Cyber Security Attack Case Study

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Cyber Security Attack Case Study

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By Faisal Quader Faisal Quader Scilit Google Scholar * and Vandana P. Janeja Vandana P. Janeja Scilit Google Scholar *

Received: 5 August 2021 / Revised: 14 October 2021 / Accepted: 25 October 2021 / Published: 11 November 2021

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This paper focuses on understanding the characteristics of various types of cyber attacks through a comprehensive evaluation of real-world cyber attack case studies. For each type of attack, we identify and link the type of attack to the characteristics of that attack and the factors that lead to the attack, as seen from the review of case studies for that type of attack. We examine the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the type of attack, including the type of industry, the financial intensity of the attack, the non-financial impact, the number of customers affected, and the impact on consumer trust and loyalty. In addition, we examine key factors that lead to attacks, including aspects of human behavior; institutional-cultural factors in the workplace; changed security policy; technology adoption and investment by business; training and awareness of all stakeholders, including users, customers and employees; and investing in cyber security. In our study, we also analyzed how these factors are related to each other by evaluating the coincidence and connection of factors to form a graph of frequently related rules seen throughout the case studies. This study aims to help organizations take a proactive approach to investigate relevant cyber threats and aims to educate organizations to be more informed through lessons learned from other organizations experiencing cyber attacks. Our findings show that the aspects of human behavior that lead to attacks are the weakest link in successfully preventing cyber threats. We focus on human factors and discuss mitigation strategies.

Types of cyber attacks; human factors in cyber threats; Case studies; advanced persistent threats (APT); Association of Mining Rules (ARM); organizational security readiness; lesson learned

Cyber ​​threats are increasing for all entities, including individuals, small businesses and large corporations, causing various levels of loss. In some cases, even amateur-led cyber attacks can cause major disruptions. Cyber ​​threats will get worse and worse due to the pervasive nature of connectivity and the constant movement of data, which is not always protected. There are areas of well-studied physical threats, such as the danger of fire and flood; however, we still lack a deeper understanding of cyber attacks. In traditional threats, previous events are studied and analyzed, and lessons learned are used to deal with similar events in the future. In this paper, we use this approach to study different types of cyber attacks, in order to understand and inform decisions and mitigation strategies for different types of cyber attacks. We classify real-world cyber attack case studies based on different types of attacks, analyze the main factors that contribute to these attacks, and discuss possible mitigation strategies. Our goal is to provide information that can be used to prevent organizations from potentially becoming victims of cyber threats by studying current cyber attacks.

In most cyber attacks, aspects of human behavior and response to malicious stimuli are the weakest links in creating a successful cyber attack. Behaviors such as distraction, ignorance, curiosity, failure to comply with security policies, and lack of awareness of cyber threats can cause significant damage or lead to attacks [1]. In our survey of real-world cyber attack case studies, we identify and categorize the human aspect of the attack, look at the financial and other adverse effects of these attacks, identify challenges, and devise possible mitigation strategies. Connecting these cyber threats with a human aspect can help stakeholders – including end users, decision makers and system administrators alike – become potentially more aware of cyber attacks.

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Although current surveys take a more theoretical perspective on different cyber-attacks, no survey has addressed the evaluation of various cyber-attacks in the real world. For example, Abraham gives an overview of Social Engineering attacks [2], and Wheatley talks about the Sony data beach incident [3] in general. However, this survey does not provide an aggregate analysis of real-world cyber attacks. In this paper, we try to investigate some cyber attacks and get some general lessons learned by mining the factors we collected from these case studies to find commonalities across these cases.

We assessed more than 43 cyber attack incidents and studied the process, impact and consequences of the threat. Specifically, we study qualitative and quantitative characteristics, including the type of industry, the financial intensity of the attack, the effects of non-financial intensity, the number of customers affected, and the impact on consumer confidence and loyalty. In addition, we examine the factors that lead to the attack: human behavioral aspects; organizational culture factors at work; security policy changed; adopt technology and invest in business; training and awareness of all stakeholders, including users, customers and employees; and investing in cyber security. We also analyze how these factors are related by evaluating the co-occurrence and association of factors to form a graph of the frequently related rules seen in the case studies.

The rest of the paper is organized as follows: In Section 2, we talk about motivation, explaining why it is useful to carry out this evaluation of a cyber attack case study. In Section 3 and Section 4, we discuss our evaluation/survey methodology, which includes categorization of cyber threats, observations related to these attacks, and key factors that cause these attacks. We then summarize mitigation strategies to prevent these attacks in Section 5. In Section 6 and Section 7, we conclude our paper with relevant future work mainly on the human aspect that causes cyber attacks, and illustrate the open challenges associated with cyber warfare.

Cyber ​​threats are not only spreading rapidly around the world; Serious threats leading to massive financial loss with credibility impact has been surprisingly proven in many established companies, such as Home Depot [4, 5], Sony [6, 7, 8], Central Bank [9], and Heartland Payment System [10] to name a few. Organizations, both established and new, often struggle with how to deal with these threats. As such, the obvious question is “Are we the victims of this impending threat?” To adequately answer the question, we need to do a thorough analysis of cyber attacks and identify lessons learned from these attacks so we can be proactive against future threats. We see a lack of systematic study of cyber threats, unlike traditional security hazards. Furthermore, aspects of human behavior play a major role in cyber attacks; Behavioral aspects such as can include negligence and ignorance of cyber attacks, as well as the potential to act fraudulently. Human behavior often influences the progress of cyber threats; however, it is generally difficult to identify specific causes. Certain factors – such as caution, security education, increased awareness, and security competence – play an important role in avoiding cyber threats. To address this issue and measure it through the lens of today’s cyber attack scenario, we study how aspects of human behavior affect the intensity of cyber threats. We hope that this survey of cyber threats will be useful for organizations – small, medium and large – to learn from cyber attacks and take appropriate cyber security initiatives.

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Interestingly enough, cyber threats are not different from physical security threats, as shown in Table 1; however, they need to be investigated in a similar way to physical security threats [11]. As we will see below, the characteristics of physical security [12] and cyber security are very similar, except that we pay more attention to physical security than cyber security. Cyber ​​security threats are not as visible as physical security threats, but the effects of cyber security threats can be quite significant; therefore, we must pay attention to cyber threats.

Today, there are very few comprehensive studies

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