinion in an easy, inexpensive and effective way. This is a powerful cyber-attack technique that incorporates psychological warfare while employing social media, fake news websites and other digital techniques to instantly distort public perception. These fake news are usually provocative and could lead to a turn of undesired events. The internet has been very resourceful in facilitating this form of attach as the message has surety of reaching a huge audience.

Propaganda is “the intentional, systematic endeavor to alter perceptions, manipulate thoughts, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist” (Jowell & O’Donnell, 2006, p. 7). Terrorists groups use internet as a medium for brainwashing its potential flowers and any restriction on the internet have been taken as a measure to decrease terrorist organization through the web. In 2018, the Chief of the General Staff of the British Army, Sir Nicholas Carter, articulated that cyber propagandais acyber-warfare technique whose actors employ with an objective of de-legitimizingthe political and social system of the military strength foundations.

  1. Economic disruption

Companies or organizations are mostly negatively affected by cybercrime targeting its financial competencies. For instance, the WannaCry and Petya cyber-attacks, maskedransom ware in 2017 resulted into a significant disruption in the United Kingdom’s U.K.’s National Health Service, pharmaceutical giant Merck, and Maersk shipping company as well as Ukrainian.It is significant that countries become aware of cyber-attacks that target its financial sector as well as basic utility sector. Cyber-crime costs are unlimited ranging from data damage and destruction, fraud, theft of intellectual economic valuables, personal and financial data, disruption of normal business operations and loss of hacked information.

  1. Surprise Cyber Attack

The Cyber Pearl Harbor is a famously known surprise and extremely damaging cyber-attackthat many scholars debate on with reference to an analogy of historic warfare (Palmer, 2013). Cyber Pearl Harbor is maybe a real likelihood, and future cyber weapons might just cause unimaginable damage and disruption to the future society. However, cyber 9/11 has found its way in reference a nontraditional, asymmetric, or irregular elements of cybercrime against a nation. In retaliation to such attacks, states have changed their perception on cyber warfare because of its threat to the civilians, infrastructure and national security to employ unique counterintelligence measures.

  1. Methods used in Cyber Attacks
  2. Denial-of-service (DoS)

A denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) or distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) is simple strategic attack which seeks to incapacitate a server or network by flooding it with messages making them (servers/networks) unavailable to its intended users (Andress, Winterfeld, Rogers & Northcutt, 2011). Successful attack means that the targeted high-profile web servers such as credit card payment gateways areflooded with so much superfluous dataenough to incapacitate it beyond the ability to handle the incoming traffic. As a result, the servers would most probably crash or reboot with potential damage of applications or servers. DoS attacks work to deny access to the legitimate users of a system (McDowell, 2009). This attack also includes strategic physical attack on computer hardware and using electromagnetic interference to destroy electronics. For instance, perpetrators might opt to cut the undersea communication cables todamage information warfare ability of a given region. DoS attack is an interesting propaganda facilitator as users of the systems are enraged by its inability to respond until they resort to lose confidence with the faulty system (McDowell, 2009).

DoS attack are extremely dangerous in cyber warfare because most governmental, public utility, facilities, organizations and businesses have access to various services that make thing run smoothly. Denial to such services might result into panic and losses as well as long term termage to the system. Worse of it would result during an aggressive military action or civil unrest that could further threaten national security of a country as more and more propaganda continue to spread.

There are several DoS attacks most common being TCP SYN flood attack, teardrop attack, smurf attack, ping-of-death attack and botnets. First, TCP SYN flood attack is used by the attacker to exploit the buffer spaces the course of a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) session to launch the attack. The attacker uses an automated device to flood the target system with several requests which are unresponsive if the target system replies to them. The target system is at the risk of collapsing when the queue request are too many. Secondly, teardrop attack results into a “fragmentation offset fields in sequential Internet Protocol (I.P.) packets” to overlay each other on the target system. The system might try to reconstruct packets without any success and later becomesconfused before crashing. Thirdly, Smurf attack is a cyber-attack that uses I.P. spoofing and the ICMP as a way of overwhelming and saturating the target system/network with request traffic. Fourthly, ping of death attack uses I.P. packets to ‘ping a target system with an I.P. size over the allowed limit making the systemwitness buffer overflows. Lastly, the botnets which are systems infected with malware under hacker control in order to carry out DDoS attacks.

  1. Phishing and spear phishing attacks

Phishing is the act of sending fraudulent messages or emails that appear to come from reliable and trusted sources with the intent of gaining access to sensitive personal information like credit card and login information or installing a malicious malware on the target system(Stavroulakis & Stamp, 2010). Over years, phishing has become famous amongst cybercrime with its combination of social engineering and technical trickery. The email messages could havean attachment which lays malware to the systems or illegitimate websites that trick into installing a malware that access personal information.

One of well-known type of phishing is spear phishing which targets a specific individual or organization. In spear phishing, the attackers take time to research about the target gather personal and relevant information that the target might find interesting before creating the messages. This guarantees the success of the attack. The Fancy Bear applied spear phishing tactics to target Hillary Clinton’s email accounts over the 2016 presidential campaign. The attackers attacked over 1800 Google accounts. Email spoofing is one of the simplest technique that spear phishing is performed where the “From” section of the mail appears to originate from a legitimate person only to give way for the attack launch byaccessing personally identifiable information (PII) or login credentials.

  • SQL injection attack

A Structured Query Language (SQL) injection is common incident withdatabase-driven websitesand happens when a malefactor uses the input data from the server’s clients to perform a SQL query to the database (Chen, Jarvis & Macdonald, 2014). The attacker inserts SQL commands into data-plane input to force the server to run predefined SQL commands which exposes thesensitive information such as passwords. A successful SQL injection abuse privacy policies to go through sensitive data from the database, modify these data, execute uncalled-for administration operations or recover classified information.

An instance of this attack approach would be in web form where request is made to the accountholder for account name and deliberately sending the information to a database to pull out sensitive information through a dynamic SQL the one below to create a hole and an opportunities for the attackers to infiltrate private information.

“SELECT * FROM users WHERE account = ‘“+ userProvidedAccountNumber +”’;”

  • Drive-by attacks

Another key method of spreading malware and approach used by cyber attackers is the drive-by download attacks. The potential hackers often opt to launch this attack on unprotected websites and create malicious script into PHP or HTTP code to automatically install malware into a computer of visiting users or give access to the hacker to control the operations of the computer(Naraine, 2009). This form of attack occurs when the website user visits or opens an email message or popup windows that are insecure for the operation. Different from the many types of cyber-attacks, a drive-by attack is not dependent on the user to actively do anything for the attack to be possible nor download or open an infected attachment or email. Often success for this attack is when the computer system or networks are flawed because of updates errors.

  1. Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack

A well-known method that most cyber attackers use is the Man-in-the-middle (MitM). A MitM attack occurs when the hacker infiltrates into a two-party communication or transaction, interrupts the traffic and access their personal and sensitive data(Callegati, Cerroni, & Ramilli, 2009). MitM relies on the ability of the attacker to secretly alter the communication of two parties. Over years, detecting this method of attack has challenged many.MitM attacks is possible when the attackers interferes with legitimate networks or creates false networks that s/he can easily control. Once the traffic is compromised, the attacker easily strips the parties of their encryptions to do what so ever the attacker pleases. One of the main reasons why it is difficult to spot the attack is that the attackers often takes time to silently observe or re-encrypt diverted traffic to its intended source after recorded or edited.

This attack can occurs on unsecure public Wi-Fi where the attackers to place themselves secretively between the client and the server or network. This allows them to access the clients’ information that is being passed over the internet. The other way this attack can be launched is through a malware. Once a malware breached the network/device,the attacker takes the opportunity to install a software which processes all sensitive information and data of the client.With the outburst of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the likelihoods for MitM attacks have significantly ramped up. Other methods such as Wi-Fi Eavesdropping, Email Hijacking, andI.P. Spoofing Attacks.

  1. Password attacks

One of the most sensitive item when it comes to data and information is password. A password is critical mechanism when it comes to authenticating users and grant them access to an information system. With passwords of the client, the attack approach can easily access all personal data. Accessing passwords of individuals or government or military can threaten the personal and national security. Password attack allows the attacker to access a person or institutions or government passwords by over the desk peeping, sniffing the network connectivity to obtain unencrypted passwords, via social engineering, acquiringadmittance to a password database or through continuous guesses.

There are two widely used approaches for password attack include Brute-force password guessing and dictionary attack. Brute-force password guessing involves the use of a random methodof trying out variety of passwords with the hope that one of them night just log you into a targeted server, network or portal. Logically, trying out different password might involve guessing hobbies, family name, hobbies, names, job titles and other items that might be related to the target. Another approach is the dictionary attack which uses a dictionary of common passwords to try gaining access to the network, server or computer of a given user. Using this dictionary, the attacker copies an encrypted file which has several passwords, applies the identical encryption to a dictionary with the mostfrequently used passwords, and then match the results to identify the password. However complicated it is, the hackers can easily manage this approach.

  1. Malware attack

A malware is a malicious software such as ransom ware, spyware, macro viruses, worms, file infectors, System or boot-record infectors, Polymorphic viruses and Trojan. Malware is malicious because it describes unwanted and installed software in a system without the user’s consent(Andress, Winterfeld, Rogers & Northcutt, 2011).Malware breaches a system via a vulnerability by attaching itself toauthentic code and disseminate, or lurking in suitable application or a replica over the internet. Usually, when a user clicks on a link or email attachment, a software can easily be installed into a system.Cyber attackers for instance, can install spyware on a private devices to try destruct the entire or part of national infrastructure. Once in the system, malicious software often attempt to or succeed to block access to key constituents of the network (ransom ware), interrupts various constituents and make the system impracticable, install malware and otherinjurious software, stealthilyacquires information by transferring data via the hard drive (spyware).

  • Eavesdropping attack

Eavesdropping attacks is slowly becoming a common method of cyber-attack. It occur when the attacker intercepts network this approach of cyber-attack, the attacker obtainssensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers and credentials among otherprivate information which are sent over the network by the user(Yager, Reformat, &Alajlan, 2014).Eavesdropping attack exists in two versions – either passive or active eavesdropping. In an active eavesdropping case, the attacker actively snatches the information after masquerading oneself as responsive unit and sendsinquiries to transmitters through probing, scanning or tampering techniques. Secondly, passive eavesdropping is where the hackers listen to the message transmitted over the network to detect any information. Active attacks needs the hacker to know the friendly units through passive eavesdropping. An attempt to defend against this attack requires us to detect passive eaves dropping first.

  1. Motivators for cyber attacks
  2. Military

The first U.S. head of USCYBERCOM, General Keith B. Alexander asserted that the computer network warfare is highly dynamic such that there exists a mismatch of the government’sproceduralcompetences to conduct its activities as per the governing laws and policies. The military have been on the front line in cyber ware. Cyber Command is the modernuniversal combatant with an objective of cyberspace. The military will find just anything they deem necessary to counteractcyber-attacks and to defend military computer networks(Shanker, 2010). The general spoke of an enormous battlefield anticipated for the cyber warfare command, enlisting different targets that they could attack such as “air defense networks,command-and-control systems at military headquarters, and weapons systems” which necessitates for use of computers to successfully operate (Shanker, 2010).

Cyber Shockwave is one of a cyber-warfare on the cabinet that raised a series of problems and concerns relative to the National Guard, power grid, and the statutory authority limits (Ali, 2010). The internet based attacks by nature are well distributed such that it becomes very hard to determine the real motive behind the attack leave alone the party making the attack. Therefore, over years and decades the cyberwarfare is clouded by unclear and uncertainty behind the attack. What remains clear is that most people seek to undertake this attack as a way of taking control of the military system to execute attacks. There have been news that the military itself actively take part in cyber warfare as a way of confusing its enemies to make their invasion and attacks much easier for the soldiers. It is for this reason that cyber warfare vacant position continuously increase in the U.S. military. The United States military branches are currently and actively recruiting individuals for cyber warfare either to defend or undertake the operation (Lee, 2012). One instance of a politically motivated cyber warfare is the one recorded in 2008 when Russia launched a cyber-attack on the website of the government of Georgia. The Russian attack was supported by the Georgian military operations being carried out in South Ossetia. In another instance, on the same year, Chinese nationalist hackers launched an attack on CNN when the station was reporting on “Chinese repression on Tibet”. These are just examples of cyber-attack that are motivated by military operations.

  1. Civil

Civilians uses most computers and networks for their daily operations. Potentialcyber-attacks target civilians operating over the network through cyber sabotage by afflicting the attack on the internet web, internet service providers themselves, as well as different types of communication mediums and network equipment that they are sure will affect the civilians. According to Lin (2016), civil motivation to cyber-attacks target various components such as “web servers, client server systems, network equipment, enterprise information systems, communication links business and home laptops and desktops.” Other vulnerable components such as financial networks, Electrical grids and telecommunication systems are trending computerization and automations that contribute to the motive behind civil-intended cyber-attacks. Incapacitating these components might significantly affect citizens of a city. Attackers are motivated by many reasons to undertaking cyber-attack operations. Experts and advisors in cyber warfare relations advocate that nationscontinue to take these attack seriously because of their impact on its citizens.

  1. Hacktivism

Among the great motivations for cyber-attacks is hacktivism. Diplomaticallydriven hacktivism embroils the revolutionary use of computers device and networks to spread political agendas or social change and probably result to cyber warfare because it likelihood to lead to further attacks, theft and virtual sabotage (Denning, 2008). Some governmental operation have been mistaken for hacktivism because of their related events. Unlike the well-known hacking industry, hacktivism is not motivated by money but relies on politically motivatedcyber-attacks to carry out cyber sabotage with the intent to influence a certain action. According to Kennedy (2015), “revenge, politics, ideology, protest and a desire to humiliate victims” drive hacktivism.Hacktivists make use of their expertise in I.T. and software tools to have unauthentic access computer systems and manipulate or damage them as a way of drawing attention to their cause.

Groups of hacktivists as well as anonymous hacktivist are easily perceived by the media ascyber-terrorists who cause havoc by their abilities or activities of hacking websites, conveying sensitive information of the hacked victims and even go to the extent of threatening a larger attack if their demands are unsatisfied. The political motivation or need for social change often drive this act with regards to the use of fundamentalism. For instance, in 2009, hacktivists protested against the Iranian election. Operating from outside Iran, these hacktivists undertook a DDoS attack with the Iranian government and other state-sponsored websites as their targets. The Iranian government in response blocked access to different social network sites to avert coverage of the current state affairs in the streets of Iran.

  1. Private sector

Businesses are highly interested in their competitors operations and strategies just as governments envy each other. In the contemporary corporate world, private organizations take an initiative to try figure out the best way to beat other players (espionage). Computer hacking is the most current threat in continuinguniversal conflicts and industrial espionage (Tavani, 2016). This is one of the ethical abuse that most institutions engage in their operation. Typically, profit motivation for data theft, or strategy theft/leakages or any form of this type of crime often go underreported as the damage often come before its detection. For example, in the case of Starwood and Hilton, Hilton breached the paradigms of professional ethics by suborning two former executives of Starwood to share highly confidential information on Starwood’s project plans in 2010. The attack was purely financially motivated.

  1. Non-profit Research

Last but not least, non-profit research could be a motivation behind these cyber-attack methods. Examination of cyber warfare have proven that not all attacks seek to gain profits for either the industry or specific person, some are simply intended for research purposes. For instance the University of Cincinnati or the Kaspersky Security Lab engage in cyber-attacks as experiments to identify loopholes and figure out the best ways of increasing the system sensitivity to cyber-attacks. These attacks are therefore motivated by the need to research and publish of new security threats that could be useful in countering system security breach.

  1. Preparedness

Different countries experience different forms of cyber-attack. It is because of this that different nations invest heavily on research and drills to increase their preparedness and reconnoiter their tactics, strategy, and operations to defend themselves against cyber-attacks. This section debates on the preparedness of countries to handle cyber threats and attacks.

The Locked Shields is a war game conducted by a constituent of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCE). The CCDCE, since 2010, designed this war game to assess the readiness to cyber-attacks and enhance the skills, tactics and strategy tactics as well as theoperative decision making for the nation and the organizations (Allison, 2019). In 2019, Locked Shields launched a war game of 1200 participants from thirty different nations to compete in two teams – red team against blue team. The setting of this war game incorporated a fictitious nation witnessing “system security deterioration and a series of hostile events and organized cyber-attacks against a specified civilian internet service provider and maritime surveillance system”(Allison, 2019). The cyber-attack result into severe sabotage ofthe 4G communication systems, water purification plant,the power generation and distribution, maritime surveillance, and other vital state infrastructure.According to Allison (2019), CCDCE’s objective was “maintaining various systems operation even when under intense pressure, and the strategic part addresses the capability to understand the impact of strategic and policylevel decisions.”

Cyber-attack preparedness is being treated as a war game. Playing these war games prepares an institution, government, organizations for a cyber-attack and allow them to practice responses to these cyber incidents and enhance their resilience. The European Union for this case conduct cyber war games with their partners and states members for improving the nation’s readiness, expertise and detect different strategic and tactical approach to cyber incidences. War gamespurposefully intend to explore and improve the expertise of a state by preparing them for specific threats. The U.K. government for instance conducted a cyber-war game to improve its defensive preparedness and offensive capabilities against sabotages such as power blackouts.

FEMA in partnership with Cyber security& Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), take the initiative to support several programs focused on resilience over cyber-attacks. Over the past years, the organization released more than $165million to fund cyber preparedness of state and local jurisdictions. Financial aid are crucial in addressing the national reports and examination of cyber security threats that could interfere with the operations of the government. Local and state partners can use these funds to facilitate cyber security programs and plans, facilitate training, carry out outreach and exercises, and obtain hardware and software, improve firewall, and secure emergency network infrastructure.

  • Cyber counterintelligence

Cyber counterintelligence are measures for identifying, penetrating, or neutralizing any alien activities which employ cyber methods as a prime tradecraft approach and foreign intelligence service endeavors that traditionally gauge cyber capabilities and intentions (Yager, Reformat &Alajlan, 2014). For instance, in 2009, thePentagon spent over $100 million in just 6 months to combat, respond and repair damages from cyber-attacks. This instance just points out to the will of organizations and states to counteract cybercrimes. In same year, the U.S. lawmakers ensured the appointment of theWhite House cyber security “czar” to intensifythe U.S. defenses abilities against cyber-attacks and createplansfor empowering the government as well as establish and implement security standards (Robinson, Janicke, & Jones, 2017). Government institutions often take the initiative of appointing expertise form agencies such as the FBI and other military operations to undertake the responsibility of strengthening status of the nation against these attacks.

The U.S. government administration announced in 2009 that as a way to counter cyber-attacks, it will continuously review of the state’s cyber security competencies to make sure that the federal cyber security initiatives are sustainably resourced,cohesive, and coordinated the U.S. Congress and key private sector (Yager, Reformat & Alajlan, 2014). Counter intelligence requires that the party attacked or victimized undertake a cyber-security review as an initiative to strengthen the weaknesses and remove any loopholes in its system. NATO in the cyber counterintelligence set up Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD CoE) to enhance the cyber defense capabilities to wage the cyber war that was carried out against Estonia. CCD CoE was fully accredited by NATO and endorsed as an International Military Organization to formulate different strategies to combat this cyber threats (Shakarian, 2013).The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as one of the intelligence agencies take a series of measures in cybercrime to aid in fighting international threats against computer systems. FBI is very resourceful when it comes to state cyber-attacks.

The U.S. Department of Defense in 2015remain in the upfront in counter intelligence operations. In 2015, it reported a restructured cyber strategy memorandum which presented details on the federal government’scurrent and future tactics to counter cyber-attacks in the defense forces. The first cyber missionsin the memorandum sought to arm and maintain currentcapabilities in cyberspace; the second focused on deterrence of cyber warfare, and last one consisted of strategies for retaliation and preemption (Andress, Winterfeld, Rogers, & Northcutt, 2011). This approach goes to other institutions – they must have a detailed memorandum or policies to help them country this problem. However, challenging cyber counter intelligence is attribution which makes itdifficult to detect the attacker.


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Tavani, H. T. (2016). Ethics and technology: Controversies, questions, and strategies for ethical computing.

Yager, R. R., Reformat, M., &Alajlan, N. (2014). Intelligent methods for cyber warfare.

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